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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Arrest on Butterfield Terrace


 On April 10, 2014 at about 1:15AM, several Amherst Police Officers responded to the area of Butterfield Terrace for the report of suspicious man trying to gain entry in to a home. Officers were able to identify a suspect located in the area, Connor James Weldon.
Weldon is a student at the University of Massachusetts. Officers believe that heavy alcohol use contributed to this disturbance.

Weldon was arrested at the scene.
Connor J. Weldon, Age 19

35 Jackson Street

New Rochelle, NY  10801

 Charges:              Disturbing the Peace

                               Possession of False Identification

                               Illegal Possession of Alcoholic Beverages

 Weldon was arraigned at the Eastern Hampshire District Court.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Amherst and Umass Police Youth Adventure Academy 2014


The Amherst and University of Massachusetts Police Departments are pleased to announce the dates of the Amherst and UMASS Police Youth Adventure Academy
 
The 2014, Amherst and UMASS Police Youth Adventure Academy is a ONE week program, being held Monday, July 21, 2014 to Friday, July 25, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Youths entering 6th, 7th, or 8th grades are eligible to attend.  
 
The cost is FREE and academy size is limited to 20 youths, so preference will be given to Amherst residents and UMASS affiliated families (ex. parent/guardian works or is a student at UMASS). 
 
Similar to a Citizens Police Academy, students will attend morning classroom sessions held at both the Amherst and UMASS Police Departments.  The classroom sessions will feature lectures, role-plays, and interactive demonstrations by police officers, from both agencies, focusing in the areas of law, crime scene investigation, defensive tactics and patrol procedures.  Most afternoon sessions will be held at the Amherst Adventure Based Ropes Course at the Notch Visitors Center where we will promote teamwork, communication, and strategy development. 
 
Additional information concerning the Amherst and UMASS Police Youth Adventure Academy is available on the Amherst Police Department website.  Applications may be obtained at the Amherst Police Department lobby, UMASS Police Department lobby or downloaded off the Amherst Police Department website.  The application deadline is Friday, July 11, 2014, so please don’t delay! 
 
Questions regarding the Youth Adventure Academy can be forwarded to either Amherst Police Officer William Laramee at 413-259-3000 or via email.  You may also contact University of Massachusetts Police Officer Brian Kellogg at 413-545-9461 or via email. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thanks for Stopping By Oliver!


 
 
The members of the Amherst Police Department would like to give a shout out to our new friend, Oliver!  Oliver stopped by the Amherst Police Department with his family today and brightened the day of all the officers working the shift!  Pictured here, is Oliver checking out some of the equipment here at APD.    Oliver is currently going through a courageous battle, and was an inspiration to all officers who had the opportunity to meet him.  We wish you the best Oliver and are thinking  of you. 

We also heard that after Oliver visited with officers, he headed over to check out the fire department’s equipment….which probably was much less exciting.  J

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mustache March Has Arrived!




As in years past, many Amherst Police Officers have decided to shave their heads in an effort to raise money to fund research for a cure for childhood cancer.

On April 6, 2104,  Officers will be at Rafters Sports Bar and Restaurant, on University Drive, in Amherst, to shave their heads in support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The St. Baldrick's Foundation currently funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

In addition to this, many Officers have once again decided to bear mustaches throughout the month of March as a fun way to raise further awareness for the foundation.

To learn more information or to join team, please check out the Amherst Police & Friends Team.

If you have an questions about this event, please contact Lieutenant Millar at 413-259-3000 or via email

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Schools attended by Blarney Arrestees


Of 55 custodies occurring 3/8/14 at 8:00 A.M to 3/9/14 at 8:00 A.M, the arrestees identified their college/university as:

 
21 attend UMASS
14 were non-students
1 attends Endicott College
2 attend Keene State
1 attends Middlesex Community College
1 attends Holyoke Community College
1 attends Fitchburg State
1 attends University of New Hampshire

1 attends Trinity College
1 attends Bergen Community College
2 attend Massachusetts Maritime College
1 attend the University of Rhode Island
1 attend Stonehill College
1 attend Georgetown University
1 attend Worcester State
1 attend Bryant University
1 attend Assumption College
1 attend St. Lawrence University
1 attend Boston College
1 attend Fairfield University


 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Updated Press Release


Statement of Amherst Chief of Police, Scott P. Livingstone, March 10, 2014, 1:30 P.M.

The events of this past Saturday were extremely upsetting and hazardous. The Amherst Police Department was prepared for increased activity but did not anticipate the dangerous and assaultive behavior and disturbances that would surface from the pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  The behavior of many participants of this melee caused the public and first responders to be placed in a very dangerous situation.   100% of the police resources were assigned to this incident, leaving the remainder of the town of Amherst without adequate police coverage.  Amherst Police officers, with the assistance of the University of Massachusetts Police Department, worked diligently and professionally for hours to disperse the unruly crowds that grew to exceed 4,000.  As we’ve seen both in Amherst and similar college communities it is necessary to disperse these illegal gatherings as injuries to participants and the public are certain to occur if we fail to act.  Four Amherst Police Officers suffered minor injuries and I am thankful that their injuries were not more serious.   

The Amherst Police Department will continue to work with our partners at the University of Massachusetts to identify ways to deter incidents such as this from occurring in the future.
The Amherst Police Department arrested 55 persons from Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:00 A.M. to Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 8:00 A.M.  Of those arrested, the primary arrest charges are as follows:

·                       19 persons were arrested for Failure to Disperse from a Riot,

·                       17 persons were arrested for Liquor Law Violations,  

·                       6 persons were arrested for Inciting a Riot,

·                       6 persons were arrested for Disorderly Conduct

·                       2 persons were arrested for Assault, Dangerous Weapon,

·                       2 persons were arrested for Burglary,

·                       2 persons were arrested OUI,

·                       1 person was arrested for Possession of Firearm while Intoxicated

In addition there were 8 persons summonsed into court for criminal offenses.

·                       5 persons were summonsed for Liquor Law Violations,

·                       3 persons were summonsed for violating the town by law for Nuisance House

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 8, 2014 Disturbances


Based on prior history, the Amherst Police Department implemented a plan to address any large-scale disturbances which traditionally occur on the last Saturday before spring break. The so called, “Blarney Blowout”  is a tradition where large numbers of college-aged people drink heavily and attempt to hold a large off-campus party.   The size and scope of these gatherings has led to many safety and quality of life issues; including violence and fights, injuries, severe alcohol intoxication, sexual assaults, excessive noise, property damage, and violence towards the police and community members.  The Amherst Police Department was staffed with twenty officers, augmented by officers from the University of Massachusetts Police and the Massachusetts State Police.     

By 10:00 AM several thousand people began leaving the UMass Campus and continued to walk north on North Pleasant Street.  Several people were arrested at that time for public alcohol violations.  The crowds entered the Puffton Village Apartment complex where they crowd continued to swell.  By 11:00 the crowd had grown to such capacity that vehicles were unable to pass through the complex.  Several fights had broken out and people began throwing snowballs, can and bottles into the crowds.  The crowd was dispersed by officers. 

At 12:15 PM officers cleared a crowd of approximately four thousand people from the Brandywine Apartment Complex.  Party-goers were involved in the destruction of property including damaging vehicles and destroying light poles.  As officers began to disperse the crowd, officers were pelted and struck with glass bottles, full cans of beer, and snowballs. 

While officers were handling the Brandywine disturbance, a gathering of several thousand people had begun to assemble at the corner of North Pleasant and Fearing Streets.  Officers responded to the area at 1:37 PM where they found that this party had also become dangerous and out of control.  People were congregated inside, around, and on the porches and fire escapes of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity House located at 374 North Pleasant Street.  The streets and yards surrounding the area were also filled with people.  As officers began to disperse the crowd they were again met with glass bottles, full beer cans, rocks, and snowballs being thrown at them.  Some of the items were being thrown from the roof, porch and windows of the house. 

As of 7:30 PM the Amherst Police Department had made forty-three arrests.  Charges include eighteen for failure to disperse and inciting a riot; three for assault with a dangerous weapon; one for breaking & entering; and the remainder to include disorderly conduct; liquor law violations, and assault & battery on police officers. 

Four Amherst Police Officers received minor injuries resulting from thrown objects and taking control of combative arrestees.  One officer received a laceration to his hand due to shattering glass from a thrown bottle.   There was some property damage to town police vehicles, as they appeared to have been scratched and dented.  The use of Oleoresin Capsicum, commonly known as pepper spray was used to respond to the assaultive behavior during the dispersal of the crowds.  The size of the crowds and the assaultive behavior necessitated the closing of several streets while the dispersals were made.
At 8:00 PM this evening officers remain busy throughout the town handling numerous reports of fights, noise, and highly intoxicated individuals.

Monday, February 24, 2014

R U OK? SAFETY SYSTEM



The R U OK? Program is a computerized telephone reassurance program for at-risk seniors that assists elders or disabled individuals who may be housebound, live alone, or need the assurance of a daily phone call to feel safe and secure.

The program utilizes a computer housed in the Amherst Police Station to place a daily call, at a fixed time each day, to subscribers.  The specific time of the automated telephone call is predetermined by the individual enrolled in the service.   If the subscriber is "OK," he or she simply hangs up the telephone after hearing and acknowledging the pre-recorded message. If the call is unanswered, or if the telephone line is busy, two or more additional attempts at contact are made before the computer puts out an “ALERT REPORT.” At this time, either a contact person or an Amherst Police Officer is dispatched to the home to check on the well-being of the subscriber.

To enroll in the "R U OK?" Program please contact Emergency Dispatcher Elizabeth Chudzik at (413) 259-3000 or via email.  For additional information concerning this service or any elder program please contact Officer David Rhoades at 413-259-3000 or via email.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

False Alarm Fee Bylaw


The Amherst Police Department would like to remind community members of the False Alarm Bylaw.  Passed in April 2008 by the Amherst Town Meeting, fees are assessed to owners of property with repeated responses by the Amherst Police to false burglar alarms.  The bylaw appears to be effective in encouraging community members to address faulty systems or internal procedures that cause false alarms.  In 2013, the Amherst Police Department responded to 564 false alarm calls, which is a 14% decrease from 2008 when the bylaw was passed.
The False Alarm Fee Bylaw addresses burglar or intrusion alarms only and does not include fire alarms or medical alert systems.  During each calendar year, a location is permitted three false burglar or intrusion alarms prior to a fine being assessed.    Questions regarding the bylaw can be referred to the Amherst Police Records Office at 413-259-3016 or via email.   Information can also be found on our website.   The bylaw in its entirety is below.

Amherst, Massachusetts General Bylaws

Any residence, school, municipal building or place of business which has an alarm system connected directly to the Police Department or connected indirectly to said Department through a private alarm company (each of which will be hereinafter referred to as a “monitored system”), shall be charged a fine for all responses by the Department to such buildings when the response is caused by: (1) the activation of the monitored system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, or negligence of the user of an alarm system or his employees or agents; or (2) the activation of the monitored system requesting, requiring or resulting in a response on the part of the Police Department when, in fact, there has been no unauthorized intrusion, robbery or burglary, or attempted threat. For the purposes of this bylaw, activation of a monitored system for the purposes of testing with prior approval by the Police Department, or by an act of God, including, but not limited to, power outages, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and similar weather or atmospheric disturbances shall not be deemed to be a false alarm. A fine for violation of this bylaw may be assessed against the owner or tenant of the residence or place of business. Penalties for violation of this bylaw shall be as follows, successive responses to be counted within any twelve month period:

First three responses Warning; Fourth response $ 50.00; Fifth response $ 75.00; Sixth response $100.00; Seventh response $150.00; Eighth and subsequent responses $200.00;

This section may be enforced pursuant to the noncriminal disposition method as contained in M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 21D. Enforcing persons shall be police officers.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Amherst Regional High School Incident

On Sunday, January 26, 2014, the Amherst Police were contacted by Amherst school officials regarding activity on social media. The nature of the postings indicated that a student at the Amherst Regional High School had possibly carried a firearm on to school grounds. The Amherst Police launched an investigation in to the matter, and have been working with school officials as part of a collaborative effort.  The student has been identified, and has been cooperative with investigators. The students’ parents have been an integral part of this investigation and have taken custody of the student. The student’s name will not be released by the Amherst Police.  This investigation is ongoing. Investigators continue to review digital data and interview witnesses. In the early stages of this case there have not been any criminal charges brought. The Amherst Police will continue to work with the school district to uncover the facts of the incident and to promote a safe environment for students and faculty.  If you have information about this incident, please contact the Amherst Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-259-3015.

 
 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

As you celebrate the holiday season enjoying traditions, food, family and fun, be reminded that the Amherst Police Department will be out in force from December 13, 2013 to January 1, 2014 arresting anyone caught behind the wheel operating under the influence.  Amherst Police will join the 191 eligible local law enforcement agencies and the MA State Police to run extra patrols through the New Year as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, funded by a federal grant administered through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS-HSD).   

The Amherst Police Department is giving fair warning to all partygoers.  “You’ll see us making lots of stops during this highly visible enforcement period and if we suspect anyone is driving while intoxicated, officers will show zero tolerance for impaired driving,” said Chief Scott P. Livingstone. “The message is simple:  Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.  Drinking alcohol and driving do not mix.  If you plan to consume alcohol, you should also plan not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Chief Livingstone.  In fiscal year 2013, Amherst Police Officers arrested 154 persons for driving while intoxicated.

Unfortunately, the excitement and celebrations of the holiday season can lead to terrible decisions, and serious legal consequences. Data shows that the holiday season is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of impaired drivers on the roads. In 2011 in Massachusetts, 114 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher.

“Do not drive under the influence which could end in an arrest or worse, death or injury,” said Chief Livingstone. “Designate a sober driver, call a cab or take the bus. Remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk.
 
“We want everyone to be safe on our roadways,” said Chief Livingstone. “This holiday, we will show zero tolerance for those driving under the influence on the road. If you choose to drive drunk, we will see you, we will stop you, and you will be arrested.”

The Amherst Police Department recommends the following tips:



 

    • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
    • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;

    • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
    • If you happen to see an impaired 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.


For additional information regarding this initiative, please visit
www.mass.gov/highwaysafety   or contact Sergeant Todd Lang at 413-259-3000 or via email.

Free Gun Lock Distribution


As we are committed to the safety of our community, and especially our children, the Amherst Police Department will provide free gun locks, donated to the department by Project ChildSafe, to any community member without proper gun locks.  With the hunting season upon us, gun owners are reminded that Massachusetts General Law requires all firearms to be locked when not under the owner’s immediate control.  By providing the free distribution of gun locks to the community, we hope to encourage gun owners to practice safe and responsible gun ownership and storage.  Community members may come by the Amherst Police Department, at any time, to obtain a free cable-style gun lock. 

Questions regarding this program may be forwarded to Sgt. Brian Daly at 413-259-3000 or via email.