Southwick officers down

Police Chief Mark Krynicki said, despite the police force being down 25 percent right now, citizens are safe.
‘”The public is still protected,” said Krynicki. “Shifts are being filled and officers are on the streets.”
Four of Southwick’s 16 officers are out on leave currently, due to injuries. Officer Greg Burt was injured in a motor vehicle accident during the October snowstorm and is still recovering. Krynicki said he broke both legs and is expected to be out several more months. Officer Michael Westcott was also injured in an accident, and Officer Thomas Krutka was injured during a K-9 training.
“He was bit in the hand by someone else’s dog,” said Krynicki.
Officer Marc Siegel was injured this past weekend when he responded to a rollover motor vehicle crash on College Highway.
Krynicki is using reserve officers to help fill in the gaps.  however, the number of reserves is also down.
“We usually have 12 but right now we have 10,” said Krynicki.
Two of the officers on leave will be re-evaluated by doctors this month.
“I’m hoping they can come back,” said Krynicki, adding that the upcoming boat season will require more officers.
In the past, Krynicki has put the department’s detective back in uniform on the street and he said he would have sergeants in uniform, if necessary.
“I have been wearing my uniform so if someone needs back-up, I can go,” said Krynicki.
With contingency plans in place, Krynicki said the department is dealing with the situation and he does not believe he will have to put sergeants in uniform.
“Last month, the Select Board approved adding one of our reserves to full-time,” Krynicki said of Officer Daniel Ryan, “to help back-fill shifts and in anticipation of a retirement in September.”
Krynicki said it is highly unusual to have so many police down due to injuries.
“Normally we have one, maybe two, but I have never seen four officers out at once with injuries,” Krynicki said.
Krynicki said once he has a better idea of which officers are returning and when, he will move shifts around to accommodate schedules and the boating season.

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