Apr 28, 2016
I would like to thank Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and his team for the outstanding event, “Shelter Me: Partners for Life,” a celebration of shelter animals at the Hanover Theatre on October 20. Sheriff Lew and his team took a chance on a shelter dog named Nikita from the Sterling Animal Shelter and trained him to be an amazing and competent K-9 drug detection dog. Nikita’s story is featured in the PBS Series “Shelter Me,” an inspiring series that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories.
Currently, there are thousands of shelter animals across the United States waiting for their forever homes. Thank you to Sheriff Lew, Lt. Thomas Chabot and their team for helping in efforts to change the world for shelter pets by adopting Nikita, and sharing their story.
All the proceeds of the “Shelter Me: Partners for Life” event are going to our local animal shelters.
Laurie J. Drazek
Social Worker/Animal Shelter/Rescue Volunteer
Apr 28, 2016
By Megan Baynes
Officers Frank Crosby of Holden, and Robert Noonan Jr of Webster have been recognized for their brave actions at the scene of a fiery crash that took place in July 2014.
They have received the Medal of Valor Award from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. This is awarded to any correctional employee who demonstrates actions above and beyond the call of duty, disregarding the potential for danger to themselves.
Crosby is a 25 year veteran and Noonan a 14 year veteran with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
On July 14, 2014 Officer Crosby and Officer Noonan, while transporting three inmates to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, observed a vehicle rollover on the median strip of interstate 495. In response, the officers immediately activated the emergency lights, stopped the transportation van to clear the left lane for emergency responders and contacted 911.
Officer Noonan than ran to the vehicle and observed the operator was inextricably trapped and that fire had broken out. With the vehicle fully engulfed, Officer Noonan retrieved fire extinguishers and water bottles from Officer Crosby as well as concerned bystanders which then brought the fire under control.
Unfortunately, the vehicle operator died from his injuries sustained during the accident. However, no additional injuries were incurred that day due to the rapid response of Officers Crosby and Noonan to control the scene.
“The actions taken by Officers Frank Crosby & Robert Noonan on the day of July 14, 2014 are nothing short of heroic and embody the spirit of the Medal of Valor awards they received,” Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis said. “It takes an incredible amount of courage to run towards that sort of fiery scene.”
“This truly is an example of correctional officers going above and beyond the call of duty,” he continued. “They represent a true officer and we are all very proud of what they did.”
Apr 28, 2016
By Samantha Allen
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Former Worcester County Sheriff John M. “Mike” Flynn died of natural causes Friday morning.
Mr. Flynn, 89, of Charlton, served as the county sheriff for 18 years. He left office in 2005 after losing the 2004 Democratic primary to then state Sen. Guy W. Glodis.
Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis said Mr. Flynn was the kindest elected official he knew.
“There are so many individuals he helped over the years. Anyone who was going through a difficult time or down on their luck always knew they could count on Sheriff Flynn,” Mr. Evangelidis said. “He will surely be remembered for his kind heart and generous spirit.”
Mr. Flynn was a World War II U.S. Army veteran who fought in the Pacific with the 75th Infantry Division. He joined the Fitchburg Police Department in 1953, where he served for a decade. He then took a job as a deputy master at the Worcester County jail in 1962, a career path that would bring him to the sheriff’s seat in 1986. He was re-elected twice.
Later in life, Mr. Flynn was involved in numerous charities, the sheriff’s office said, including the Mercy Centre and Dismas House. He also launched the sheriff’s annual senior picnic.
Former Worcester Mayor Jordan Levy worked with Mr. Flynn for many years. He said Mr. Flynn, even in his later years worried about what role government could play in offering assistance to the mentally ill and people with disabilities.
“He was not only a great sheriff but a great human being,” Mr. Levy said. “We shared conversations about … what government could do in a better way for society. He was kind of like the great American icon. He was really a character. … He was this big, big man, … (but) he had a softness as a really gentle person.”
Former Worcester County Treasurer Michael J. Donoghue recalled how Mr. Flynn oversaw a jail that grew from a few hundred inmates to more than 1,000.
“He had to deal with issues of overcrowding, a mandated reduction,” he said. “It was a pressure job, and he handled it unbelievably. He always kept in mind that he wanted to keep the public safe and correction officers safe.”
Mr. Glodis referred to his predecessor as “an institutional icon” who embodied “the best of the Greatest Generation.”
“Following in his footsteps, it really became clear to me how much he gave to other people. He was a prolific giver,” Mr. Glodis said. “He helped so many people from so many different issues, not just from rehabilitation, but with autism and those people that were disabled.”
In a statement, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern said he and his wife were saddened to hear of Mr. Flynn’s death.
“He was a larger than life personality – with an even bigger heart,” the Democratic congressman wrote. “His devotion to public service and the common good is an example to us all. We loved him a lot and our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
Jan 8, 2016
By LEOMINSTER CHAMPION
Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis welcomed 12 new correction officers to the Worcester County
Sheriff ’s Office during a graduation ceremony on June 5 at Anna Maria College.
Leominster Resident Officer Jonathan Baldwin, who was the recipient of the Francis T. Foley Academic Award for the highest class average, as well as the Lawrence P. Sullivan Physical Fitness Award, was part of the 43rd graduating class of the Worcester County Sheriff ’s Office Basic Recruit Training Academy. The group, which also included five military servicemen, was the eighth class to graduate under Evangelidis’ increased hiring standards, which he introduced shortly after taking office.
Since taking office, Evangelidis has made significant changes to the hiring standards in order to professionalize the department. All correctional officer applicants must have, at minimum, an associate’s degree or at least two years of military service. They must also take and pass a written exam, physical fitness test, background check and psychological screening test. Evangelidis has also implemented a policy that prohibits the acceptance of letters of recommendation from politicians, while United States military applicants are given priority status in the hiring process.
“Our new officers have met the highest hiring standards in corrections today and have completed the finest training academy in Massachusetts,” Evangelidis said. “With over 6,200 inmates going through the jail doors each year, we look for the best individuals we can find to make our community a safer place and to ensure the public safety of our citizens. Corrections is a hard job with significant challenges. Our success, although difficult to quantify, will be measured by the crimes that are never committed.”
During the 12-week academy recruits are taught to handle the daily challenges of safely keeping the care, custody, and control of inmates incarcerated at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction. Classroom topics include legal issues, mental health in a correctional setting, staff/inmate interaction, security/emergency procedures, interpersonal communication skills and use of force regulations.
In addition, instructors use hands-on training to teach defensive tactics, fire safety, use of restraint, searches, driver training, weapons qualification and physical fitness is held daily. Students are also quizzed on policy weekly and recruits must maintain an academic average of at least 70 percent in order to graduate.
Also during the academy, the recruits performed community service serving breakfast at St. John’s Food for the Poor Program in Worcester, as well as running as a unit in the Third Annual On Guard Initiative 5K, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention among correction officers.
“All 12 of you graduating here today should be very proud, as you have demonstrated hard work and dedication over the past 12 weeks in overcoming the challenges presented,” Evangelidis said. “I look forward to working with each and everyone of you.”