Boston Bruins Alumni vs. Rotary All-Stars
by Robyn Hatch
Cleon Daskalakis waves upon entering the Icenter.
The Boston Bruins hockey game again came to Salem on February 23. For the seventh consecutive year, the Rotary Club of Greater Salem hosted the annual game, Boston Bruins Alumni versus Rotary All-Stars at the Icenter. This was a fun opportunity for families to see some former Bruins’ stars up close and personal. There were also special raffles and prizes with a “chuck-a-puck” contest, always a fan favorite with the children.
Proceeds underwrite the club’s community and international service projects. Local initiatives included scholarships for high school seniors, sponsorship of the annual Salem fishing derby, locally distributed holiday food baskets, gasoline and fuel assistance to qualified families, donations to food pantries, dictionaries for all third-grade students in greater Salem and life-saving defibrillators to area schools. In addition, the club’s international efforts include supporting Polio Plus and the Rotoplast (cleft lip) surgeries.
For more information on the Rotary Club of Greater Salem visit www.salemnhrotary.org.
Greater Salem Rotary Club All-Stars being introduced.
Rick Middleton, a 12-year Bruin veteran, signs Kyle Czifrik’s shirt.
Second-half play gets a little rough around the net.
Barron School Talent
by Robyn Hatch
Katerina Anamisis, George Anamisis and Erin Scalon dancing with mats (grade four-plus) Everybody Dance Now
Again, Barron School presented “Barron Schools Got Talent” at Salem high School featuring all grades with juried acts, from singing, dancing with jump ropes and Hula-Hoops and gymnastics to double-Dutch jumping. Every act had to adhere to strict guidelines with much practice and perfecting involved. No winners were singled out because everyone was classified as special and all winners in their own right. Erin Bergeron (first-grade teacher) and Amy Moldoff (music teacher) spent much time organizing and helping produce a very professional event. Good job!
Lily Medeiros singing Earth Day Party Song (grade one)
Rachel and Katy dancing to These Boots (grade three)
Foxtrot dancers: Come Fly With Me (fifth graders)
Salem Police Station Proposal
by Andrea Ganley Dannewitz
On March 11 voters in Salem will hit the polls. With so much controversy over projects that will cost huge amounts of money, taxpayers are hesitant to vote yes to nearly anything. One fact stands strong. Our police department is in bad shape. Of course there are plenty of buildings or areas of town that are considered to be in bad shape or in need of upgrades and improvements, but are those others spots, whether they are schools, flood zones, or roads, are they solely responsible for policing the town of Salem? With that in mind, let us take a look at Salem Police Department and see what the problems really are.
The first place one would go when in need of visiting Salem Police Department would be the front door to the lobby. Now picture a victim in distress, who maybe has never walked into or even seen the inside of a police station. What they will see at Salem Police Department is a tiny, badly lit lobby with one bench, and a big glass window where the dispatchers sit, where you can’t very well see into because the lighting is so dim. Now this victim looks at the bench but can’t sit there because there are three people there already. To the immediate left is a door to the records department. This victim is probably very uncomfortable.
The door into the building of the department is connected to the lobby. In the hallway there is carpeting in terrible shape posing a tripping hazard, torn in spots, and the lighting is dim and depressing. Now to the interview room, the only one. So if a suspect is being questioned, a parent of a missing child, and a victim of an unknown crime, only one can be handled in the interview room at a time. The interview room is used for interviewing suspects and victims. It is about the size of a walk-in closet, and was used as the shift commander’s office years ago. The furniture consists of a folding table and ripped chairs beyond having seen their day. Again, now we have a victim with no confidential spot to speak to an officer, and let’s add a parent of a missing child, with no relaxing and suitable place to be interviewed.
The shift commander’s office is the next spot. Let us say this parent of a missing child and the other victim are in need of serious, immediate attention, so the shift commander is needed to speak to these people right away. What exists in the shift commander’s office is old, outdated, beat-up furniture that were hand-me-downs from closed businesses; the ceiling is falling apart; wiring for electrical equipment and computers is a mess; and clearly there is lack of storage.
The report room is where an officer will go to finish paperwork, reports and complaints. The police staff of the department consists of 60 full time officers. On a given shift there are usually six to 10 officers on duty. There are only two computer terminals in the report room for all the officers to complete their reports and paperwork. The report room formerly was a bathroom. The septic pipe is still connected into the drain. Many times the septic has backed up, caused strong sewage odor making the room unbearable for officers in which to work. The ceiling in this room has many holes and is falling apart. The electrical wiring is dangerous and has caused fires and outages and has resulted in damage and loss of computer equipment. There is no air conditioning. One officer had enough and spent his own money on an air conditioner for this room.
The electrical room is the “brain” of the department and serves a few computers at the town hall. The room is in deplorable condition. The electrical work is disorganized, and in much need of replacement. In one incident an electrician called in to do some work would not touch it without written consent from the town. The bill went from an estimate of about $1,000 to a $20,000 job because the electrician found problem after problem and the bill continued to rise.
The storage room used to be the lieutenant detective’s office. The station needed more room for storage so converted this room to be used for storage. It too has had electrical trouble, which appears to be unsolved. The photographer from Area News Group who took photos for this article caused the paper shredder to go on with every shot she took in this room, apparently from the flash of her camera. This room is in need of improvements, upgrades and more security.
The attic is a source of many problems. Due to many roof leaks, water seeps into the attic. There is a mold and fungus problem, which could pose a health risk to every employee in the building. This has caused the attic not to be used readily for storage. Some things are stored in the attic, but nothing of value.
The scheduling room is used for fleet maintenance. Officer Greg Pepper uses this office, also the size of a walk-in closet. There is a lack of storage and lack of space. This room is also the stuffiest and most unbearable in warm weather. With no windows for ventilation any time of year, Pepper also spent his own money on a free standing air conditioner which he ventilated through the ceiling so he could be comfortable enough to do his job. In the past this tiny room has been used as the station’s library, and the report room.
Salem Police’s Community Service Unit, which serves juveniles and elderly residents, shares one larger-sized office. The officers who work there are Juvenile Detective June Frechette, Juvenile Detective Eric Tine, Sergeant Eric Lamb, Traffic Safety Officer Basil Chingros, School Resource Officer of Salem High School Matt Norcross and the resource officer at Woodbury School, Dan Genest. The carpeting in the room is in deplorable and unsafe with several tears throughout. It has very old hand-me-down office furniture, lack of storage, a ceiling that is falling apart and electrical problems.
The department’s records department handles all paperwork. Many would think this is where a lot of storage may be since it is an office. No, it has no storage at all. The only storage it has is for files, not even a closet for office supplies. The carpet is in terrible shape. Officers made a spot in the hallway between the captains’ offices and records department for office supplies. Most of the women who work in this department store things under their desks, as they have no other place to put them.
Most would think the evidence room would be sufficient enough to serve its purpose. The fact is this room is too small, resulting in the department leasing trailers to store overflow evidence. More than 1,000 pieces of evidence are stored. There have been leaks in the roof resulting in water damage to this room and the property/evidence stored in it. The shelves and evidence materials are stacked to the ceiling. It is cramped and in need of upgrades, and it is where Evidence Officer Theresa Padvaiskas works. Every time it snows the roof absolutely must be shoveled or water will damage the room further.
The sally port is where officers and state police or other local agencies bring people arrested in Salem. There is only one port for a shift of six to 10 officers. The drain in the port does not work, resulting in standing water. During the winter meltdown, officers constantly sweep the water back outside to attempt to keep it neat, dry and to prevent ice from forming during cold months, a safety hazard to officers and detained persons.
The booking area where detained persons are brought for processing needs upgrades. It appears dingy, with poor lighting and an outdated computer system. When a person is brought in for processing the officer has to handwrite the detainee’s information, type it into one computer, take the photo, then type their information again for the fingerprinting part of the process, then the dispatchers need to type the same information into their computer, and when the officer gets to use the report room, they type in the same information again — five times they same information is entered. That is not working smarter. That is working harder.
The cells where detainees are held are not up to code of how a police station has to be designed today. Due to the station’s age, the department is an exception to the code, but it is a major risk for officer safety, as well as the safety of a detainee, who could be suicidal. The standard today states that two officers and one prisoner need to be able to stand side by side in the hallway of the detention cells. One person cannot extend a full arm in the holding cell. There have been several injuries to officers due to a prisoner being able to reach an officer through the bars. Accidents have been caused while an officer needs to access the cell immediately because of a prisoner’s mental status or to prevent detainee’s from injuring themselves.
The roll-call room is where a shift begins. Officers find out duties and what to be on the lookout for. This room consists of several folding tables, poor flooring and damaged ceiling that needs replacing.
The lunchroom is not used that often, due to its size and dinginess. Many officers will choose to eat their elsewhere. It needs upgrades as well.
The Detective Division is an added-on trailer paid for by confiscated drug money. It is the nicest part of the station, and is where most officers would like to work because the conditions are not deplorable. But the department does not know how long it will be able to keep the trailer simply because they do not own it.
Salem is a small town, but it has a lot of bigger city type of crime. Our officers and detectives handle drug cases, white-collar crimes, federal offenses, sexual assaults, physical assaults, motor vehicle accidents, death investigations, juvenile problems, missing persons reports and much more.
So thinking back to the beginning of the article regarding a parent of a missing child or a victim of an unknown crime, if that victim or parent of a missing child was you, your family member, or your friend or coworker, wouldn’t you like to be able to think that no matter how busy the station is, no matter how many other people are ahead of you, or no matter how unimportant or very important your reason for being in this police station is, that these officers will have a station that meets code, and a place to comfortably serve it’s citizens no matter what their need are?
Interview room furniture
In the roof, mildew everywhere
Flooding in the garage
Design standard requires that three people be able to fit down the hallway
to a cell block. This allows two officers to escort a prisoner.