Westfield Newsroom

Former Westfield cop rehired

WESTFIELD – A former city police officer was rehired by the Westfield Police Commission and will return to duty with the department after his appointment is approved by state officials in Boston.
Westfield Police Chief John Camerota made his recommendation to reappoint Francis Towle to the force at the commission’s meeting Monday evening in City Hall.
Camerota said that Towle had worked for the department for “three years, probably” before he moved to North Carolina with his family about two years ago.
Camerota explained that Towle’s wife had been offered a position at a North Carolina hospital and his family moved south.
He said that Towle was hired by the police department in Gastonia, North Carolina, and he worked there until his wife was laid off from her position.
Camerota said that Towle and his family have returned to Westfield and said “he’s looking to get his old job back.”
With a population of more than 71,000, Gastonia is somewhat larger than Westfield. Donna Lahser, a spokesperson for that department, reported that in 2010 Towle issued more citations for operating under the influence than any other officer in the department. She said “We appreciate all he did to help make our community safer.”
Capt. Hipolito Nunez, the department’s administrative officer, said that Towle was hired as a reserve officer Sept. 11, 2006 and was appointed as a full-time officer on Dec. 22, 2006. Nunez called him “a conscientious hard-working officer” and reports that he resigned Sept. 25, 2009.
Towle’s appointment must be approved by the Human Resource Division of the Commonwealth, which reviews all police appointments, so it is not known exactly when he will return to work at the police department.
Towle will fill a vacancy created by the death of veteran police officer Kevin Swords.
A second vacancy was created Monday evening when the commission voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Officer Michael Coach, whose last day as a Westfield officer was Nov. 16.
The commission will begin the process of filling that opening at their next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 12, and will consider the officers currently on the department’s list of reserve officers.

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