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, October 16, 2014

Underage Alcohol Enforcement Grant Program


The Amherst Police Department was awarded $10,000 in grant funding as part of the FFY 2015 Underage Alcohol Enforcement Grant Program from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). This program provides overtime funds for enforcement of underage alcohol laws through activities such as compliance checks, reverse stings, party patrols, surveillance patrols, and Cops in Shops.

The Amherst Police Department will be conducting increased enforcement campaigns to address underage alcohol law violations.  The emphasis of the additional patrols will be to combat underage drinking and those violating the town’s ban on open containers of alcohol on public property.  Enforcement efforts will include criminal summons, town bylaw citations and arrests.

This enforcement initiative will utilize both uniformed and plain clothed officers in addition to members of the department’s bicycle patrol unit.  Amherst Police Officers will be concentrating their efforts in areas of town that have historically experienced high incidents of alcohol law violations.  In fiscal year 2014, the Amherst Police Department charged 150 persons with being minors in possession of alcohol.  It is the goal of this department to improve the quality of life for those living in these areas by diligently enforcing alcohol law violations. 

 In addition to the enforcement aspect of this mobilization, there is an educational awareness component to this program.  Officers will educate citizens on the Town Bylaw prohibiting open containers of alcohol on public property, keg permits, and Operating Under the Influence.

Questions regarding this enforcement initiative can be forwarded to Sergeant Todd S. Lang at 413-259-3000 or via email. For additional information concerning the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Highway Safety Division please go to their website.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bicycle Safety, "Be Seen, Be Safe"


Amherst Police Department Awarded Traffic Enforcement Grant


The Amherst Police Department was awarded a $15,000.00 grant by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Highway Safety Division.  This grant will be used through September 2015.  The funding from this award will be utilized to fund the Speed and Aggressive Driving, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, Distracted Driving and Click It or Ticket mobilizations. 

The traffic enforcement mobilization titled “Speed and Aggressive Driving” is being conducted October 10, 2014 through October 31, 2014.  The goal of this campaign is to reduce speeding and aggressive driving through education and enforcement of traffic laws. 

The Amherst Police Department considers speeding one of our top priorities in traffic enforcement. We have had very few serious motor vehicle crashes occur in the town of Amherst and we believe that this is due to the fact that motorist travelling on our roadways observe that we aggressively enforce speeding laws.
Aggressive driving is a growing and dangerous traffic issue usually representing a combination of unsafe and unlawful driving actions that demonstrate a conscious and willful disregard for the safety of others.

Questions regarding this enforcement initiative can be forwarded to Sergeant Todd S. Lang at 413-259-3000 or via email. For additional information concerning the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Highway Safety Division please go to their website.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

OUI Crash Leads to Significant Injuries


On October 5, 2014 at approximately 1:27AM, several officers were dispatched to the area of Northeast Street at Shutesbury Road for the report of a motor vehicle collision. Responding officers found that it involved a single motor vehicle that had struck a tree.

Two passengers in the motor vehicle were injured and were transported to Baystate Medical Center, a 21 year old Bolton man and a 21 year old Arlington man. One of them has been treated and released, the second remains at Baystate Medical Center with significant injuries. The injuries are not life threatening.

The operator of the motor vehicle, Sean M. Foster, was arrested at the scene.

Sean M. Foster, Age 22

173 Forbush Mill Road

Bolton, MA  01740

 

Charges:          OUI/Alcohol Causing Serious Bodily Injury

                        Operating to Endanger

                        Speeding

                        Failure to Stay Within Marked Lanes

 

Foster is a student at the University of Massachusetts.

Foster is expected to be arraigned today at the Eastern Hampshire District Court. The matter remains under investigation.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Amherst PD receives MADD Award


 
 
 
 
 
(L to R: Accepting the Amherst PD MADD Award, Det. Rich MacLean, Ofc. Rita Contardo, Ofc. Benton Carr, Ofc. Andrew Hulse and Ofc. Nick Chandler)
MADD to Honor the Everyday Heroes of Amherst Police Department
Amherst PD named as September ‘s MADD Police Department of the Month

 

(Amherst, MA) September 29, 2014 –On Tuesday, September 30th at 12 noon, MADD Massachusetts will honor the men and women of the Amherst Police Department for their commitment to enforcing drunk driving laws and their work to prevent underage drinking by presenting them with MADD Massachusetts “Police Department of the Month” award at their headquarters located at 111 Main Street in Amherst, MA.
Every month the award will be presented to local police departments across the Commonwealth who have displayed a strong commitment to enforcing OUI laws as well as efforts to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking. The monthly awards will culminate with the presentation of a “Department of the Year” award which will be selected from the monthly award winners.

"Keeping our roads safe is dangerous and thankless work," said David DeIuliis, MADD Massachusetts program manager. "We consider the men and women of the Amherst PD everyday heroes and this award is MADD's way of saying thank you for their commitment to keeping our communities safe. The Amherst PD is a top notch department that always goes the extra mile when it comes to the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking. We are honored to present this award to Chief Scott Livingstone and his officers.”
Removing drunk drivers continues to be a year round public safety priority for the Amherst Police. To date in 2014 Amherst Police Have arrested 77 persons for Operating Under the influence. In 2013 Amherst Officers arrested 127 persons for Operating Under the influence
In addition to strict enforcement, the Amherst PD believes that preventing and deterring drunk drivers and underage drinking also reduces the risk to the public.
“The men and women of the Amherst Police Department are truly committed to the safety of our community and I am very proud of their hard work enforcing the OUI laws and keeping the roadways of Amherst safe,” Said Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone.  “We do not have the benefit of having a dedicated traffic enforcement division, as many communities do, so this extraordinary effort is indicative of the dedication of our personnel.  The Amherst community is lucky to be served by such hard working and committed men and women.” 
The Amherst Police Department regularly participates in national crackdown and mobilization efforts like “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” as well as routinely conducting Sobriety Checkpoints with the Massachusetts State Police.
Nationally, every 53 minutes on average, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash and every 90 seconds, someone is injured because of this entirely preventable crime. In Massachusetts 123 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012, representing 35% of all traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth.

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Founded in 1980, MADD's mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. For more information about MADD visit our website at madd.org

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Amherst Officers Injured While on Duty


 
On September 27, 2014, two Amherst Police Officers suffered injuries from two separate incidents involving the same individual. In the first instance, at around 0930 am, an officer was investigating suspicious activity involving a male party who was indecently exposing himself in a public area.  The officer found an individual that matched the description provided by the reporting party within the vicinity.  During the encounter, the individual was drinking from a bottle of champagne and appeared intoxicated.  When the officer was speaking with this person, the officer was attacked as the individual swung the bottle at the officer.  The officer suffered a broken hand after blocking the blow from the bottle.  The individual then fled the scene and was at large.  The officer recognized the identity of this person from previous encounters. 

Later in the evening, an Amherst Police Officer saw the male party in question in the center of town.  The officer and a back-up officer approached him and he began to run after seeing the police presence.  The individual refused to stop after being ordered to and kicked one of the officers, who suffered a broken hand from the assault and battery.  The male party was taken into custody after a brief struggle.  The two officers will be out of service for an undetermined amount of time, pending further medical treatment.  

With these new injuries, the Amherst Police Department will be down five officers.  Four of the officers are out due to injuries incurred during the commission of arrests.  The fifth officer that is out is due to an off duty injury. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Scam Warning



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

Several residents have reported that they have received these scam telephone calls this week.

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

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.

If you receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, simply hang up the telephone.

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.

If you received a call like this and have provided the caller with personal or banking information, please call the police department (413-259-3000) so that we may assist you in resolving the issue.

For information on this scam, please visit this webpage.

For information on other IRS scams, please visit their web site at www.IRS.gov.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Amherst Emergency Communication Center is Hiring

Immediate vacancy for a full time position.  Online application process closes on 9/5/14
Go to the JOBS section of the town of Amherst website for pay, hours, duties and application process:

Town of Amherst Jobs

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Detective David Foster Promoted to Sergeant


Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce that Detective David W. Foster of the Amherst Police Department was promoted to the rank of Sergeant effective August 11, 2014. Sergeant Foster 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 retirement of Sergeant Charles Nelson.

 Sergeant Foster was appointed as a Patrol Officer with the Amherst Police Department on December 5, 1994.  He was assigned patrol duties until his reassignment to the Detective Bureau in September of 2000. As a Detective, Foster obtained extensive specialized training in criminal investigation, sexual assault and juvenile policing issues.  He was a Field Training Officer, Ropes Course Instructor and liaison to the Amherst Regional School System for the department.  In addition, Sergeant Foster is a member of the Search and Rescue Team, Crime Scene Unit and Sexual Assault Investigation Team.

 Foster received his diploma from Amherst High School in 1984.  He graduated in 1995 from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy in Agawam, a member of the 23rd Municipal Police Officer Class.   Sergeant Foster received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Nichols College, Dudley, MA and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice
Studies from Western New England College, Springfield, MA. 

 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Mobilization


The Amherst Police Department will be participating in the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division. Officers from the Amherst Police Department are joining other local law enforcement agencies and the Massachusetts State Police to crack down on drunk drivers across the Commonwealth. This mobilization will run from August 13, 2014 to September 1, 2014.  

According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, in 2012 there were 349 motor vehicle-related fatalities in Massachusetts of which 35% of these deaths involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In fiscal year 2014, the Amherst Police Department criminally charged 105 persons with operating under the influence. “The Amherst Police Department is committed to this enforcement effort, if you are operating impaired, we will arrest you.  No exceptions.” said Chief Livingstone.   

The Amherst Police Department recommends the following tips:    

 

    • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;

    • If you’ve been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
    • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement;
    • And remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely.

 
Questions regarding this informational and enforcement initiative can be forwarded to Sergeant Todd Lang at 413-259-3000 or via email.    For additional information concerning the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Highway Safety Division please go to their website.