Newspaper

Oct 8, 2015

Sheriff Evangelidis Announces National Accreditation

June 16, 2015

Auburn Mass Daily

Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis and Worcester County Sheriff's Office Superintendent David Tuttle along with WCSO employees Kathy Shultz & Dominic Barbara receiving their certificate of accreditation from American Correctional Association (ACA) Officials recently in Columbus, Ohio (Submitted photo)

Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Superintendent David Tuttle along with WCSO employees Kathy Shultz & Dominic Barbara receiving their certificate of accreditation from American Correctional Association (ACA) Officials recently in Columbus, Ohio

 

West Boylston– Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis recently announced the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has successfully completed all the requirements for Re-Accreditation from the nationally recognized American Correctional Association (ACA). Earning a compliance rating of 99.3%, it is the highest accreditation score ever received by the Worcester County Sheriff ‘s Office. The American Correctional Association founded in 1870, is the oldest and largest correctional association in the world. Their mission is to provide professional organization to departments that share their goal of improving the justice system.

In order to meet the criteria for this award, the department had to be in compliance with 384 stringent standards evaluated through a series of reviews, evaluations, an extensive audit and a formal presentation to the ACA panel. The required standards focus on issues ranging from inmate safety, discipline, health care, education, fiscal efficiency, program development, officer training, and facility administration. Agencies that are accredited must be re-accredited every three years to maintain their status.

Sheriff Evangelidis said, “There is no requirement the WCSO complete the rigorous and challenging process of maintaining National Accreditation, but it is important for our entire staff to demonstrate to the residents of Worcester County that we are committed to professionalism by adhering to the highest industry standards. It is a tribute to our hardworking staff that we excelled in our ACA re-accreditation, considered by many throughout the country as the highest standard of excellence in corrections.”

As the last requirement to complete the re-accreditation process, the Sheriff’s Department presented before the national board in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday May 30th. “ The feedback during our presentation was excellent, they were very impressed with our operating procedures especially in light of the numerous facility challenges
that are inherent in operating the oldest county correctional facility in Massachusetts,” said Superintendent David Tuttle.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was originally accredited in 2008. After taking office in 2011, Evangelidis made successful re-accreditation a top priority. In 2008, the WCSO was given a compliance rating of 96.3% and improved to a 96.8% during the 2012 audit. The most recent 2015 ACA accreditation score of 99.3%, is the highest rating ever received by the correctional facility.

“When I took office I made a commitment to increase professionalism at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department including adhering to the highest industry standards, successful reaccreditation is imperative to reaching our goals” said the Sheriff.

The American Correctional Association has been accrediting public safety agencies since 1978. According to the ACA, benefits of accreditation include: improved staff training, defense against lawsuits, increased safety of staff and offenders, assessment of program strengths and weaknesses, reduced insurance liability costs, and increased staff professionalism and moral.

Oct 8, 2015

Inmates Erasing Gardner Graffiti

Part of sheriff’s office program

Katie Landeck

Gardner News

GARDNER  Blasting the wall behind the Parker Street GFA Federal Credit Union with crushed walnut shells, it took the Worcester County Sheriff’s anti-graffiti team an hour to remove a graffiti tag that’s long been an eyesore.

News staff photo by Katie Landeck Deputy Sheriff Daniel Joslyn uses a machine to erase a graffiti tag behind GFA on Parker Street in Gardner on Wednesday. It took about five minutes to erase the mark, leaving behind an empty patch of wall to be painted over.

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Joslyn uses a machine to erase a graffiti tag behind GFA on Parker Street inGardner on Wednesday. It took about five minutes to erase the mark, leaving behind an empty patch of wall to be painted over.

“With resources stretched thin, people don’t have the resources to deal with graffiti,” explained Sheriff Lew Evangeli­dis. “This is a service we can provide free of charge.”

Last month, Mr. Evangelidis unveiled a new inmate work program tackling unwanted graffiti in Worcester County. Through the program, municipalities and private businesses can sign up to have a crew come out and scrub their walls clean of graffiti with a sandblaster-like unit.

“If you don’t stay on top of it, it grows like a weed,” said Mr. Evangelidis.

The unit worked in Gardner this week, cleaning up the Simplex building, the GFA parking lot, and by Tanguay Jewelers downtown.

“The mayor jumped right on this program,” said Mr. Evangelidis.

Mayor Mark Hawke has repeatedly requested the service through his Facebook page. He has also helped create new programs in the city — such as a mural partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College — to deter graffiti.

City Councillor Nathan Boudreau said he was grateful to see the anti-graffiti team in his ward.

“This is the beautification of a highly visible spot,” he said. “It’s wonderful to get a helping hand from the sheriff.”

News staff photo by Katie Landeck Deputy Sheriff Daniel Joslyn, second from right, shows Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, far left, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Ward 3 City Councillor Nathan Boudreau graffiti at the GFA building on Parker Street in Gardner on Wednesday.

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Joslyn, second from right, shows Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke, far left, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Ward 3 City Councillor Nathan Boudreau graffiti at the GFAbuilding on Parker Street inGardner on Wednesday.

The machine that removes the spray paint is operated by a supervising officer, and one or two inmates help and handle the clean-up.

As a safety precaution, the inmates in the program typically do not have a history of graffiti or known affiliations with gangs, according to Mr. Evangelidis. Many gang members refuse to remove a tag out of loyalty or fear of repercussions.

On Wednesday morning, inmate Michael Thomas was helping Officer Daniel Joslyn. With two months left on his sentence, Mr. Thomas was grateful to be involved in the program.

“I worked some in my life as much as I lived on the street,” he said. “I never thought I would be doing this. … It’s good experience and I learn a lot of different jobs so I’m ready for the outside.”

The program started after Mr. Evangelidis heard concerns from many Worcester business owners, who are threatened with a fine if they don’t clean up graffiti within a week of being tagged.

“We only do it at the request of the community,” Mr. Evangelidis said.

How long it takes to remove graffiti depends on the surface, age and type of paint, according to Mr. Joslyn. The bags of crushed walnut shells cost about $50 each.

“It’s a cost we can absorb,” Mr. Evangelidis said.

Oct 8, 2015

Sheriff Takes Aim at Plague of Graffiti in Worcester

By Samantha Allen

Telegram & Gazette

May 17, 2015

 

Officer Daniel Joslyn from the Worcester County Sheriff's Department removes graffiti from a dumpster on Temple Street, using ground walnut shells in an abrasive blaster.

 

 

Officer Daniel Joslyn from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department removes graffiti from a dumpster on Temple Street, using ground walnut shells in an abrasive blaster.

 

 

WORCESTER – With the help of a powerful machine, some crushed walnut shells and a crew of inmates, Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis hopes to remove unwanted graffiti from walls in Worcester and surrounding towns.

On Friday, the Worcester County sheriff unveiled a new truck designed to help scrub away paint sprayed on buildings. ACE Temperature Control on Ward Street and The Compass Tavern on Harding Street had graffiti “tags” blown away in a matter of minutes by the team.

“It’s happening so regularly around here and that’s part of the reason why I was so focused on this, because graffiti is like a weed,” Mr. Evangelidis said. “When you don’t stay on top of it, it seems to grow out of control. But when you stay on top of it, the more you prevent it. So we’re just determined to make this service available.”

Mr. Evangelidis said he first set out to help Worcester and the county when he heard of a rash of tagging in late 2013. At that time, dozens of buildings in the city were defaced, and a short time later police arrested and charged two men with some of the crimes.

Worcester has a law that requires property owners to remove graffiti within a certain amount of time. The Department of Inspectional Services can start the clock on a 7-day removal countdown.

After that owners face a fine of $25 per day. City staff said, however, it is “extremely rare” for owners to be fined.  It has only happened once, according to John Hill, spokesman for the city manager’s office.

Mr. Evangelidis said previously that he went to community meetings and heard about the struggles local businesses were facing keeping up with graffiti removal. So he set out to purchase the truck, following an example set by other sheriffs across Massachusetts, he said. Now, the sheriff says, he’d like to help out any business that needs assistance in Worcester County, free of charge, through his department’s inmate work program.

Friday morning, a supervising officer blasted the walls of the local businesses with a power wash-style unit that uses environmentally-friendly matter, including crushed nut shells, to remove the offending paint. Inmates were on hand to clean up. The crew offered to return to the tavern to retouch the paint if needed.

In a test round, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department came out a few weeks ago to remove graffiti at Dooley’s Cleaners on Pleasant Street. Manager Andy J. Baxter said his building was tagged in 2013.

Mr. Baxter said he was relieved to have the graffiti removed and called it a much-needed service for the community.

“They really did an awesome job,” he said. “(Graffiti) is a sign of blight. Some small businesses can’t afford to hire someone.”

 

Oct 8, 2015

Sheriff & D.A. Warn Residents to Beware of Recent Jury Duty Scam

April 27, 2015

Description: Worcester-County-Sheriffs-Office-deesign-1

West Boylston – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis and Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early are warning residents about a recent phone scam where citizens are being targeted and threatened with prosecution for falling to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.

In recent days, a caller identifying himself as an Officer from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has attempted to pressure recipients into providing credit card and confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. These calls, which threaten recipients with fines and jail time if they do not comply, are fraudulent and are not connected with the U.S. courts or the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office does not contact residents and demand payments or ask for credit card information on behalf of the Courts regarding jury duty and is asking residents to be vigilant against this most recent scam. Federal and State courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call or email. Most contact between a federal or state court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other  sensitive information.

Persons receiving such a telephone call or email should not provide the requested information, and should notify the Clerk of Court’s office of the U.S. District Court in their area. For more on the Massachusetts Court System Jury Information, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/courts/jury-info/.

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