City Council appoints new Fire Commissioner

Westfield Fire Department patch. (WNG File Photo)

WESTFIELD- The Westfield Personnel Action Committee and City Council appointed C. Lee Bennett as a new fire commissioner Monday evening to fill the seat left vacant by Carlo Bonavita, who resigned earlier this year.

Before the vote took place in the committee, Councilor Harris read off a resume of accolades and achievements by Bennett to highlight her work with law enforcement and first responders.

“Ms. Bennett’s education, professional background, and community service gives us an excellent choice to appoint to our Fire Commission,” said Harris.

Bennett has a master’s degree in criminal justice and attended the FBI National Academy. She had previously been with the Springfield Police Department, as well as being on their Honor Guard, for over 30 years before she retired.

After she retired, she continued her work with law enforcement by being a consultant investigator for Springfield’s Law Department.  In addition, she was a police officer in Granville, a Justice of the Peace, and has taught college and police academy criminal justice courses covering a wide range of topics.

“Over the course of being a police officer, her association with fire departments led her naturally to having a great rapport with that sister-brother group, as well as having a brother who is a firefighter,” said Councilor Harris, “So she understands this related sector very well.”

Bennett’s term on the Fire Commission expires on the first Monday in February of 2021.

The Personnel Action Committee met with just Harris and William Onyski. Councilor Brent Bean II was in the Finance Committee meeting that occurred at the same time.

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