This past year, the agency has been working diligently to accomplish the goals we set for FY18 and create new goals for FY19. Many of our previous and current initiatives are familiar and have been discussed in past annual reports as they are multi-year projects due to the complexity involved in their implementation.
In September, the Franklin Police Department joined the One Mind Campaign of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This campaign requires the department to adopt a policy on serving the mentally ill, establishing a formal relationship with a mental health service provider, training every officer in “mental health first aid” (8 hour training), and training 20% of the department in Crisis Intervention Team protocols (40 hour training). The campaign is designed to provide agencies with the training and tools necessary to better serve the mentally ill. The IACP provides three years to complete the 4 goals. The FPD anticipates completing the project by the end of 2019.
In January, 2018, the FPD in collaboration with the Medway Police Department applied for and was subsequently granted a Jail-Diversion grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Law enforcement based jail diversion programs seek to redirect individuals with behavioral health disorders from the criminal justice system into treatment when appropriate and safe to do so at the point prior to arrest. In addition these programs seek to enhance public safety by identifying strategies that can be safe and effective in handling acute situations in which police are called regarding a person who is in an emotional crisis. The grant will provide the hiring of a full-time (40 hours) mental health clinician who will work directly with patrol division personnel to evaluate and recommend alternatives to arrest during incidents. The agency looks forward to implementing this program in the fall of 2018. The FPD continues to pursue certification and eventual accreditation through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.
Accreditation/certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation, and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to citizens. Members of the Accreditation Team have been working very hard and I’m pleased to announce the FPD will achieve certification within the next 3-6 months.
Franklin had 48 overdose incidents reported in 2017, four of which were fatal. In 2016 there had been 58 overdose incidents reported with nine fatalities. In 2015 there were 42 overdose incidents reported with four fatalities. The FPD continues to collaborate with the SAFE Coalition and other partners in our efforts to provide those suffering from substance use disorders with resources, referrals, assistance and support in their efforts to get well.
Another major development we continue to prepare for is the department’s inclusion in a regional communications initiative known as the Metacomet Emergency Communications Center (MECC). The MECC will provide dispatch and other communications services to eight public safety agencies to include the police and fire departments of Franklin, Wrentham, Norfolk and Plainville. Needless to say, this will be a significant change in our current operations. We are working hard to prepare the department for this change and to ensure that service delivery and customer service are positively impacted by this initiative. The MECC is projected to open and begin providing services in the spring of 2019.
In December, 2016 the department created a Domestic Violence Coordinating Unit to provide follow-up and specialized services to victims of domestic violence and other family related issues in an effort to break the cycle of violence. The unit conducted 207 follow-ups during FY18 and I’m pleased to announce the feedback we have received from victims has been nothing but amazing.
The Franklin Police Department had four veteran officers retire in the past year.
In March of this year, Officer Brian Chandler retired after faithfully serving the town of Franklin for 22 years. Brian started with the department in 1996 and served with the Patrol Division throughout his career. Affectionately known as BING, after the character on the TV show FRIENDS, Brian was always known for his warm smile and good natured laugh around the station.
In July we said goodbye to Officer Robert Burchill. Officer Burchill started his career with the Franklin Police Department in 1985 as a police dispatcher, and was promoted to patrol officer in 1986 and attended the police academy. We thank him for his 33 years of dedicated service to the Town of Franklin.
Officer Paul Fiorio, Known to more people around Franklin as “Hoofy”, than any other name, has unconditionally served the Town for 34 years. A larger than life presence, and a heart as big as they come, Paul has touched the lives of so many in this community.
Most recently Detective Michael Kenney retired after 27 years of service to the Town. Detective Kenney started as the Parking Control Officer in 1991, started the police academy in 1992 which led to a career that allowed him to be a patrol officer, traffic enforcement officer and then Detective.
We wish all of these officers the very best, health, happiness and prosperity in their next chapter. We hope that they will stop in from time to time to let us know how they are doing. You are always welcome at the FPD!
If you have a question, concern or wish to speak to me, please do not hesitate to call my office at 508-440-2710. I encourage you to call and look forward to speaking with you.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Franklin, town officials, especially Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and members of the Town Council for their support of the FPD during this past year.
In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the tireless effort and dedication of the men and woman of the Franklin Police Department. Our employees are the only reason we are able to continually succeed in providing excellent and professional law enforcement and community related services to you. They are the embodiment of “doing more with less” and have been doing so for years. I’m very proud of the men and woman of the Franklin Police Department and I know you are also.
Thomas J. Lynch, Chief of Police
Chief Lynch also includes some tables with information on the department's operations that were not easily copied here. I recommend getting a print copy or viewing the PDF to continue reading the information there. (page 133 print copy, page 144 PDF copy)
You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online
The archive of prior year annual reports
|Franklin Police Department retirees were recognized at a Town Council meeting|