Pittsfield was well represented last week at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference.  This year’s conference was once again held virtually because of the pandemic.

In a post to the Pittsfield Police Department Facebook page, Police Chief Michael Wynn mentioned his disappointment the conference had to be held virtually instead of in-person, originally scheduled to be held in New Orleans.  Chief Wynn was looking forward to highlighting the innovative programs in place in Pittsfield through a produced video showcasing the PPD.

A video presentation put together for the conference was posted on the Pittsfield Police Department and City Hall Facebook pages after being debuted by Mayor Tyer on a weekly public affairs program.  The video highlights Chief Wynn talking about the importance of building strong community relationships with residents, community organizations, and faith groups.

The PPD's initiatives highlighted in the video; "Park and Walk" which gets officers out of the cruiser and out on the street where it is much easier for one-on-one personal contact with residents.  Bicycle patrols and the "D.A.R.E." program were also highlighted by Officer Shaun Gariepy.

Pittsfield Police Lieutenants Michael Maddalena and Thomas Dawley praised Officer Darren Derby and his work with "Operation Copsicle", a department ice cream truck that goes out into the community giving out free ice cream and popsicles. The ice cream truck features the words ‘You Have the Right to Remain Frozen” on the back of the vehicle.

"Coffee with a Cop", the “On Patrol" with the PPD” on public access radio WTBR are two other important initiatives by the Department.  Mental health programs were also discussed by Lieutenant Dawley and Clinician Co-Responders Tess Adams and Ariel Ramirez addressing how important the distinction is between identifying someone that commits a crime and someone that is struggling with mental health issues and the steps needed to get them the proper help and guidance, they need.

Also highlighted in the 5:51 minute-long video was Izinna Lytle, the department's first African American female in the Pittsfield Police Department.  Officer Lytle said that “growing up I never saw a police officer that looked like me and that was one of my biggest reasons for becoming an officer here.”  Continuing “the minority youth needed more people they can look at and see themselves in them.”

Congratulations to Chief Wynn and the entire Pittsfield Police Department for their continued efforts in building a bond with the residents they put their lives on the line every day to protect.

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