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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Officer from Bankcock, Thailand Visits APD

Lieutenant Tatiyarerg Chaisinlapa of the Bancock, Thailand Police Department is spendind some time in Amherst while taking classes at Umass.  Officer Matt Frydryk and Officer Nick Chandler showed him around the station.  Welcome to Amherst!

Meet Our New Officers


Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the appointment of two new patrol officers to the Amherst Police Department. 

Justin H. Satkowski and Molly O. Farber were appointed after an extensive selection process which included interview panels, physical and psychological testing and an interview with the Chief of Police, Town Manager and Human Resources Director. 

 Justin H. Satkowski, 24, is the son of Joseph and Joanne Satkowski of Hadley, Massachusetts.  He is a 2010 graduate of Hopkins Academy, Hadley, MA.  In 2014, Officer Satkowski graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA earning his bachelor’s degree in criminology, law and society.

 Officer Satkowski graduated from the Massachusetts State Police Municipal Academy #6 in New Braintree, Massachusetts on September 23, 2016.  He was previously employed as a Rental Office Manager at the Sportsman’s Marina in Hadley, MA. Officer Satkowski currently resides in Hadley, Massachusetts. 

 Molly O. Farber, 24, is the daughter of Tracy and David Farber of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.  She is a 2008 graduate of Notre Dame Academy, Worcester, MA.  In 2015, Officer Farber graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology and a criminal justice certificate. 

Officer Farber graduated from the Western Massachusetts Municipal Police Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts on February 12, 2016.  She was previously employed as a police officer for the Northampton Police Department.  Officer Farber currently resides in Palmer, Massachusetts.

 Both officers have started their twelve week field officer training program at the police department.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thank you to Big Y in Amherst who delivered lunch for the entire shift!  We appreciate your support Big Y!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Community Shred Event

The Amherst TRIAD/ “Seniors and Law Enforcement Together” (SALT) Council, in partnership with the Amherst Police Department, Office of District Attorney David E. Sullivan, Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office, Valley Green Shredding and PeoplesBank are sponsoring a “Community Shred Event” to be held on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., IN THE PARKING LOT of PEOPLESBANK, 56 AMITY STREET, AMHERST, MA. This three (3) hour event will be open to all Hampshire County community members.  Participation is limited to residential shredding only and not open to businesses.
Consumer fraud and identity theft are on the rise.  As older adults are often the targeted victims of identity theft, the partners in this project want to raise awareness and promote prevention. We hope that the “Community Shred Event” will provide the community with a responsible way to dispose of sensitive documents.  You are welcome to bring as many boxes of documents as you would like. Documents such as old bills, credit card information, cancelled checks or any materials that may have your identifying information can be shredded. All documents will be shredded on site.
Valley Green Shredding of Westfield, MA is donating their services.  They are a document destruction company solely dedicated to on-site paper shredding, the most secure, convenient and cost-effective method for destroying and recycling confidential documents and materials. 
Please join us in putting a dent in identify theft!  For further information you can contact Chris Geffin at the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, 413-586-9225 or Captain Jennifer Gundersen at the Amherst Police Department 413-259-3012.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Canine Dash Receives a Vest from Vested Interest in K9s

The Amherst Police Department’s K9 Dash has received a bullet/stab resistant vest thanks to a nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The charity hosted a motorcycle ride August 25, 2013, “Hog Wild for K9s”, which raised over $15,000.00 to be awarded to Massachusetts K9’s.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,700 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.6 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination via the website www.vik9s.org or mailed to Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Click it or Ticket Campaign May 2016

Amherst Police Department will be teaming up with State Police and local police departments statewide to promote seat belt usage through increased traffic enforcement.  Amherst will be taking part in the national Click It or Ticket (CIOT) seat belt enforcement mobilization, which is funded by a federal grant administered through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD).  
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013, there were 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the United States.  Forty-nine percent of the people killed (10,458) were unbelted.  “The number of lives lost is needless,” said Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone.  “Amherst is focusing our enforcement efforts on safety belts to increase usage and save lives. In fiscal year 2014, eighty persons were issued citations for failing to wear their seatbelt, that number is just way too high.”

NHTSA reports that the national seat belt usage rate is 87%.  Massachusetts is lagging behind at 76.6%.  During the five-year period from 2009 to 2013, Massachusetts had a lower rate of restraint use among fatally-injured passenger vehicle occupants than the rest of the nation. 
“Officers will be out issuing citations to anyone traveling without a buckled seat belt or transporting unrestrained children.  Your seat belt is your best defense against impaired, distracted, and aggressive drivers as well as against your own mistakes,” said Chief Livingstone.
For more information contact Captain Jennifer Gundersen at  413-259-3012 or visit www.mass.gov/highwaysafety.  


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Amherst Police Awarded Accreditation

Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is please to announce that on May 5, 2016, the Amherst Police Department was awarded state accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.  On February 2, 3 and 4, 2016, the Police Department was subject to an extensive peer review by the Commission’s assessment team.  While here and as part of the verification process, assessors examined the department’s policies, procedures, operations, staffing, equipment and facility maintenance to demonstrate adherence to the Accreditation Commission’s strict, best practice standards.  The Amherst Police Department successfully passed all 257 mandatory standards and exceeded the required optional standards by 71%.


In order to maintain state accreditation, which recognizes law enforcement professional excellence, the assessment team must verify, every three years, that the Amherst Police Department meets the Commission’s standards.  In 2001, the Amherst Police Department became the second police department in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be awarded accreditation status, and was successfully reaccredited in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2013.


Being recognized as an accredited agency requires commitment and continued professionalism from all members of the Amherst Police Department and further confirms a dedication on their part to provide the highest degree of police service to this community.  Questions regarding the accreditation process can be forwarded to Lieutenant William Menard at 413-259-3167 or via email at menardw@amherstma.gov.
Photo receiving the award today, May 5, 2016:  left to right, Lt. Bill Menard, Chief Scott Livingstone and Sgt. Gabriel Ting


Friday, April 8, 2016

Distracted Driving Enforcement this Month


The Amherst Police Department Joins Statewide Distracted Driving Effort to Increase Public Safety

April 4, 2016

The Amherst Police Department will partner with the 202 eligible local Massachusetts law enforcement agencies and the Massachusetts State Police in the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. mobilization to crack down on motorists who text while driving.  The campaign, which combines traditional and innovative enforcement strategies, is funded by a federal grant administered through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD) from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The mobilization begins on April 8, 2016 and continues through April 29, 2016. 

“Driving and texting is illegal and irresponsible.  People who break our state’s texting law will be stopped and fined.  Distracted driving is a major problem in Massachusetts, and we’re trying to keep the public safe by fining violators.  If you drive and text, you will pay,” said Chief Scott P. Livingstone. 

Texting while driving was outlawed in Massachusetts effective September 30, 2010.  Adult drivers who write, send, or read electronic messages or browse the Internet while driving face a $100 fine for a first offense – even if the vehicle is stopped in traffic.  Juvenile operators are entirely prohibited from using mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving, including to make phone calls.  The fine for a juvenile first offense is $100 and includes a 60 day license suspension and required completion of a driver attitudinal course. 

These costly violations underscore the danger inherent in the use of electronic devices while driving.  In 2014, across the United States, 3,179 people were killed and an additional 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

A 2013 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that any activity that diverts a driver’s eyes from the road for two seconds or more, such as texting or otherwise manipulating a mobile device, increases crash risk by a factor of three.  This level of impairment is similar to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08. 

“Texting and driving requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving.  It creates the proverbial ‘perfect storm’ for a crash, and no one has the right to put another person’s life at risk like that,” said Chief Livingstone.

“It’s not that complicated: if you text and drive, we will see you, pull you over, and fine you.  We’re serious about enforcing texting laws,” said Chief Livingstone.

 If you have questions concerning this mobilization please contact Sergeant Todd Lang at 413-259-3000 or via email at langt@amherstma.gov. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ofc. Nick Chandler receives DRE Certification

The Amherst Police Department welcomes back from training Officer Nick Chandler. Ofc. Chandler is among a very small number of police officers that successfully graduate from the rigorous training program for Drug Recognition Officer. DRE training is necessary to combat OUI-Drugs, a crime that kills each day. The DRE training, funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, included 80 class room hours, 12 rigorous narcotic evaluations and a comprehensive written exam. The trainings were held both in Franklin, Massachusetts and Tempe, Arizona. Ofc. Chander, who is also a member of the Crime Scene Unit, can use his DRE skills immediately. Chandler has been formally recognized by both the Amherst Police Department and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for his enforcement of the OUI laws. Well done Nick Chandler!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Credit Report Assistance at Amherst Senior Center

March 22, 2016
Chief of Police Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce an event to assist our senior community with accessing their free credit report online.

It is important that community members, including our senior community, review their credit report at least annually to ensure that they have not been a victim of identity theft.  Many seniors neglect to obtain their credit report as they find the process difficult or confusing.  In accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), individuals may request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 the Amherst S.A.L.T. Council (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) in partnership with the Amherst Senior Center and the Amherst Police Department will be hosting an event to assist seniors with running their credit reports online.  Using the secure computers and internet connection in the Amherst Senior Center, Amherst Police will assist and guide seniors with accessing the online database to print out a current copy of their credit report.  The event will be held in the Amherst Senior Center computer room from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. 

This event is free and pre-registration is not required. If you need more information, please contact Captain Jennifer Gundersen at 413-259-3012 or gundersenj@amherstma.gov.




Monday, March 7, 2016

March 5 Summary

AMHERST, Mass. – The primary goal for March 5 to provide a safe environment free from any large-scale disturbances has been accomplished successfully. The Town of 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.

 Extensive planning, preparation and collaboration with community stakeholders, including students, was key to the success of the day, said Amherst temporary Town Manager Pete Hechenbleikner. He credited the Amherst and UMass Police, Amherst Fire Department, university administration, students, law enforcement mutual aid partners, downtown bar owners, retail establishments and property owners for their cooperation and hard work. “This was a total team effort and I thank everyone who was involved.”

Amherst Police reported seven arrests and 10 summonses, and the University of Massachusetts Police reported no arrests.

At a free afternoon concert for UMass students at the Mullins Center, Amherst Fire and UMass Emergency Medical Services treated three persons at the concert and one was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital to be treated for intoxication. Three other intoxicated individuals were responded to by the Amherst Fire Department.

 Last year, 19 students were treated at the Mullins Center, and the Amherst and UMass Police reported a total of six arrests.

 Following the Mullins Center concert that drew 3,200, Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, said this year’s’ event built on the lessons learned in 2015.

 “We are continuing down the road to changing the culture around this weekend,” said Gelaye. “All of our partners and our students are to be congratulated for making today a safe and enjoyable event.”

 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.

 "Making our community a safe place is always our ultimate goal and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed to today’s success," said Gelaye.