Bear meets cruiser

WESTFIELD – A bear was struck by a city police cruiser on Russell Road early Friday morning and was eventually dispatched by an Environmental Police officer.
Officer Francis Gaulin reported at 2:42 a.m. Friday that he had struck a bear with his cruiser.
An ambulance was dispatched but Gaulin said that he was not injured in the crash and declined medical attention.
He said that the bear was injured and was in a nearby backyard.
Police contacted the Environmental Police but they said that they would not be responding to the scene.
Lt. Kevin Bard did not accept that response and, at 3:03 a.m., ordered the dispatcher to advise the Environmental Police dispatcher that an environmental police officer would have to respond because city police were not going to approach the injured bear.
An Environmental Police captain spoke with Bard, at 4:51 a.m., and agreed to dispatch an officer, at 6 a.m., to deal with the injured bear.
Bard advised Westfield State University Police of the situation and a WSU cruiser was stationed at the top of the hill near the dormitory area in case the injured bear moved in that direction.
Bard reports that at 7:44 a.m. he spoke with an Environmental Police supervisor who advised that an EPO was en route to locate and euthanize the bear and asked that city officers assist her.
Officers Jason Williams and Matthew Schultze located the bear near Russell Road and it was humanely dispatched by the EPO at 9:03 a.m.
The cruiser suffered significant damage and was towed to the police station.

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