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City of Holyoke Police Department
   
About the Holyoke Police Department
   
Vision Statement | Mission Statement | Code of Ethics | Chief's Biography | Staffing | History | Employment
 
Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item HPD Vision Statement
The Holyoke Police Department takes great pride in serving our community while placing our greatest value on human life and dignity. We, the sworn personnel, civilians, and auxiliary officers are committed to the highest professional standards and progress. We bring to the Citizens of Holyoke experience, talent, education and special services. It is this Department's vision and commitment to its citizens and associates to honor and respect all who come forth and treat all with: Honesty, Professionalism and Dedication (HPD).
 

Honesty:
We pledge to be honest and truthful, recognizing that we are not above the law. As role models for the community, we recognize that our success is dependent upon the trust and confidence of the community in which we serve. We are committed to a code of ethical and moral conduct that is irreproachable in both our professional and personal lives. As the community's protector, the total summation of our experience and training will be utilized to provide the community with a safe haven in which to live, work, go to school and enjoy all that life has to offer.

Our employees shall strive to treat all citizens with honesty and respect. Our goal shall be to remain compassionate, understanding, and equitable, no matter what the circumstances. We affirm our belief in communicating openly and honestly with the community and among ourselves. We understand the importance of community values and expectations and we shall be responsive to the concerns of the community

We are also responsive to the needs of those who serve by our side. Give support, direction and guidance in our professional lives. While on duty we shall show encouragement and kindness to one another. To do so, strengthens our ability to serve the community with the respect and caring it deserves.

Professionalism:
As professionals to whom the law gives a clearly defined and demanding public trust, we strive for personal and professional excellence. A high priority is directed towards being committed to community policing, continuing education, recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance and encouraging each of our employees to develop their fullest potential. We look to the future. Our future is tied to the continuing cooperation of civil groups, schools, law enforcement, and criminal justice agencies to bring a better quality of life and protection to those we serve. We will respect and protect the rights of all our citizens, regardless of national origin, religion, age, or disability. We will dedicate ourselves to making the police profession one of the most respected through excellence in serving our community.

Dedication:
As those dedicated to public service, we recognize the importance of partnership and cooperation, sharing responsibility to serve the citizens of Holyoke with other agencies and organizations. We believe that cooperation and teamwork will enable us to blend our diverse backgrounds, skills, and styles in order to effectively achieve our common goals.

Each individual member shall seek professional perfections which creates a stronger unit, a stronger commitment to the ideals and pride of law enforcement. To protect those we serve to the best of our ability is the greatest reward of a job well done. The safekeeping of citizens, individually and as a whole, is the goal of this department. We are at the call of the community and will answer that call withy tenacity and pride, forsaking our own safety and at times placing our lives in peril.

Anthony R. Scott, Chief of Police
December 2002

 
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Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item HPD Mission Statement

We, the members of the Holyoke Police Department, believe in the dignity and worth of all people. We are committed to serving all people of the community with respect, compassion, and in a fair manner. We are dedicated to providing high quality community policing; the prevention of crime; and the protection of life, property, and constitutional rights of all persons.

With community service as our foundation, and community policing as our philosophy, we will work together with the community as a whole to improve the quality of life of our citizens. We strive to improve ourselves; to be open and honest; to plan for the future; and to provide our community with qualified and effective personnel through leadership and training. We are proud of the diversity of our workforce that permits us to grow, and respects each of us as individuals.

 
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Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality and justice.

I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decision. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession: law enforcement.

 
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Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item Message from the Chief of Police

Dear citizens of Holyoke,

Welcome to the Holyoke Police Department.  My name is James Neiswanger and it is an honor and privilege to serve as Chief of Police for the City of Holyoke. I believe in working in partnership with the residents and businesses of our city to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life for all.  The Holyoke Police Department will be strengthening our current community partnerships and developing new ones.  These partnerships help open the lines of communication.  This open dialogue helps our citizens identify issues of concern to the police department.   Once theses issues of concern are identified, we can all work together in partnership, to resolve them. 

I wish to thank retired Chief Anthony Scott and the dedicated, hard working men and women of the Holyoke Police Department for their great work on the Take Back Our Streets initiative.  I wish to reassure everyone that we will continue on with this mission taking a tough stance against criminal violators.  The Holyoke Police Department will continue to utilize, explore and implement the latest, most effective, crime reduction strategies.  

There are many challenges, distractions and missed opportunities in life that can sometimes lead our young people down the wrong path in life.  I truly believe our youth are the future of our city and our country.  Therefore, it is important to help guide, encourage, and mentor them towards success. 

The city faces many challenges that can be overcome. The first step should be working together in partnership as a team towards the common goal, of improving the city.  The second step is a positive mental attitude that we can do this. Finally, we shall never give up on working towards our common goal.  

 

Chief of Police James M. Neiswanger

  

 

   
 
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Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item Staffing
At present, the department consists of the Chief, twenty-six Superior Officers, ninety-seven Police Officers, twelve Reserve Officers, nine Civilian Dispatchers, six Civilian Clerk Typists, a full time Mechanic, two Custodians and three Matrons. Serving approximately 44,000 residents, the department answers approximately 45,500 calls for service each year. The new police facility, which we now occupy, provides the most up to date, modern facility available to law enforcement and enhances our ability to serve the residents of our city in an effective, efficient, professional manner.
 
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Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item HPD History | 1850-2001

During the 1850’s, some one hundred and forty seven years ago, the Holyoke Police Department started with only a half dozen men with the organization of the town. This number increased as the size of the city grew, requiring more men to keep watch over its interests. The police station, or “quarters”, were first located in the city hall and were soon deemed inadequate. The first Chief of Police or City Marshall, was a man by the name of William G. Ham, appointed in 1871. The stories of his individual prowess spread far and wide and probably kept outside troublemakers from coming into the town. Chief Ham served as City Marshal until 1882 addressing such problems as drunkenness, rowdies, vice and petty thievery. In 1874 the force consisted of ten officers and a chief. By the turn of the century it grew to forty-six members, including the Chief or Marshal, Assistant Marshal, one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Matron and forty-two Patrolmen. Almost all of the members of the force at this time were of Irish descent and all had Irish names.

In 1913 construction began on the City Hall Annex and on July 8, 1915, the Police Department moved into their new quarters. The new Annex Building quarters provided ample room for the department and the cell room, or lock up, was said to be second to none in the country. There were twenty-four adult male cells and six female cells with one juvenile holding room. In the same year the Detective Bureau was equipped with instruments and devices for the Bertillion System of identification (measurement of bones and body structure) as well as a complete filing and records system, which added considerably more work, but organized old cases where they could be retrieved almost immediately. This addition placed the department on par with other departments throughout the United States and Canada where the Bertillion System was being universally adopted. In 1924 the United States congress established the Federal Bureau of Investigation, combining this with the existing Bertillion files made the Holyoke Police Department one of the most up-to-date departments in the country.

Upon moving into the new City Hall Annex Building quarters, City Marshall John R. Harrington requested the addition of ten patrolmen for the patrol of the residential areas of the city, citing the layouts of the beats or post as being too large for one officer to cover properly. An assistant police matron was also requested as the number of females taken into custody averaged almost fifteen percent of total arrests. The force was bolstered to sixty-six men.

In early Holyoke, liquor was the source of many problems, drunkenness was the most common vice and often lead to acts which broke the law. After 1867 the state enacted liquor control laws which were changed from time to time and at one time removed. Having the option, Holyoke chose not to enforce state liquor laws. In 1857 there were some one hundred “Dram” shops (bars intended to sell small quantities of alcohol to be consumed on the premises). By 1870, with a population of less than eleven thousand, the town (under state prohibition for everything but beer and ale) counted eighty-nine liquor shops, with more rumored to exist. Courts did virtually nothing about liquor law violations, probably because they were fully occupied with cases stemming from social and economic maladjustment, thus almost all police action resulted from liquor law violations and the crime of drunkenness.

Prior to the advent of the automobile in police patrol work, a horse drawn “Paddy Wagon” (referring to the padded interior of the rear of the wagon...limiting injury to occupants) was housed in a barn at Suffolk and Railroad Streets. The driver of the wagon was on standby for calls for transporting those arrested (mostly for being intoxicated or disorderly). Communication with the paddy wagon driver, at the time, consisted of a bell being rung from headquarters located a block away.

During the 1920’s the police station was equipped with one telephone with a three digit number and officers made contact with headquarters from call boxes located throughout the city. At one time there were approximately sixty-five call boxes by which each beat officer reported in to the station during his tour of duty. At this time the patrolmen worked a schedule of one day off in eight. In 1952 the forty hour week was instituted.

The department purchased its first automobile, a Ford, in 1930. Walking beats were assisted by tow cruisers, four motorcycles (Indian motorcycles manufactured in Springfield, MA.) and the horse-drawn “Paddy Wagon”, commonly referred to as the “Black Mariah” (a name which originated in Detroit, Michigan, due to the frequent transport of a woman, of “questionable means”, who always wore black).

In 1974, it was decided the Annex quarters no longer met the needs of the department and they moved to 165 Sargeant Street ( a city owned building which was the temporary home of the Holyoke Community College). The dispatch, cellblock and Detective Bureau remained at the Annex Building. The department also had five satellite stations known as “Team Police Units” which were funded by grants from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. 

The Team Policing concept made the police more accessible to the public and officers were able to get to know the neighborhoods and the people on a more personal level. When the LEAA funding ran out the satellite stations were closed and the department once again moved into the annex building to centralize operations.

In 1980 the department moved into a brand new station which had been constructed behind City Hall. This building, unique in its design with parking for 78 vehicles on the roof, was touted as being an “ultra modern” facility... “one of the finest in the Commonwealth”. From 1980-1995 this “ultra modern” facility was plagued by water leaks. As the years went by ceiling tiles and walls had fallen, mildewed carpeting had to be removed, and continuous ventilation and electrical problems hampered operations. Due to the persistence of Local #388 of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, court action resulted in Judge William Keating ruling that the building was no longer habitable and thereby forced the city to seek new quarters. The city began exploring several alternatives and eventually settled on new construction at 220 Appleton St.

Throughout the 1980’s policing concepts tended to isolate officers from the communities they serve, which can hamper crime control efforts. Seeking new ways to enhance performance and maximize resources, law enforcement leaders have struck a responsive chord across the nation with a variety of Community Policing initiatives. Community Policing allows law enforcement to get back to the principals upon which it was founded, to integrate itself once again into the fabric of the community and work on a collaborative effort that identifies problems of crime and disorder and involves all elements of the community in the search for solutions to these problems. Officers speak to neighborhood groups, participate in business and civic events, consult with social agencies, and take part in education programs for school children. Civilians, the Greater Holyoke Youth Service Corps (an Americorps program), manning community police neighborhood resource centers, coordinate and execute these activities with the police and community.

One very successful tool for Community Policing has been bicycle patrols which bring the police closer to the community. At present, the Holyoke Police Department has forty certified Mountain Bike Patrol Officers. The bicycle patrol is designed to be an aggressive, highly visible means of supplementing police patrol. These officers respond to calls for service, accidents, medical emergencies and assist the public with bicycle safety education and demonstrations. The maneuverability and stealth of the bicycle has led to numerous arrests while at the same time has proved to be an effective public relations tool which children relate to without hesitation.

   
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Holyoke Police Department Vision Statement Bullet Item Employment Opportunities
  Click Here to start the process of employment with The Holyoke Police Department.
   
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  Holyoke Police Department Headquarters
 
 
HPD Headquarters
Included in this new state-of-the-art facility is a communications and dispatch center which is now being upgraded with the latest technology in communications equipment.  Police Headquarters houses the Administrative offices, Field Operations Bureau, Criminal Investigations Bureau amd the Technical Services Bureau.   The facility is also equipped with  a photographic processing unit and a crime laboratory on the second floor.  Headquarters also houses and efficient, secure evidence handling and storage areas, a fully equipped gym and training room and space for future expansion.
Officer John DiNapoli
 
Officer John A. DiNapoli,
Killed in the Line of Duty
 
Holyoke Police Department Chief's Badge
Holyoke Police Department 1903 Baseball Team
 
HPD 1903 Baseball Team
 
J.T. Donoghue, R.E. Lowcock, T.J. Rourke, J.B. Griffin, E.F. Gilday, H.M. Fisher, P. Herbert, T.E. Bligh, M.H. Shrine, W.E. Murray, F.R. Metcalf, P.J. Manning
 
 
Various Officers of the Holyoke Police Department
 
Seated from left to right: Officer Walter L. Koch, Officer John T. Kennedy, Captian Richard M. Smith, Standing left to right: Officer William E. Kelly, Officer Thomas J. Ginley, Officer Daniel F. Sudsbury, and Officer Patrick J. Higgins
 
 
Chief Harold F. Skelton and Officer Richard G. Werenski
 
Chief Harold F. Skelton and Officer Richard G. Werenski
 

City of Holyoke Police Department, 138 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA 01040 | P: 413-322-6900 | F: 413-322-6910

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