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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

BEWARE: Tax Season is Also "Scam Season"

Please be aware of a scam being perpetrated on our residents by individuals claiming to be representatives of the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.

The scammers tell residents they are entitled to tax big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Please be advised that the IRS does not generally communicate with taxpayers by telephone. If they do, it is only after first sending correspondence by US mail.  Also, legitimate IRS representatives NEVER asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.

According to the IRS webpage, if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:



  •  If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Please DO NOT provide the caller with any personal information such as your date of birth or your social security number, and NEVER give banking information or credit or debit card numbers to them.

More information about this scam can be found on the MoneyGram webpage.  In addition, there is useful information on how to report an incident to MoneyGram, if MoneyGram was used as a result of a scam.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Read Across America Day at Crocker Farm Elementary School

On Wednesday, March 4th 2015, Officer Marcus Humber and Officer Yvonne Feliciano took part in Read Across America Day at Crocker Farm Elementary School.  Officers Humber and Feliciano had a great time and cannot wait until next year!  Here are some pictures from this years event.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lock Boxes for Amherst Seniors



Safe Entry Program (Free)
What is it?
It is a program in which seniors have a lock box installed that holds their house key. The S.A.L.T. Council would like to use this program in conjunction with medical assistance programs. Other seniors who do not use these programs may also obtain a lock box for medical emergencies.

How Does it Work?
A lock box is a small secure box with a combination (that you choose) that holds your house key. The location and combination will be on file with the Amherst 911 Dispatch Center. When an emergency call comes to the Dispatch Center the dispatcher will inform the responding officer or paramedic (via a secure format) of the lock box location and combination which will allow the officer quicker entry to offer assistance.

Will This Program Cost me Anything?
No. The lock box is provided through the S.A.L.T. Council in collaboration with the Amherst Fire Department Senior Safe Program (Massachusetts Department of Fire Services). The lock box will be installed free of charge by a qualified volunteer who will have town of Amherst Police Department issued identification. The S.A.L.T. Council would appreciate any donation to help with the costs of running this program. Please consider a donation!

How to Receive Your Lockbox?

To receive a lock box, download, print and complete the Safe Entry Form and return via mail to the following address:
Amherst S.A.L.T Council
P.O. Box 206
Amherst, MA 01004

Monday, March 9, 2015

Child Passenger Safety Seat Video

Great 30 second video from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security regarding child passenger safety seats.

Child Seat Video

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Media Advisory #3


*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***  
 

March 7, 2015

Media Briefing 7: 00 p.m.

The primary goal for March 7 was to provide a safe environment free from any large scale disturbances.  The Town of Amherst believes this has been a success.  Amherst will maintain vigilance tonight to ensure the safety of the community.  Police officers staged in various locations within the community reported cooperation, respect and positive communication with the community members and students.    Amherst Police reported only 3 arrests and the University of Massachusetts Police reported 3 arrests.   At a free afternoon concert for UMASS students at the Mullins Center Amherst Fire treated 19 persons and transported 1 to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. 

Extensive planning, preparation and collaboration with community stakeholders has been instrumental to ensure the overall success of the daytime events.   Amherst Town Manager John Musante said,  “This has been a true team effort.  I would like to thank those partners that were vital to this operation, including the Amherst and UMASS Police, Amherst Fire Department, University Administration, students, law enforcement mutual aid partners, downtown bar owners, retail establishments and property owners.”

 UMass Amherst officials praised the cooperation of students and the efforts of police in promoting safe and responsible behavior throughout Amherst on March 7.

 Following a successful concert at the Mullins Center that was attended by nearly 6,000 UMass Amherst students, Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, said, “Our students rose to the occasion and demonstrated their UMass pride by acting respectfully and responsibly. They played an active role in the planning of today’s events and their efforts really paid off.”
 
She also credited months of extensive planning with Town of Amherst officials, including the police and fire departments, for creating an atmosphere of respect and cooperation among students, residents and law enforcement personnel.

 “I’m grateful for the way we are engaging each other to make our community a safe place,” said Gelaye.
 

Contact:         Captain Jennifer Gundersen at gundersenj@amherstma.gov

 

March 7 2:00 p.m. media advisory




March 7, 2015

Media Briefing 2: 00 p.m.

The Town of Amherst, the Amherst Police Department, and the regional law enforcement partners’ report that the community is safe and the police have received cooperation throughout the day.

 Police officers and apartment complex security have been staged at numerous locations throughout north and center Amherst and have been successful in discouraging large gatherings from forming in these Amherst neighborhoods.  There are numerous small events throughout the town and none have caused substantial problems.

 The objective by the Town of Amherst, its police department and regional partners remain to ensure the safety of the community, safety of first responders and protection of private property. Cooperation and respect has been widespread between community members and police officers in the neighborhoods. The Amherst Police Department has made one arrest of a 19-year-old male for being a minor in possession of alcohol and having an open container of alcohol. Amherst Fire reports transporting one individual from the Mullins Center to Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
 
Downtown Amherst shops and restaurants are open for business and there have been no calls for service to the downtown area.

 The Amherst Police Department continues to monitor groups of pedestrians that are walking throughout north Amherst. Alcohol violations are not being observed and there have been no reports of property damage.

 On the UMass Amherst campus, about 5,000 students are attending the concert at the Mullins Center. Officials at the arena report that the crowd has been orderly. Police made one arrest outside the Mullins Center for a domestic assault and another individual was placed in protective custody for alcohol intoxication. Emergency personnel have seen eight individuals in the triage area.
 
UMass Amherst police also made an arrest for disorderly conduct near Curry Hicks Cage around 10:20 a.m.
 
Buses are running on a normal schedule.
 
Contact:         David Ziomek, Assistant Town Manager, Town of Amherst 413-259-3012

 The next media advisory will be at 5:00 p.m. at the Amherst Police Department Community Room, 111 Main Street.

Media Posting #1 March 7


March 7, 2015

Media Briefing 11 a.m.

 
The Amherst Police Department, with their regional law enforcement partners, reports that the community is safe and the police have received cooperation from persons travelling throughout town.  Officers and apartment complex security have been successful in dissuading large gatherings from forming in the north Amherst neighborhoods.
 
The objective by the Town of Amherst, its Police Department and regional partners remain to ensure the safety of the community, safety of first responders and protection of private property. There have been no arrests at this time.
 
The Amherst Police Department continues to monitor large groups of pedestrians that are walking throughout north Amherst. There are no reported areas of traffic congestion or road closures.
 
UMass Amherst officials report no significant issues as of 10:30 a.m. Groups of students have been observed heading toward the Mullins Center, where the concert is scheduled to begin at noon

The lines of students waiting to get into the concert are lengthening, but the situation is orderly and relaxed. Virtually all of the 7,500 tickets have been distributed.
 
UMass Transit has halted service north of campus at the request of the Amherst Police due to reports of students walking on North Pleasant Street. Buses are being diverted at Governor’s Drive to East Pleasant and Pine streets.

 Contact:         David Ziomek, Assistant Town Manager, Town of Amherst 413-259-3012
 
The next media advisory will be released at 2:00 p.m.

 

 

Friday, March 6, 2015

March 7 Media Advisory


Town of Amherst, UMass Amherst to Provide

Summaries of Activities During March 7


Date:    Saturday, March 7, 2015
Time:   11 a.m. and 2 p.m. postings online; 5 p.m. briefing at Amherst Police Department
What:   Summaries of activities of March 7 to be made available for news media
 
The town of Amherst and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will post summaries of ongoing activities on Saturday, March 7 on Town of Amherst and UMass websites at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The website are:
                        www.amherstpd.org

                        http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/

             At 5 p.m., there will be a press briefing at the Amherst Police Department’s Community Room, 111 Main St., where Amherst officials and representatives from the university will be available.

            In addition, information will be shared throughout the day via the Amherst Police and UMass Amherst Twitter accounts: @amherstMApolice and @UMassAmherst
        
            The 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. postings will also be at www.amherstpd.blogspot.com and www.amherstma.gov
      
Contact:         Ed Blaguszewski, 413/545-0444, edblag@admin.umass.edu
         
                        Captain Jennifer Gundersen, 413/259-3012, gundersenj@amherstma.gov

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 7 Planning



For the past several months members of the Amherst Police Department, with numerous town, community and University of Massachusetts stakeholders, have been planning for potential disturbance related activity that has historically occurred on the Saturday prior to the University of Massachusetts spring break.  Prevention of the event has been paramount, while establishing best practices in the preparation to safely manage an incident, should one occur.  Amherst Police and their stakeholders have been aligning resources and activities to ensure the safety of the Amherst community.

Amherst Police, with the assistance of the Town of Amherst Information Technology Department, have installed video monitoring equipment throughout the high liability areas of the Amherst community.  These video systems will feed directly into the Amherst Police Department Emergency Operations Center allowing for community leaders to view real time activity that is occurring throughout town.   Personnel and tactical decisions can be based upon this information.  Video can be used to further all criminal investigations, assist to identify combatants, and can be used as evidence to assist in prosecution of offenders, if necessary.    Additionally, video recordings will ensure transparency for all involved participants. 

Recognizing that social media has played a role in the development and promotion of these large scale disturbances, the Amherst Police Department has assigned personnel to view and document social media postings.  The Department has consulted with the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office to determine if such postings violate Massachusetts General Law.  Prevention of a disturbance will ensure the safety of the community and first responders. 

By implementing the Western Massachusetts Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Agreement, there will be 14 law enforcement agencies in the Town of Amherst on March 7 to ensure the safety of the community, safety of first responders and prevent the destruction of property.  On March 7 law enforcement personnel from these 14 agencies will be assigned with Amherst Officers in areas and neighborhoods throughout the community to conduct outreach, communicate our concern for the safety of the community and to prevent a disturbance related incident from occurring.  

The Amherst Police Department has met with community stakeholders in our down-town businesses including retail partners, bars, liquor store owners and property managers/owners.  Meetings have been held with select neighborhood groups, Student Government Leadership, Fraternity and Sorority Leadership and off-campus student neighborhoods.   It is important that these stakeholders understand their role and responsibilities in preventing and preparing for disturbance related activity.   We are encouraged by the support received from these community partners/stakeholders to ensure the safety of the community and first responders.


Scott P. Livingstone
Chief of Police

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brian Daly Appointed to the Position of Detective Sergeant

Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the appointment of Amherst Police Sergeant Brian C. Daly as a supervisor in the Detective Bureau.

Sergeant Daly was appointed as a patrol officer with the Amherst Police Department on April 7, 1997. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on January 24, 2005, and was assigned as a Patrol Supervisor. Sergeant Daly was a supervisor for both the Motorcycle and Bicycle Patrol Units within the department. He was a member of the department’s Crash Investigation and Search and Rescue Teams. In addition, during his career he has been a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and Defensive Tactics Instructor.

Sergeant Daly is certified as a Defensive Tactics Instructor/Trainer for the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee and has been actively involved in the state curriculum for Defensive Tactics. As the Veteran Officer In-Service Coordinator he was responsible for all phases of planning, staffing, scheduling and implementation of training for the state curriculum. He has been a member of the State of Massachusetts Defensive Tactics Advisory Board since his appointment in 2005.

Sergeant Daly is a State and Local Anti-Terrorism Instructor and Use of Force Instructor for the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee. He is also certified as an At Scene Traffic Crash/Motor Vehicle Homicide Investigator.

Sergeant Daly graduated from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy in Agawam, a member of the 28th Municipal Police Officers Class, on August 29, 1997. In 1999, he received his associate’s degree in criminal justice from Western New England University. In 1991, he graduated from Western New England University in Springfield, MA, earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Western New England University.

Brian Daly is the son of Thomas Daly of Westfield, Massachusetts. He resides with his wife, Jill, and his son, Sean.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rich MacLean Promoted to Sergeant


Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce that Detective Richard P. MacLean of the Amherst Police Department was promoted to the rank of Sergeant effective February 11, 2015. Sergeant MacLean was promoted after an extensive selection process which included a written examination and interviews with Chief Scott P. Livingstone and Town Manager John P. Musante.  This promotion will fill the position that was vacated with the promotion of Lieutenant David Knightly.
 
Sergeant MacLean was appointed as a Patrol Officer with the Amherst Police Department on September 4, 2001.  Sergeant MacLean displayed initiative and dedication to the detection and apprehension of impaired operators which was recognized by both the department and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  He was assigned to patrol duties until his reassignment to the Detective Bureau in July of 2008.

As a Detective, Sergeant MacLean obtained extensive specialized training in criminal investigative techniques which included sexual assault and homicide investigation.  He is a member of the department’s Bicycle Patrol, Warrant Entry Team, and was a Field Training Officer and Ropes Course Instructor.  Sergeant MacLean is an academy instructor for the Massachusetts Police Training Committee in multiple disciplines, a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a Breath Test Operator Instructor for the Massachusetts State Police. 
 

 

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wanted Sex Offender Taken into Custody


 
On February 6, 2015 at approximately 2:31PM, officers from the Amherst Police Department placed Jose Dones under arrest at an apartment complex on Belchertown Road. Mr. Dones is wanted by the State of New York for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender. Dones was taken in to custody and his extradition to New York will be determined by the Courts.

Jose Dones, Age 39

912 Strong Street

Schenectady, NY

Charge:            Fugitive from Justice

Dones is being held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. He was expected to arraigned at the Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday, February 9, 2015.