To the editor:
Recently, my husband and I completed the Citizen Police Academy, a 10-week course offered by the Hamilton Police Department. This program was spearheaded by Chief Russell Stevens, organized by Sgt. Stephen Walsh, and taught by Hamilton police officers and supervisors. Additionally, representatives from the Fire Department, ECO Communication Center, Essex County district attorney’s office, state police K-9 unit and Essex County Sheriff’s Department contributed to educating our diverse group of 20 citizens.
All presentations were professionally delivered and highly educational. Those taught by our own officers particularly demonstrated individual areas of expertise, as well as tremendous passion and enthusiasm for serving the citizens of Hamilton. Their eagerness and open approach while encouraging and answering questions about procedures and practices allowed all a greater insight into the day-to-day operations of our police department.
In addition to completing rigorous police academy training, many of Hamilton’s officers have continued their education beyond a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree level. They also regularly participate in professional training within the department, as well as other locations throughout the country. Our presenters volunteered their time to educate us on patrol procedures, cybercrimes, identity theft, domestic violence, use of force, criminal law and many more fascinating topics.
The mission statement of the Hamilton police, which appears on the department’s website, is observably not merely a paper document but the code by which all of our officers conduct themselves. After 10 weeks with these men and women, it is clear to us that their mission truly is to serve residents in a professional manner, “focusing on mutual trust, integrity, fairness, honesty and respect,” with a genuinely caring approach. As lifelong residents of Hamilton, we believe their dedication and efforts to reach out and “forge police citizen partnerships” and foster personal relationships should be publicly commended.
We wish to express our sincere appreciation to the following people for making this truly educational and rewarding experience available to the citizens of Hamilton: Chief Russell Stevens; Lt. Scott Janes; Sgt. Stephen Walsh; Sgt. Stephen Trepanier; Sgt. Karen Wallace; officers Joe Achadinha, Michael Girolimon, Andrew Neill, Kent Richards, Brian Shaw and Michael Wetson; fire Chief Phil Stevens; Deputy fire Chief Kirby Brand; and dispatcher Anne Marie Cullen.
Pam and Bruce Larchez