Newspaper

Dec 17, 2014

Anna Maria Hosts Sheriff’s Office Recruit Graduation

Anna Maria Hosts Sheriff’s Office Recruit Graduation
By Peter Jasinski

The sound comes as a steady thrum, the continuous one-two beat of feet marching in place. It grows louder when they emerge from the back of the auditorium, a group of 25 making their way to the stage.

They are soon to be the most recent graduates of the Worcester County Sheriff ’s Office’s Basic Recruit Training Academy. Their motto is “Ductus Exemplo,” leadership by example.

“You started as 28 individuals and you finished 25 strong,” said Captain Christopher Brothers of the sheriff ’s office to the officers attending the graduation ceremony held at Anna Maria College on Dec. 12. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and I want to congratulate you for that.”

The ceremony marked the end of a 12-week journey for all 25 of the area’s newest correctional officers. In a county where 6,200 individuals are processed through the correctional system, the criteria for becoming one of the responsible officers is strict. Training covers not only the expected, such as defensive tactics and first responder classes, but also tactical driving and methods of suicide prevention and awareness.

Time spent not exercising or studying was often devoted to community service. During their 12 weeks, the correctional officers-in-training assisted with the ninth Annual Sheriff ’s Food Drive and donated to the Planting the Seed Foundation Toy Drive. Upon learning that the son of one of their training staff had a condition known as Alopecia, the officers entered a 5K race last month in order to raise money for the National Alopecia Foundation.

“Yes, we want to keep bad people off the streets, but we also have an obligation to work with these inmates who want to change,” said Class President Carlos Cataquet.

The training was grueling enough for Officer Cataquet to look back on exercises spent in burning buildings and being pepper-sprayed in the face as fond experiences. Overall, he feels time spent was overwhelmingly positive.

“As time went on, our struggles made us more unified as a family,” he said.

This family is not one that contains itself only in and around Worcester, but throughout the entire county. Now, they will find themselves moving to the places their new occupation asks of them, with each graduate moving on to a position within the sheriff ’s office.

“With the hiring standards that we’ve implemented, we really have some of the best and brightest in law enforcement you could see today,” said Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis. “They were a phenomenal class. Everyone told me they were a very cohesive group that they stuck together closely and looked out for each other.”

Officer Joseph Armstrong was the recipient of the Lawrence P. Sullivan Fitness Award, with the Francis T. Foley Academic Award and Paul J. Westberg Class Banner Award going to Officers Joseph Hattabaugh and Matthew Coakley, respectively. Though only three awards were distributed, the class distinguished itself with an uncommonly high grade average of 89.3, a full point higher than the preceding class. The graduates also count four military veterans among them, with two members of the National Guard, one member of the Army, and one member of the Marine Corps.

“This job is not just walking the blocks. Remember, this is not ‘prison guards’ anymore, that’s an antiquated term,” said Sheriff Evangelidis. “These are correctional officers and they truly are trained to correct people, and that’s a challenging, hard job. I want them to know this is a new age and they’re representing a new wave.”

Dec 17, 2014

Sheriff’s Annual Drive Delivers 3,000 Winter Coats to Charities in Worcester County

Sheriff’s Annual Drive Delivers 3,000 Winter Coats to Charities in Worcester County

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Patrick Sargent, GoLocal Worcester Contributor

On Wednesday, Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis visited Leominster and Fitchburg charities to hand out winter coats. During his visit, Sheriff Evangelidis visited the Hope Center and Community Health Connections Center in Fitchburg and the Spanish American Center in Leominster. The Sheriff’s annual drive provided thousands new or lightly used jackets to area families.

 

“Sadly we have many families who struggle to pay their electric bills and heating bills and can not make ends meet, especially during the long winter months. The Sheriff’s Winter Coat Drive is a wonderful resource that we truly depend on each year to help keep our families warm.” said Spanish American Center Representative Nicolas Formaggia.

 

“We are extremely fortunate to have had Wachusett Mountain, Independent Cleaners and Twin City Cleaners as well as all of our wonderful community partners assist with this year’s coat drive by 
donating and dry cleaning thousands of winter jackets. This program would not be possible without their overwhelming generosity.” said Evangelidis.

 

In addition to the three Leominster and Fitchburg stops, the Sheriff delivered over 3,000 new and lightly used winter jackets to eleven charities throughout Worcester County including the Gardner 
CAC, Rutland Food Pantry, Tradewinds Clubhouse, Catholic Charities, Center of Hope of Southbridge, St. John’s Food Pantry of Worcester, Veteran’s Inc and the Human Services Food Pantry of 
Shrewsbury.

 

“The Sheriff’s Winter Coat Drive is to help ensure that local families who may be in need are provided with an adequate winter coat. With over 3,000 winter jackets collected during this year’s coat drive we were able to help even more families and children in need than in year’s past.” Evangelidis said .”As the cold weather months approach and especially during this difficult economic time, it is extremely important to do all we can to help those in our community who may be less fortunate.”

 

The Sheriff’s Annual Winter Coat Drive is a collaborative effort between the Sheriff, the Fitchburg Office of Community Corrections, the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association and many local businesses.

 

Dec 17, 2014

Coat Drive Helps Those in Need During Cold Winter

Coat Drive Helps Those in Need During Cold Winter

By Kimberly Petalas

12/11/2014

Cynthia Katinas, Brian Stidsen, Paula Stidsen, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, Father Michael Broderick from St. Patrick Church and Pastor David Fish from the First Congregational Church of Rutland

helped sort through the coats, boots and other items that were donated through the coat drive, recently.

 

RUTLAND – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis recently dropped off coats at 11 locations throughout the area, including St. Patrick Church in Rutland.

 

“We are distributing over 3,000 coats this year,” the sheriff said. “Wachusett Mountainkicked us off with more than 1,000 coats.”

 

Donation boxes were set up around the county, collecting coats to be distributed to those who may not be able to afford them. According to the sheriff ’s office, one of the largest donors in the Wachusett area was Oriol Health Care.

 

“Each year it just gets bigger and bigger,” said Evangelidis. “We try to find where the need is and meet it, but as you can imagine, the is a lot of need and never enough coats to meet it.”

 

This is the second year the sheriff has dropped hundreds of coats off at St. Patrick Church. According to volunteers at the Church, coats will be distributed on Dec. 13, 9 a.m. until noon.

 

The coat drive kicked off on Oct. 15 this year at Wachusett Mountain. This was the sheriff ’s fourth year running the drive and he said was impressed with how many new organizations came forward to help.

 

“So many organizations asked if they could be a drop off location this year,” he said. “Planet Fitness in Leominster and the Community Health Connections both really stepped forward and collected so many coats for the drive.”

 

In addition to Rutland, coats were also dropped off in GardnerFitchburgLeominsterSouthbridgeWorcester and Shrewsbury. Each location received various amounts of the coats to distribute, based on need, and will give them away in the next few weeks.

 

Dec 17, 2014

Sheriff’s Office Distributes Over 3,000 Winter Coats

Sheriff’s Office Distributes Over 3,000 Winter Coats

By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

 

Alyssa Thibeault, Ellen Savickas and Andrew Abdella from the sheriff’s office; St. Anne’s volunteers Evelyn Jenkins and Elaine LeBlanc; Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis; and Joe Capone, executive director of the Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association  Photo/Valerie Franchi

 Alyssa Thibeault, Ellen Savickas and Andrew Abdella from the sheriff’s office;

 St. Anne’s volunteers Evelyn Jenkins and Elaine LeBlanc;

 Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis; and Joe Capone, executive director of the Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association

 

 

 Shrewsbury – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis delivered more than 3,000 winter coats to 11 community organizations throughout the county Dec. 3 and 5, as part of the fourth  annual Winter Coat Drive. The last stop was at St. Anne’s Church in Shrewsbury.

 “This is a great program,” Evangelidis said. “It is amazing to see the need. One woman getting coats for her kids said they needed them not just for outside, but inside the house. People are  cold.”

Other stops on the campaign included Veterans Inc., and St. John’s Food Pantry in Worcester.

The program is organized through the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association, the charity arm of the sheriff’s office.

Coats are collected year-round at the sheriff’s office, 240 Main St., Worcester.