WESTFIELD- The Westfield Police Community Service Unit is under new leadership following the retirement of Lt. Kevin Bard earlier this month.
Police Chief Lawrence P. Valliere said July 23 that Lt. Eric Hall would take over the CSU after Bard’s July 9 retirement. Lt. Scott Phelon, who was promoted from sergeant in January, will now lead the Westfield Detective Bureau.
The Community Service Unit was formed in 1994 as the Community Policing Department. The unit places five officers in five specific geographic areas in Westfield’s core downtown. Bard was responsible for the area containing School Street, Arnold Street, and the area between Franklin Street and Whitney Field.
One of the significant functions of the CSU is to work with the Coalition for Outreach, Recovery, and Education (CORE) of Greater Westfield to follow up with individuals who recently overdosed on opiates in Westfield. An officer will go with CORE and talk to the individual and help them get the resources they need to get treatment for their substance use disorders.
CORE Director Kathi Cotugno said July 21 that the last month has been particularly bad in Westfield for overdoses. She said it is likely a result of the pandemic and how it affected people’s mental health.
On July 26, the Westfield Police Commission will meet at City Hall to Interview and appoint one new Temporary Full-Time Sergeant and one Temporary Full-Time Lieutenant.
Officers Matthew Schultze, William Cavanaugh, and Jason Perron will be interviewed by the three-person commission for the temporary sergeant role.
Sgts. Douglas LaValley, Michael Kane, and Robert Saunders will interview for the temporary lieutenant position.