Three officers hired

The city’s police commission has met in special session and has appointed three full-time permanent officers.
The officers were hired due to vacancies on the police roster caused by recent and anticipated retirement of serving officers.
Police commission chairman Karl Hupfer told the six reserve officers to be considered – David A. Burl, Thomas F. Cusak, Bridgette Adams, David M. Arroyo, Sean Conners and Gary Hagar – that the interview process would be less formal than the last time the reserve officers were considered to appointment as full-time officers in February.
“You’ve been vetted, interviewed by the police review board, interviewed by this commission, appointed reserve officers and have worked as police officers since that appointment” he told them. “Now you’re back. You’ve been interviewed by the review board of the police again. Now you’re back before us so, rather than get into the formal interviews, we don’t think that’s necessary, we’ll make it very informal.”
Instead of interviews, Hupfer asked that each candidate address the board to tell them “where you’ve been, where you want to go, why you want to be police officers and where you want to be in ten years.”
The candidates addressed the commission in the order they were ranked on the reserve officers list.
After the officers spoke, Hupfer called them great candidates for full-time police officers and said “The department’s been very lucky in that respect.”
Before the commission adjourned the open session for a brief executive session to discuss the appointments Hupfer said “We’re not going to have a problem making appointments this evening … you’re all great candidates.”
He recommended that the candidates be appointed in the order of their ranking on the civil service list and, when the commission returned to open session, Commissioner Felix Otero made a series of motions to do just that.
Burl, Cusak and Adams were appointed by unanimous votes of the commissioners.
Burl had spoken first and told the commission that he is a Westfield native and has worked at Commercial Distributing for eight years while serving in the National Guard for ten years.
He said that being a police officer is “what I’ve always wanted to do” and said that he enjoys the similarities between the police department and the military.
Cusak, second on the civil serve list, spoke next and told the commission that he grew up in the city and said that police work has “always intrigued me.” He said the work is appealing because “it’s not the same thing every day, it’s always something different.” He said that he has been employed by Baystate Medical Center as a special police officer and said that while working there he has learned how to deal with all sorts of different people. He said he hopes to be a superior officer in ten years.
Adams told the commission that she is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and said “I want to be a police officer because I’ve always had a passion for helping others.” She said that in ten years “I see myself as being a better police officer than I am today.”
After the appointments, Hupfer told the remaining candidate, “don’t get discouraged.” He said “There will be openings coming and you’re all great candidates.”
With the appointments, additional reserve officers will be needed.
At the commission’s last meeting, Police Chief John Camerota provided the commissioners with a list of 25 candidates who have passed the civil service exam for appointment as reserve officers.
He said then that the candidates currently are being asked to declare their willingness to accept a position if offered.
“Once, that happens, we’ll do extensive backgrounds (checks) and the actual interview date is yet to be determined” he said. “It might go to the June meeting, I’m not sure yet, but there are 25 candidates so we have a lot of background investigations to conduct.

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