Temporary police sergeant appointed

The city’s police commission acted on a request by Police Chief John Camerota and appointed, on an emergency basis, a new sergeant in order to fill a need created by the ongoing absence, due to medical issues, of two supervisory officers.
At the commission’s regular monthly meeting Monday at City Hall, Camerota asked for the 30 day emergency appointment in order to cope with scheduling problems and overtime costs resulting from the absence of the two supervisors from the duty roster.
Capt. Hipolito Nunez, the department’s administrative officer, explained later that both Sgt. Dennis Donovan and Jason Perron have been sidelined for more than a month and, although it had been hoped that one or both would be able to return to work soon, that no longer seems likely and it is necessary to address now the shortages created by their absences.
Camerota asked the commission to appoint Patrolman Michael C. Chechile, a 17 year veteran, to a sergeant, so he would be available to work’s Perron’s midnight to eight a.m. supervisory slot starting at midnight Wednesday.
Chechile was one of 12 city officers who took the sergeant’s exam in October and Camerota said of Chechile “He’s the only officer that passed the sergeant’s promotional exam.”
Chechile said later “I was pretty determined to get this position” and said that he has been attending an on-line college, Ashworth College, for “a couple of years” and has earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“You can go at your own pace” Chechile said. “So I was flying.”
Chechile said that he as worked as a patrolman for most of his police career although he was assigned to the community policing bureau for two years.
He is married and lives in Westfield with his three children. His father, Michael A. Chechile, retired in 2002 after 32 years of service as a city police officer.
Nunez said that, because of a shortage of officers available, the department is utilizing reserve officers more than usual, mostly on the midnight to eight a.m. shift, who are generally inexperienced officers and said that a dependable veteran officer was needed to supervise that shift.
In a related move, the commission voted to stage a special meeting in two weeks, on April 23, to consider hiring three more officers whose positions were recently authorized.
Camerota told the commission that the only officers on the current promotion list are from the eastern part of the state and did not respond to an offer to be considered for a position in the city so the commission is free to consider officers serving as reserves for appointment to full-time positions.
The commission also appointed an addition officer to the auxiliary police roster.
Lt. Ronald Minor, the auxiliary police commander, presented Jennifer Ciepiela of Russell as a candidate for the auxiliary force who he said has been interviewed by the supervisors of the unit and earned their recommendation. He said she understands and accepts the training required for the position and the financial costs entailed in that training.
Ciepiela told the commission that she works at Mestek currently and said “Being a police officer is one of the most honorable jobs you can have and I’m looking for a career.”
She said she sees service on the auxiliary force as her first step in that career.
The commission voted unanimously to appoint her to the auxiliary force, contingent on her completion of the training required and necessary pre-employment testing.

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