Field Operations Bureau
A captain commands the Field Operations Bureau, which is the backbone of the police department, providing essential uniform patrol services and responding first to all citizen complaints. This bureau handles patrol supervision, booking of all arrests, initial report review, and interaction with neighborhood residents. The supervisors assigned to this bureau are responsible for supervising beat officers, responding to initial citizen complaints against uniformed officers, interaction with neighborhood and business groups, and working with other city agencies and other law enforcement organizations.
This program has an officer assigned full time to handle issues affecting senior citizens (persons 60 years of age and older). The officer handles all complaints filed by senior citizens working in conjunction with detectives to conduct follow-up investigations. The officer also visits all senior citizen resident housing and works closely with the Council on Aging. This officer also works with the administrative staff on the yearly Senior Citizen Christmas Lights Tour.
The traffic officer handles most traffic-related issues. This officer also works closely with our traffic reconstruction officers on significant motor vehicle crashes. The traffic officer also conducts radar checkpoints and tracks citizen traffic complaints. The traffic officer is also responsible for the placement of the radar trailer under the supervision of sergeants on the First Watch.
The City of Holyoke is authorized 24 reserve officers by civil service rules. These officers, though not fulltime, are mandated to attend a modified police academy by state statutes. These officers regularly work on the Second and Third Watches to supplement staffing and replace officers who are on vacation and/or report out sick, thereby reducing overtime expenditures. According to civil service rules, only reserve officers on the hiring list can fill full-time officer vacancies except for re-hires. Reserve officers provide a valuable service to the citizens of Holyoke.
The Auxiliary Police Division consists of an Auxiliary Chief of Police and approximately 40 volunteers. The Auxiliary Police supports the Holyoke Police Department's Field Operations Bureau with operations, such as the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Road Race, Celebrate Holyoke, Hispanic Festival, etc. Two marked police cruisers are assigned to this division to facilitate their duties. The volunteers assigned to this division also provide assistance during civil defense emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, traffic emergencies, etc. The volunteers also assist other cities' law enforcement agencies and charitable organizations.
Criminal Investigations Bureau
The Criminal Investigations Bureau, commonly referred to as the Detective Bureau, is staffed by multiple detectives and supervisors who oversee and conduct criminal investigations. The bureau is
separated into several subdivisions and assignments. This includes:
The General Assignment Division of the Criminal Investigations Bureau is responsible for conducting initial and/or follow-up investigations into felony and misdemeanor violations of City, State, and Federal statutes. The detectives assigned to the General Assignment Division conduct
investigations into Part I and Part II offenses as directed by the Bureau Commander and/or Chief of Police. They gather criminal intelligence, apply for search and arrest warrants, and conduct criminal surveillance as required. The detectives also work closely with outside law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to the Massachusetts State Police, local police, the Hampden County Sheriff's Department, and numerous federal agencies.
The Court Liaison Division is responsible for working closely with the District Attorneys and Assistant District Attorneys in the Superior, District, and Juvenile Courts. These officers handle arraignments, summonses, magistrate hearings, traffic court, city ordinance violations, evidence disposal, process pay sheets, etc. These activities assist the department in reducing costs and enhance prosecutions.
The Narcotics/Vice Division has the responsibility to investigate drug trafficking and vice violations within the City of Holyoke in addition to investigating complaints of drug activity. The Division conducts covert surveillance and develops information and informants regarding drug activity that, in any manner, affects the quality of life of the citizens of Holyoke. Additionally, the Division conducts covert investigations as assigned by the Chief of Police and/or the Bureau Commander. The Division maintains records on all inquiries and all requests for forfeitures as a result of criminal activity. The Division maintains cases files on all assigned investigations and tracks open and closed cases. This Division also has the responsibility of tracing firearms through the B.A.T.F. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) under the U.S. Treasury Department.
Sexual/Domestic Crimes Division
The Sexual/Domestic Crimes Division is responsible for investigating those crimes involving domestic assault/battery cases and being an advocate for victims of sexual and/or domestic assault/battery. The detective(s) assigned to this division also works closely with the District Attorney's office and domestic assault advocates to provide a comprehensive approach to these cases.
This division is staffed by one detective who is certified in state court as an expert in fingerprint identification. The officer assigned to this division processes over 4,000 print-related activities per year. The officer also develops film and uses modern techniques to lift latent prints from oddly
shaped objects such as firearms, appliances, etc.
Technical Safety Bureau
The Bureau is commanded by a captain and is the technical/support arm of the police department providing radio dispatch and communication between the marked beat cruisers, the public, and other law enforcement and public safety agencies. This bureau is divided into several divisions to support the police department’s daily operations:
The Communications Division dispatchers receive in excess of 50,000 calls for service (CFS) each year, and an unknown number of incoming telephone calls of a non-emergency nature as the Communications Center is the central receiving point for ALL incoming telephone calls to the police department. This division is responsible for receiving, monitoring, transmitting, and relaying
calls for emergency services to appropriate public safety agencies. The dispatcher operates telecommunications equipment such as emergency and non-emergency telephones, radios and maintains complete records of all communications transactions through computer-aided dispatch software (CAD). The Center is responsible for maintaining constant communication with police units working the streets of the city to ensure their safety.
Research and Planning Division
This Division is staffed by a Captain who is responsible for maintaining the training records for all departmental employees. The Captain also ensures that each employee is provided the necessary training to comply with state mandates in addition to specialized training for a particular field of expertise.
Evidence and Property Division
The Evidence and Property Division is staffed by two police officers who catalog and manage over 10,000 pieces of evidence and property per year. These officers also handle the destruction of confiscated firearms, illegal drugs, and evidence once cases have been disposed of. The division also has the responsibility for maintaining the chain of
evidence in all cases handled by the Holyoke Police Department.
The Records Division is responsible for the processing of all reports. The division provides information to the public, sworn personnel, and any requesting law enforcement entity. Personnel processes taxi licenses, registers sex offenders, and provides statistical data as directed by the chief of police. The members of this division also process and prepare crime reporting through the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Each year this division processes over 9,500 incidents, 3,300 arrests, 1,900 motor vehicle crash reports, 2,500 tows, and 350,000 record checks.
This division is staffed by a police officer who is responsible for ensuring that the vehicles are maintained and ready for use on the streets. This officer is responsible for marked cruisers, unmarked cruisers, 1 prisoner transport vehicle, 1 Mobile Policing/Command vehicle, and 2 utility vehicles. This officer ensures that each police cruiser, support, and utility vehicle is properly serviced (oil, grease, emergency equipment, tires, etc.) so that they are ready to be used by uniformed and detective officers to perform their duties. This officer maintains computer records such as inventory, repair, oil change, etc. on all police vehicles.