Friday, July 15, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016
In light of recent events in Minnesota and Louisiana, and past incidents in Baltimore and Ferguson to name a few, where police response resulted in the loss of life, the Salem Police Department has received a couple of inquiries about what our Department does to provide protections to our citizenry to prevent these types of tragedies and what are standards are for police conduct.
We appreciate the concerns and inquiries and encourage involvement. We want to ensure our citizens that we take the responsibility of protecting our community and all its citizens very seriously and we do not take lightly any circumstance that prompts our response to use force. Massachusetts law enforcement agencies tend to take the lead in the country with training, policies, and response within our communities. The DOJ recently rolled out their new biased-based training for Police, yet the State of Massachusetts required this training of all its law enforcement officers this past year. This put the Salem Police Department in its third training on bias-based/cultural diversity training in the last several years. This training begins at the inception of an officer’s academy training provided by the Mass Criminal Justice Training Council.
More than 60% of Salem’s sworn personnel have received intense Crisis Intervention Team training to assure understanding of de-escalation techniques and handling those in crisis, including those suffering from cognitive delays, mental health or substance abuse issues. Use of Force training occurs every year to comply with our standards and any changes to state or national policy which includes the primary directive of the least amount of force necessary. Officers have received training in conflict resolution and problem solving. Our policies direct our response whether through arrest, handling of prisoners, traffic enforcement, use of force, response to calls, training, civil disturbances, domestic violence, or handling transgender populations, to name a few. All of these policies fall within the requirements of the State Accreditation standards which have been met by this department and have been again reviewed in May. Within these policies and procedures includes rules of conduct and the forms of disciplinary actions and hearings of conduct. . We have been working with the City’s IT Department to have our non-tactical P&P uploaded to website, which we hope will be accomplished soon.
The Salem Police Department initiated an outside company to review the Department’s policies and procedures, staffing, and responses. This company is still in the process of review and several Salem citizens have a seat at the table to review the report and to assist in instituting any changes that may be recommended. As stated earlier, we encourage involvement and have three current citizen groups assisting this department. Community engagement is not just a term, but it is a philosophy of approach within our community to foster and enhance the police-community relationship. This requires ongoing effort to maintain this relationship. As such we have police beat officers and sergeants attend the neighborhood meetings regularly. We conduct the Citizen’s Police Academy and Youth Citizen’s Police Academy to engage with our citizens, form relationships, share what we do, and gain valuable feedback. This year for Salem, on August 2nd at the Common, we will co-sponsor our first National Night Out in partnership with Target and other local businesses to promote awareness, safety, and neighborhood unity.
In April of this year, one of our Officer’s was nearly shot with the bullet passing his head in close proximity. The officer did not draw his weapon and return fire, but pursued the suspect on foot. I think that shows great restraint in an extremely life-threating situation. This action and the substantial amount of training and oversight of our officers should provide the citizens of Salem with some confidence that this is a professional organization.
The Salem Police Department, in cooperation with the City’s No Place For Hate Committee has developed and initiated the first state required Diversity Awareness program for court involved individuals who have committed hate crimes, civil rights crimes, or bias-based crimes. This has been a three year process and it is now being looked at to provide this at the Juvenile Court level and to be developed even further into a bullying response program for our Schools in cooperation with the Superintendent.
Decisions that affect our entire community will not just be made by the Police Department, or a few individuals, it will be a collective community response. We may not always get things right, but we certainly strive to achieve this and the input and feedback of the community is an important component.
The Salem Police Department have concerns about the police actions in other states that are negatively affecting their citizenry and a deep heartfelt concern for all those in Dallas who were peacefully protesting, who were placed in overwhelming fear due to the actions of a few, and those officers who were there to ensure their safety. A select group of persons brought those problems to the community of Dallas. Our prayers go out to all the people, citizens and officers alike, who have lost their lives in these tragic incidents. Families have lost fathers, brothers, sons – loved ones. As a Police Department we recognize the importance of all lives, and especially those who have been or feel victimized. We strive for peace in our community and elsewhere in our Nation. Ronald Reagan said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means”. Pope Paul VI said, “If you want peace, work for justice”. This justice does not mean an eye for an eye, because violence only begets more violence. It really means that fairness is the standard to be administered, both legally and philosophically every day, everytime. Working together we can achieve this.
To all those who work hard to make Salem a great community, government leaders, residents, and businesses, thank you. For all the officers and dispatchers who strive to ensure we have a safe and peaceful community, thank you.
Mary E. Butler
Chief of Police
Saturday, July 2, 2016
- Fireworks and 4th of July activities will take place on Derby Wharf (160 Derby Street).
- Kid's Space opens at 4:00 pm with games and face painting. Food vendors will also open at 4:00 pm.
- Live entertainment begins on the stage at 5:00 pm.
- Opening ceremonies will begin at 7:15 pm with Mayor Kim Driscoll, other local dignitaries, and local organizations leading a short parade through the Wharf and a military flyover. The Hillyer Festival Orchestra will then begin a two hour long concert.
- The night will end with a fireworks display over Derby Wharf beginning at 9:15 pm.
- Check out the detailed press release on Salem.com for more information.
- Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, possession or sale of fireworks will result in the maximum fines possible. Call us at 978-744-1212 to report illegal firework activity. We will have extra patrols dedicated to responding to these calls on the 4th. Whenever possible please provide us with the exact address the fireworks are coming from so our officers can respond in the most effective way possible. Do not dial 9-1-1 for fireworks complaints, please use our non-emergency request for police line at 978-744-1212.
- As always public drinking and disorderly conduct will not be tolerated and will result in being subject to arrest.
- Report any suspicious activity such as unattended bags, suspicious vehicles, or concerning individuals to the Salem Police right away at 978-744-1212, by dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency, or to any officer you see.
- Remember there will be large crowds and it will be dark out. Pay extra attention to small children, and consider attaching your contact information and their name to their clothes in case you get separated. Pre-plan a meeting place and time with older children in the event they get separated. If your child goes missing do not wait, notify a police officer immediately or dial 9-1-1. Instruct children to stop and stay where they are if they become lost and to notify a police officer.
- Use sidewalks and crosswalks when coming and going from the event. Wear bright colored clothing and consider carrying a flash light. Make sure to follow any directions from officers directing traffic.
- Guests are asked to carry any items in clear plastic bags and be prepared for possible bag checks by uniformed officers. Police will be monitoring access points into the Derby Wharf area throughout the afternoon and evening. Please plan for additional time to arrive at the wharf for the festivities.
- Parking will be limited. The South Harbor Garage (10 Congress Street), Museum Place Garage (2 New Liberty Street) and the Salem Depot Garage (242 Bridge Street) will be available. We do anticipate all three to fill up quickly. Additional overflow parking will be available at Shetland Park (35 Congress Street).
- If possible we encourage you to consider walking or biking to avoid congestion on the roads. There will be heavy traffic before and after the event.
- Consider using the MBTA Commuter Rail if you are coming from out of town. The Salem Depot is a short walk from Derby Wharf. Additional parking garages are available at the Lynn and Beverly train stations. See this page on the MBTA's site for more information.
- There is limited handicap parking at Derby Wharf and in the Immaculate Conception parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard, which is first-come first-serve, and there is a mobility impaired/wheelchair seating section reserved at the beginning of Derby Wharf.
- Recreational boaters and other craft will be restricted from the area around Derby Wharf and the channel in Salem Harbor and the South River for much of the evening. Mariners can call the Harbormaster’s Office at 978-741-0098 or on VHF 16 for emergencies after hours or for more information.
- At 6:00 pm we will be closing Derby Street at Herbert Street, Orange Street at Essex Street, and Curtis Street at Essex Street. We will also be posting those areas a "No Parking Tow Zones" from 8:00 am until 11:00 pm. We may close additional streets during the night as needed to ensure public safety.
We suggest you follow our social media accounts on Facebook and on Twitter for up to date information as the night goes along. Be sure to check back here and to salem.com prior to leaving in case there are any last minute changes that are made.