By Seth Daniel
Police Chief Steve Mazzie said this week that the Department has nearly completed its first phase of adding at least 10 new recruits in anticipation of the Wynn Boston Harbor resort – and are already getting ready to meet next fiscal year’s goal of 10 more recruits.
“We are pretty close to rounding out our first 10,” he said. “I think it will actually be more like 11 and we’re already restarting the process for the next fiscal year. We’re already started the background checks for June. We’re getting ready now for the next wave of recruits in the next fiscal year because the process is so extensive. We’re trying to get ahead of it and get them lined up.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he is committed to providing the resources to carry out the plan for bumping up the contingent.
“One of the reasons that Everett has been named one of the top ten places to live in Massachusetts is because we have invested in public safety,” said the mayor. “The result is our overall crime rate continues to drop year after year. We have committed even more resources this year by bringing in 11 new officers, representing a significant growth in the department. We recently hired two new officers, in two weeks five more will be hitting the streets and by this summer four more will be hired…I am committed to providing them with all the resources they need to do their jobs.”
The breakdown of new officers includes several now in the academies.
Already, a lateral transfer from Revere and a lateral transfer from Chelsea are patrolling the streets.
There are currently five recruits in the Reading Police Academy who will graduate on Feb. 16.
Mazzie said after an eight-week officer training period, they will be fully ready to patrol.
Meanwhile, one police recruit started in the State Police Academy in mid-January and should be graduating in June.
Another three, perhaps four, officers are ready to begin the next class in the Reading Police Academy in March.
That would give the City 11, maybe 12, new officers ready on or about the first fiscal year of the effort to increase the contingent, which will be at 108 once all of the above officers finish training.
Mazzie said they have already notified area academies that they will need spots in the next fiscal year for even more officers.
However, Mazzie said there is a lot that happens before any training can take place. Officers from the Everett Department have to call for a Civil Service list, they have to investigate the background of those up to be hired and also perform physical and mental testing. If everything is cleared, only then can recruits head off to an academy.
“A lot of people don’t understand the time it takes to get an officer ready to go to the academy and to get on the streets,” he said.
The plan starting in June is to ship off even more officers to the academy, with a goal of adding 10 more to the total contingent by June 30, 2018.
Mazzie said once the contingent is bumped up and the Wynn casino opens, they plan to develop a separate patrol area for the Lower Broadway neighborhood.
“We’re looking to create a separate district in the Lower Broadway Area,” he said, noting that there would be a rotating group of officers that would serve in the new district.
“We would like to have a certain contingent of officers dedicated to that area,” he continued. “Geographically, the rotary separates it and makes it like its own area and it is separate…That’s what we’re working towards – that kind of complement.”
Two years ago, Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Chief Mazzie began studying what kind of policing might be necessary with the coming Wynn casino, as well as with an expected natural increase in population. Using those projected numbers and a study of other urban casinos – in conjunction with the Collins Center at UMass-Boston – they City was able to come up with the numbers of officers they needed and the 10-officer per year plan.
Those numbers were also compared to the numbers of existing police officers that were ready to retire, as they had to hire not only to be ready for the coming casino and population boom, but also to hire in a way to make up for officer lost to retirement.
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