Welcome to the official Amherst Police Department blog!

We hope to use this site as a way to share information with, and receive information from, our community members in the town of Amherst. If one of our posts is of interest to you, please add a comment. You can also visit our website at www.amherstpd.org for other valuable information.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Increased Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws


The Amherst Police Department will be conducting an increased enforcement initiative to deter underage and excessive “binge” drinking.  Working in partnership with several retail liquor stores in town, Amherst Police Officers will be working within the liquor stores posing as store employees or customers to identify persons attempting to purchase alcohol that are underage or persons that are purchasing alcohol for someone who is underage.    The mobilization titled “Cops in Shops” is being conducted this winter in spring. In 2014 Amherst Police criminally charged 229 persons under the age of 21 being in possession of alcohol.  According to Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone “Underage drinking and excessive drinking of alcohol are the cause of many problems in the town of Amherst, including fights, vandalism and injuries to persons.    We hope that the Cops In Shops program will be an effect tool in deterring underage drinking and we appreciate the partnership with our local liquor stores to combat this issue.” 
  
For questions regarding this enforcement initiative please contact Captain Jennifer Gundersen at gundersenj@amherstma.gov or 413-259-3012

 
This initiative is funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Highway Safety Division.  For more information on this grant program, go to mass.gov/highwaysafety

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Patrol Officer Gary Guzik (Ret.) Dies

The Amherst Police Department is sad to report the death of Patrol Officer Gary Guzik (retired) following a long illness. Officer Guzik graduated from the Worcester Police Academy in 1981 and began his career in his hometown of Warren, MA. He was appointed as a patrol officer with the Amherst Police Department in 1982 and was assigned to the overnight shift. Officer Guzik was reassigned to the Detective Bureau from 1990 – 1992. In 1996 he assisted in developing the department’s Mounted Horse Patrol, where he spent several years working with his horse Antonio. In addition to his patrol duties, Officer Guzik was  a field training officer and the department’s CPR instructor. Prior to his retirement in 2007, Officer Guzik received several citations and awards for his actions as an Amherst Police Officer. He will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sean Hyde Appointed Police Officer


Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the appointment of a new patrol officer to the Amherst Police Department.  Sean J. Hyde was appointed after an extensive selection process which included interview panels, physical and psychological testing and an interview with the Chief of Police, Interim Town Manager and Human Resources Director. 
 

Officer Hyde is the son of Thomas and Kathy Hyde of Northborough, Massachusetts.  He is a 2003 graduate of Algonquin Regional High School. In 2006 he earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester, MA and in 2009 earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, Boston, MA.  He graduated from the Baltimore City Police Department Academy in Baltimore, MD on December 23, 2011. He has been employed as a patrol officer for the Baltimore City Police Department since 2011 and previously was employed as a Department of Defense Intelligence Officer in Washington, D.C.   

 
Officer Hyde has started his twelve week field officer training program at the Amherst Police Department.

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Police Accrediation Assessment

 
Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce that the Amherst Police Department will undergo a peer review by a team of assessors from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, Inc. to determine if the Department will maintain its accreditation status. The team of assessors will be examining various aspects of the Amherst Police Department’s policies and procedures, operations and facilities. This assessment will take place at the Amherst Police Department on February 2nd,3rd and 4th, 2016. 

Verification by the assessment team that the Amherst Police Department meets the Commission’s state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain state accreditation – a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.  In 2000, the Amherst Police Department became the 2nd police department in the Commonwealth to be awarded accreditation status and was successfully reaccredited in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.   

The accreditation process consists of 257 mandatory standards as well as 125 optional standards.  In order to achieve state accreditation, the department must be in compliance with all applicable mandatory standards as well as 55% of the optional standards.

A copy of the Standards Manual is available at the Amherst Police Department.  To view the manual, or if you have questions about the process please contact Lieutenant William Menard at the Amherst Police Department, 413-259-3167 or menardw@amherstma.gov.

 

 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pedestrian and Bicycle Traffic Safety Grant

To help make sharing the road in Amherst a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists, the Amherst Police Department was recently awarded a $5,000.00 grant by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) Highway Safety Division from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The funding comes from approximately $280,000 specifically provided to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the Commonwealth.  Amherst was one of 71 police departments to receive part of this funding.

According to the Massachusetts Traffic Records Analysis Center (MassTRAC), there have been 320 fatal injuries and 3,456 serious or incapacitating injuries sustained by pedestrians in motor vehicle crashes from 2008 to 2012. During the same time frame, bicyclists sustained 1,106 serious or incapacitating injuries and 43 fatal injuries as a result of motor vehicle crashes.  During fiscal year 2015 in Amherst, 9 pedestrians and 8 cyclists were injured in vehicle crashes in Amherst.

“Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to the motoring public because they may not be immediately visible to drivers and unlike those in vehicles, nothing protects them from impact,” said Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone. “All users need to learn to share the road safely and be mindful of one another and the law.  We’ll use the grant for education, enforcement and outreach we believe will help protect our pedestrians and cyclists from injuries and fatalities.”

Grantees will pay for enforcement and decoy patrols, breakaway signs and crosswalk reflective tape.  The combination of enforcement techniques and equipment will help the department analyze and crack down on drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who do not share the road appropriately, so no one puts themselves or others in harm’s way.

The Amherst Police Department, in partnership with EOPSS, recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Amherst because any death or injury on our roadways is one too many. 

For additional information, contact Sgt. Todd Lang via email or call 413-259-3000.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Robbery 12/21/15


On December 21, 2015 at approximately 11:15AM, several Amherst Police Officers responded to Southpoint Apartments for the report of a robbery that had just occurred. Officers located the victim, a 32 year old man who is a resident at that complex. He was suffering from a head laceration and was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital where he remains in good condition and is expected to be released sometime today.

Investigators believe that the injury occurred when the victim was struck with some type of object. They are still working on the case and are interviewing witnesses who describe the assailants as Young, very thing and dressed in black clothing. The suspects were wearing masks at the time of the incident and fled the area on foot.

No arrests have been made and the matter remains under investigation.  Information can be forwarded to the Amherst Police Detective Bureau at 413-259-3000.

 


 

APD Investigating an Armed Robbery 12/20/15


On 12/20/15 at 5pm Amherst Police Officers responded to the Southpoint Apartment Complex for a reported armed robbery, in which a handgun was shown. The victim stated he was assaulted by three males, all wearing ski style masks. The suspects demanded money from the victim. The suspects fled the area on foot. No injuries were reported. The incident remains under investigation.

Contact the Amherst Police Detective Bureau with information, 413-259-3000

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015 Community Policing Partnership Award: Walter Hoffman and Carol Ashby

Chief Livingstone has presented to community members Walter Hoffman and Carol Ashby our “2015 Community Policing Partnership Award.” Mr. Hoffman and Mrs. Ashby are members of the Amherst Seniors and Law Enforcement Council (SALT) and were instrumental in the development of the Safe Entry Program. The SALT Safe Entry provides seniors with lock boxes that are installed at their home which can provide quick access for first responders in the event of an emergency. For more info on the Safe Entry Program, visit our webpage at http://www.amherstma.gov/2011/Safe-Entry-Program-Free. Thank you to Mr. Hoffman and Mrs. Ashby for your great work this year with 75 lock box installations! Photo: Chief Livingstone, Ofc. Dave Rhoades (SALT rep), Mr. Walter Hoffman and Mrs. Carol Ashby.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday Toy Drive


From Friday December 4 – Monday Friday December 21 the Amherst Police Department will host the third annual ‘Toys for Joy’ holiday gift drive.  Please bring an unwrapped gift or gift card to the Amherst Police Department located at 111 Main St. Gifts will be donated to the Amherst Survival Center, Jessie’s House, and the Center for Human Development.

 For more information please contact Detective Marcus Humber at (413) 259-3008 or humberm@amherstma.gov. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Protect against apartment/house breaks!


Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is reminding all college students to protect their local residences during fall and winter breaks. Traditionally, during this time period the volume of burglaries rises considerably.  Knowing that students often leave their belongings behind, thieves will commonly target areas with high student populations.  In the majority of these thefts, entry is made through unlocked doors and windows. By following a few simple steps prior to leaving for break you can deter a thief from targeting your home. The Amherst Police Department has adopted the STOP initiative to help spread awareness of these simple steps.

S. Secure all doors and windows. A quick check of your residence before departing is possibly the best way to protect your belongings during fall and winter breaks.

T. Take your valuables with you. Highly valuable items such as laptops, jewelry, IPods, and game systems should be taken with you if possible.

O. Out of sight. Invest in window coverings and make sure they are utilized.  Keep all of your valuables out of sight. Valuable items in plain view can attract the attention of a thief and make you a target.  

P. Patrols. The Amherst Police Department will be utilizing directed patrols in an effort to deter/apprehend any offenders during the breaks. These directed patrols will include plain clothes officers on foot in and around areas of student housing. We also welcome you to report any and all suspicious activity.  If it doesn't look right it probably isn't.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Overnight Parking Ban In Effect December 1st


 
Amherst Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone announced today that the overnight parking ban will be in effect from December 1, 2015, to April 1, 2016.  During this time period no overnight parking is allowed on any town streets from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.  Vehicles left on streets between these hours are subject to be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.  Parking is allowed in the meter lot on Pray Street and also on the lower level of the parking garage however, vehicles there must be removed by 7:00 a.m.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Amherst Police Department Is Bringing Active Shooter Training to the Amherst Community



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(February 17-18, 2016, Amherst Middle School)

The Amherst Police Department and the ALICE Training Institute have teamed up to bring ALICE Instructor Training to Amherst community, being held at the Amherst Middle School on February 17-18, 2016. This two day instructor course is designed to teach proactive survival strategies for violent intruder or active shooter incidents. The goal of the ALICE program is to provide individuals with survival-enhancing options for those critical moments in the gap between when a violent situation begins and when law enforcement arrives on scene. The registration fee for this training is $595 per person and can be completed online at www.alicetraining.com.   ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate and is a useful strategy for everyone: law enforcement, schools, universities, hospitals, businesses, and places of worship. Completing the ALICE Instructor Training course provides individuals with certification in ALICE Training and allows them the opportunity to bring ALICE strategies back to their places of work. Additionally, registrants will gain access to exclusive ALICE resources.

ALICE is in line with recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

About ALICE Training Institute

The ALICE Training Institute is changing how schools, universities, and businesses respond to armed intruders. ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate), developed after Columbine, teaches strategies to survive a life-threatening event. Supported by educators and law enforcement across the country, ALICE is quickly becoming the new standard of care.

For More Information Contact:

Name:            Lt. David Knightly                                Name:           Person to Contact

Email:            knightlyd@amherstma.gov                 Email:           Email@AliceTraining.com

URL:              www.amherstpd.org                            URL:             www.AliceTraining.com