RANDOLPH — Police Chief William Pace is pleased to announce that the Randolph/Holbrook Pop Warner Cheerleaders are holding a “Back the Blue” rally this coming weekend.
Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m.
The Randolph Intergenerational Community Center, 128 Pleasant St., Randolph.
As part of the rally, cheerleaders will be showing off special cheers for law enforcement officers and sharing information on supporting local police.
This is the first time that the cheerleaders, who are a staple at football games in town, will be holding this type rally. It is being coordinated by the team’s head coach, Jenn Abramson.
“We are grateful for the support of the cheerleaders and encourage residents to attend the rally on Saturday,” Det. Kevin Gilbert said. “It will be a terrific opportunity for the community to meet us and learn more about what we do.”
The cheerleaders will also be supporting breast cancer awareness at this event.
The rally is free to attend.
The Randolph/Holbrook Pop Warner Cheerleaders recently qualified for a national tournament at Walt Disney World in Florida, and donations can be made at the rally to help fund the trip.
Members of the Randolph Police Department will also be on site to meet with members of the community. The rally comes after the RPD participated in the Pink Patch Project, where officers wore pink patches during the month of October to raise awareness as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This was the third year in a row Randolph police wore pink patches as part of the project.
RANDOLPH – Police Chief William Pace and Fire Chief Richard Donovan would like to offer residents some important safety tips as Halloween approaches to ensure everyone celebrates safely and responsibly.
“As always, we want our residents to be able to safely enjoy their Halloween activities,” said Police Chief Pace. “We strongly recommend for those dressing up to consider adding visibility gear to their costumes so that drivers will have an easier time seeing them after dark.”
The Randolph Police and Fire Departments recommend that residents follow safety tips outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls. Consider adding reflective tape to kids’ costumes and bags to help drivers see them.
If temperatures are cold during trick-or-treating time, be sure to have your kids wear long sleeves and warm clothing under their costume.
If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly. Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as a safer alternative to masks. Always test make-up in a small area of skin first and always remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
When shopping for costume pieces, look for and purchase ones that are labeled as flame retardant.
Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he or she stumbles or trips.
Children under 12 should always be accompanied by an adult. Avoid trick-or-treating alone.
If your older children are going out without parental supervision, go over ground rules first and set a curfew. Have them travel in a group, with a cell phone and flashlight. Make sure children know how to call 911 if they have an emergency.
Pedestrian injuries are very common on Halloween. Remind kids to stay in a group. They should walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Crosswalks should be used whenever possible and children should always look both ways before crossing the street.
Only go to homes with a porch light on. Never go into a home or car for a treat.
Examine all of your kids’ treats for choking hazards and tampering. Do not eat treats that have been opened, even partially. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Keeping Your Home Safe for Trick-or-Treaters
Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your front door.
Keep all decorations like cornstalks and hay away from heat sources and lit candles.
Use battery-operated tea lights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns.
Remember to put matches and lighters away in a high, locked cabinet so children cannot access them or be tempted to relight jack-o-lanterns by themselves.
“Our main concern on Halloween night is to ensure the safety of those who partake in Halloween activities,” said Fire Chief Donovan. “We request that residents keep their homes safe for trick-or-treaters by providing a clear and visible path from your porch to the sidewalks.”
As always, any suspicious person or vehicle should immediately be reported to Randolph Police by dialing 911.
RANDOLPH — The Randolph Police Patrolmen’s Union Local 18 and the Randolph Police Association are pleased to announce that their second annual Charity Golf Tournament raised more than $8,000 last month.
The tournament was held on Sept. 15 at Easton Country Club, and had over 50 players.
Proceeds from the tournament will help fund various programs put on by the Randolph Police Association over the course of the next year.
In the past two years, the tournament has raised over $18,000 to benefit important community programs and events sponsored by the Randolph Police Association.
As part of the tournament, the foursome with the lowest score was presented with a trophy at the conclusion of the day. In addition, a closest to the pin challenge was featured on a par three hole, and a hole-in-one, putting contest and longest drive challenge was held on par five holes.
After a long day of golfing the players were treated to a dinner, catered by the staff at Easton Country Club.
Several raffle items and silent auctions were also available for bidding throughout the day.
More than 30 individuals and businesses from the community came together to support the tournament through either sponsorships or donation of raffle items.
“The support for this tournament has been tremendous over the past two years,” said Officer Kevin Gilbert, who helped to organize the event. “We look forward to continuing to sponsor our great community programs and on behalf of myself, Officer Matthew Rodman and everyone else at the Randolph Police Department, we greatly appreciate all of the support from those played and donated.”
“Thank you to all of volunteers who came out the day of the event,” Officer Rodman added. “Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.”
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace reports that the Randolph Police Department is investigating after a suspicious man in a van allegedly approached school children and offered them candy. The department is asking the parents of any child who saw the suspicious van to come forward.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 at approximately 3:30 p.m., Randolph Police officers received a report of a suspicious brown van that had stopped on South Man Street near Sam’s Gas & Auto Repair. The driver stopped in traffic and allegedly held out his arm with two lollipops in his hand, offering them to a group of children nearby.
The citizen who reported the incident yelled to the children not to take the candy, and the driver left the area. The children also left the area.
The reporting party provided a complete license plate number to police and officers were able to identify, locate and question the driver, however the investigation remains on going.
Chief Pace is asking the parents of any school-age children who may have been approached by this suspicious driver to please come forward and contact the Randolph Police Department. The reporting party indicated that the child she saw approached by the van driver was between 7-9 years old.
“We are actively investigating this incident to determined exactly what transpired,” Chief Pace said. “We are asking parents to please have a discussion with your children, and please come forward if your child saw or heard anything or was approached by this suspicious driver.”
The National Crime Prevention Council recommends several tips on talking to children about strangers:
Explain to your child that a stranger is anyone who your family doesn’t know well. It is common for children to think that “bad strangers” look scary, which is not only untrue, but dangerous for children to think this way. Tell your child that no one can tell if strangers are nice or not nice just by looking at them, and they should be careful around all people they don’t know.
Don’t make it seem like all strangers are bad. Teach your child about safe strangers and adults they can trust — police officers, firefighters, teachers, principals and librarians. Also show your child places they can go if they need help, such as local stores, restaurants and the homes of family friends in your neighborhood.
Teach your child to be wary of potentially dangerous situations and the warning signs of suspicious behavior, like when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without their permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.
Talk to your children about how they should handle potentially dangerous situations. You can use the “No, Go, Yell, Tell,” saying, which teaches children to say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away if they feel threatened by a stranger.
In addition to teaching children how to recognize and handle dangerous situations and strangers, there are other things that parents can do to help their children stay safe:
Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children both your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away and tell another adult what happened. Reassure your child that you will always help them when they need it.
Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
Encourage your children to play with others. There is safety in numbers.
For more resources and information about talking to your children about strangers, visit the National Crime Prevention Council website.
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace is pleased to report that three Randolph Police officers were sworn in today after graduating from the police academy last week.
Officers Vincent Burton, Joao Santos and Vincent Saengsombat were sworn in at a ceremony today at Randolph Town Hall by Interim Town Clerk Cheryl Sass.
The three officers graduated from the Cambridge Police/Northeastern University police academy on Friday, Sept. 20. The three officers, who were among 28 graduates, represented the inaugural graduating class for the Cambridge Police/Northeastern University police academy.
“We are glad to be adding these three officers to our ranks and I congratulate each of them for successfully graduating from the academy,” Chief Pace said. “I would also like to specifically congratulate Officer Santos, who was the academy graduate with the highest academic ranking.”
All three officers are Randolph residents.
Officer Burton holds bachelors degree from Stonehill College in criminology and has previously worked as a Randolph Police dispatcher.
Officer Santos was a Randolph Auxiliary Officer for four years and was a Bristol County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Officer for five years. Officer Santos received the police academy award for highest academic ranking.
Officer Saengsombat is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served as a field specialist. He also has a background working in the security field.
“Congratulations to our town’s newest police officers,” Town Manager Brian Howard said. “I wish for them to have safe and long careers as they take this next step in their respective journeys.”
Joanne Batson Gave Officer Stephen Morse her 8-Year Sobriety Medallion Today
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace announces that veteran Randolph Police Officer Stephen Morse had a surprise encounter today with a woman he helped eight years ago who was in the throes of addiction.
Joanne Batson credits Officer Morse with helping her turn her life around from being addicted to alcohol and opioids. On Wednesday, she personally thanked Officer Morse by giving him the eight-year sobriety medallion she recently received.
In November 2010, Randolph Police were called to a local pharmacy for a well-being check about a woman who appeared to be intoxicated inside the store with her young daughter.
Upon arrival, Officer Morse spoke to Joanne Batson who was drunk standing in line at the store. Once they stepped outside to talk, Officer Morse asked Batson if she had someone who was sober who could help take care of her daughter.
Batson called her aunt and Officer Morse gave her and her then-2-year-old daughter a ride to her aunt’s house in Randolph.
On the way there, Officer Morse spoke to Batson about needing to be there for her daughter and how important it was for her to make changes in her life.
Officer Morse dropped the mother and daughter off at the relative’s home and made sure they were both safe.
Even though as a mandated reporter, Officer Morse was required to file a 51A with the Department of Children and Families later that evening, eight years later Joanne credits the encounter she had with Officer Morse and her decision to seek treatment shortly thereafter with changing her life and allowing her today to be a mother to her children.
“I was in a really bad place. I was close to losing custody of my daughter,” said Batson, age 35, of Randolph. “His gesture of kindness and his compassion towards me really changed my life and it set me on the path toward pursuing treatment. I did long-term treatment for seven months and I’ve been clean ever since. He chose not to arrest me and took me to my aunt’s house with my daughter. He spoke to me a lot on the ride there and he was just being kind and not being mean to me and saying how much my daughter needed me and if I kept going the way I was going I wasn’t going to be around for her.”
According to Batson, after years of pondering it, on Wednesday, she finally gathered the courage to seek out and re-introduce herself to Officer Morse for the first time since that day in 2010. A call was made to the Randolph Police station to have Officer Morse come to the Randolph Intergenerational Community Center. Batson works there as a Member Experience Coordinator.
When they met, they spoke and hugged and Batson gave Officer Morse her eight-year sobriety medallion.
“It was something I thought of doing probably since I celebrated my first year of sobriety,” Batson said. “Each year I wanted to do it, but I haven’t had the guts to do it. But it was something that I really wanted him to know. Police officers deal with a lot of flak, especially these days, and I wanted him to know that he changed this one person’s life. He gave my daughter the mother she deserves and I can’t say how grateful I am for him and the kindness he showed me.”
Now, Batson’s daughter is 10, and she also has a 7-year-old son. She has worked for the Community Center for the past two years.
“It’s going really great. I work with a lot of the youth at the Community Center and I get to share my story with them so that they don’t end up where I was,” Batson said.
For Officer Morse, a 25-year veteran of the department, being able to see Batson again was one of the highlights of his career.
“Anytime you get to meet someone you’ve helped over the years is really a special experience,” Officer Morse said. “It was quite a surprise to see her after all this time and I’m very glad she was able to achieve sobriety and is doing well with her daughter and son.”
Chief Pace commended Officer Morse for his compassion.
“As police officers it’s not everyday that someone takes the time to say ‘thank you’ and we don’t expect any thanks,” Chief Pace said. “But when I heard about Ms. Batson thanking Officer Morse, it’s one of the many things that makes you enjoy getting up and go to work in the morning.”
Town Manager Brian Howard echoed Chief Pace’s sentiments saying, “What a great role model Officer Morse is. He did his job and he did it with compassion. It’s also fantastic to see where Ms. Batson is today and that she is helping people through her job at the Community Center. I am glad that they got to connect after all these years.”
Batson says she wants to continue to pay it forward by helping people who may be in a similar situation she was in eight years ago.
“If I can get sober anybody can,” she said. “I was in a really bad way for a really long time. There’s always hope and it’s never too late. If anyone is struggling and they need someone to talk to they can always reach out and talk to me or come by the Community Center and I would be glad to talk. And I owe Officer Morse for my ability to do that.”
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace reports that the Randolph Police Department has charged a man who allegedly fled from officers and led them on a pursuit early Tuesday morning.
A man, tentatively identified as MANUEL VIDAL, AGE 45, OF BRENTWOOD, NEW YORK, was charged with:
Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Crash with Property Damage
The man’s identity remains a part of the active investigation. He will likely be facing further charges from Randolph Police and other communities where he is alleged to have led officers on separate chases overnight.
At 1:48 a.m. today, a Randolph Police officer was on North Main Street when he observed the driver of a black 2020 Toyota Corolla run through a red light at Crawford Square onto South Main Street (Route 28). The driver, later identified as VIDAL, drove up onto the sidewalk and continued down South Main Street. The vehicle did not have a rear license plate.
The officer attempted to pull VIDAL over, but he continued down the road toward Avon swerving across the road. The officer notified Avon Police that the vehicle was heading into their town travelling at speeds of around 30-40 miles per hour.
Once in Avon, there were now four cruisers behind VIDAL, all with their lights on and sirens sounding. VIDAL showed no signs of being aware of the police presence around him and did not stop or slow down.
With the road clear ahead of them, the Randolph Police officer that initiated the pursuit drove in front of VIDAL’S vehicle while driving down West Main Street in Avon. The officer slowed down in front of VIDAL as they approached Harrison Boulevard in an attempt to get him to stop before the intersection.
The officer was able to get VIDAL to stop his vehicle prior to the intersection and as officers approached his vehicle on foot, he sped off, striking the Randolph Police cruiser in front of him. The vehicle sustained minor damage and the officer was uninjured.
VIDAL fled at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour into Brockton down North Main Street. The officers followed VIDAL from a safe distance as he drove through Brockton and eventually into West Bridgewater.
Concerned for the safety of the public, Randolph Police terminated the pursuit in West Bridgewater and notified area law enforcement agencies about the incident and provided a description of the vehicle.
Approximately one hour later, after allegedly leading officers on subsequent pursuits through Easton, Brockton, East Bridgewater and West Bridgewater, VIDAL was stopped in the area of 740 North Main St. in West Bridgewater where he was taken into custody and transported to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton.
The incident remains under investigation by Randolph Police and other departments. VIDAL will be issued a summons to appear in court for the charges he faces out of Randolph.
VIDAL has a history with police, including a history of fleeing from police in other states.
These are allegations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace is pleased to announce that the Randolph Police Department and Randolph Police Patrolmen’s Union Local 18 donated over $3,000 to two local autism charities on Friday, Aug. 23.
Beginning in April, the Randolph Police Department sold autism awareness patches in order to raise money for the New England chapter of Autism Speaks and the May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Randolph.
In total, 312 patches were sold, raising $3,120. Of that money, $2,620 was donated on Friday to the May Center, 41 Pacella Park Drive, in a presentation at the school. The ceremony also included a visit from Massachusetts State Senator Walter Timilty. The remaining $500 was sent in a check to Autism Speaks.
“We were thrilled to be able to donate to these worthwhile endeavors and it was really great to see the smiling faces of the children at the May Center,” Chief Pace said. “Every little bit helps when it comes to improving the lives of those with autism and I am proud of our officers and everyone who contributed to the cause.”
The initiative was spearheaded by Randolph Police Officers Kevin Gilbert and Matt Rodman. The project was sponsored by the Randolph Police Patrolmen’s Union Local 18, which used funds raised during their first annual golf tournament last year to purchase the autism awareness patches.
“We want to thank everyone who bought the patches and helped to raise money for these great organizations,” Officer Gilbert said.
Randolph Police Donates Refurbished Trailer to High School Blue Devils Marching Band
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace is pleased to announce that the Randolph Police Department recently donated a refurbished police equipment transport trailer to the Randolph High School Blue Devils Marching Band.
The trailer, previously used to transport police equipment, was no longer being used by the department. With the help of the Randolph Department of Public Works and two local businesses, the trailer was restored inside and out and donated to the band. The trailer was donated and refurbished earlier this summer and was put in use by the band this week.
On Thursday, the marching band brought the trailer to the police department and town hall and performed part of their new 2019 field show for Chief Pace, Town Manager Brian Howard and a representative from public works to show their appreciation for the donation.
“We’re happy to be able to support the Blue Devils Marching Band and hope this trailer will serve them well for years to come,” Chief Pace said. “Projects like this are excellent representations of the community policing initiatives our department is proud to take on.”
The trailer will be used by the band to transport equipment to area field show competitions. For several weekends each fall, the Blue Devils Marching Band, under the direction of Adam Shekleton, participates in competitions at other area high schools as part of the New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA).
Each weekend during the field show season, the band transports equipment and props for approximately 70 students. Before the Randolph Police Department’s trailer donation, the band would rent a truck every weekend through the music booster program to transport its equipment.
“We’re thankful to Chief Pace and the Randolph Police Department for thinking of us with this donation,” Shekleton said. “It’s great to have a trailer of our own so we can more effectively transport our equipment from competition to competition.”
Chief Pace would like to thank the Randolph Department of Public Works, L&W Auto Body in Randolph and Mark’s Signs Plus in Randolph for their work restoring, painting and adding decals to the trailer.
“The donated and refurbished trailer is another example of the positive collaboration between the Randolph Police Department, the Randolph Public Schools, DPW and local businesses,” said Town Manager Brian Howard. “We’re so pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to see it on the road.”