Jul 19, 2016
Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been providing inmate work crews to assist budget strapped cities and towns all over Worcester County. The Sheriff ’s Inmate Community Service Program provides cost free labor to municipalities and nonprofit organizations by non-violent, non-sex offender individuals who have earned a place in the program and under Sheriff Evangelidis the inmate work crews have been very hard at work.
Since taking office in January of 2011, Evangelidis has more than tripled the size of the Inmate Community Service Program providing Worcester County communities with an impressive six million dollars in savings with over 1,000 work projects completed. Another plus from the Sheriff ’s expanded program, inmates benefit as well by learning job skills and a sense of self worth and dignity that comes from a productive day’s work while the recipients, hundreds of local non-profit organizations and municipalities from throughout the county have had projects completed by the inmate work crews that they could not have afforded otherwise.
Most recently, the Sheriff ’s inmate work program spent the week assisting Rutland’s Treasure Valley Scout Reservation installing docks, preparing campsites and setting up hundreds of tents in anticipation of the thousands of Boy Scouts and Webelos who will camp at the scout reservation during the summer months. Under Evangelidis, the inmate work program has provided $60,000 in savings in labor and maintenance costs for Treasure Valley.
“As usual they did a great job, the campsites look great,” said Friends of Treasure Valley Volunteer Wayne Mallquist of Holden. “There was a lot of work to do here in preparation of the thousands of Boy Scouts and Webelos who camp here all summer long. Having the inmate labor saves us an extraordinary amount of time, manpower and money and we can not thank the Sheriff enough for helping us out each year,” said Mallquist.
“In addition to our primary responsibility of public safety, our department is also proud to serve as a resource for Worcester County cities and towns. Through our inmate community service program, we not only save millions of dollars for our local communities but promote the idea that the inmates who work in this program, they are people trying to turn their lives around,” said the Sheriff. “These individuals have earned their way into this program, are giving back and the community benefits as well. With thousands of projects already completed county-wide, this week we were happy to help out the Boy Scouts & Rutland’s Treasure Valley. It’s a true win-win program.”
Jul 19, 2016
Thursday, July 14, 2016
The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office announced that K9 Maya will receive body armor in the form of a bullet and stab protective vest. The vest comes as a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
“The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office is very appreciative of the Vested Interest in K9s Organization for their generous donation of a bullet and stab protective vest for our K9 Maya. Our K9’s work very hard each day facing challenging situations and keeping us safe, it’s extremely important we do all we can to help keep them safe in the line of duty,” said Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis.
K9 Maya is a 2-year-old single purpose trailing bloodhound.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc is a charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement agencies.
Since their creation in 2009, they have provided more than 1,900 protective vests in 49 states through private and corporate donations at a cost of over $1.7 million.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate.
Jul 5, 2016
Sheriff announces date of Annual Senior Picnic
SHREWSBURY — Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has announced the Sheriff ’s Annual Senior Picnic will be held at SAC Park in Shrewsbury on Saturday Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Admission is free for all seniors.
“As sheriff, hosting the Annual Senior Picnic is one of the great highlights of the year,” Evangelidis said. “This year’s Senior Picnic will be a wonderful fun filled day to give back to the seniors of Worcester County who have given so much to their communities over the years.”
The Sheriff ’s Annual Senior Picnic has become the biggest senior picnic event throughout the region, and is sponsored by the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff ’s Association, including donations by many local businesses. In addition to a traditional BBQ menu, the Sheriff ’s Picnic will include a fun afternoon of complimentary bingo games, raffle prizes and music entertainment.
Jul 5, 2016
Jane Serrano speaks during a dedication ceremony for the Garden of Faith & Hope at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office in Fitchburg on Thursday morning. Serrano’s son died of an opiate overdose. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE PHOTOS / Anna Burgess
The Garden of Faith & Hope
By Anna Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org
FITCHBURG — Speaking at a dedication ceremony for a garden in memory of people who died from addiction, Nick Barbera said the garden will serve as “a reminder to us all and to the community that addiction is a real battle.”
“It’s affected everybody here,” said Barbera, who is director of external programs for the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s affected everybody I know.”
On Thursday afternoon, law-enforcement and court officials, the families of addicts in recovery, and the families of addicts who have died gathered in the small park outside Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis’ satellite office in Fitchburg.
Whereas last week there was a ring of trees surrounding sparse grass and concrete pathways, on Thursday there was a beautiful tribute to those who have died from addiction.
In a bed of fresh mulch were tomato plants and various flowers, along with homemade plaques bearing names of those who died battling addiction: Cathy, Jack, Jason, Nicole.
Called the Garden of Faith & Hope, the project was the brainchild of Community Corrections Program Director Mark Leary and recovering addicts.
“We thought, ‘this is a beautiful place,’ and we thought we’d make it for people struggling with addiction and in memory of people who died from addiction,” Leary said. “We wanted to bring the garden alive and the park alive.”
Families of people who died battling addiction wrote inspirational quotes and messages of hope, faith, and peace around the garden.
Ronnie Serrano and his wife, Jane, who started the nonprofit Preventing Addiction Resources Team after their son died of an opiate overdose, spoke of the stigma of addiction.
“My son was more than just another addict,” Jane Serrano said. “My son was a beautiful soul that will no longer be walking here on earth.”
Michelle Dunn, who founded the local chapter of support organization Learn to Cope after her daughter died of an overdose, also offered her perspective.
“I can’t imagine going through something worse than losing a child, especially in such a tragic way,” she said, but added that every day, they live to honor her daughter’s life.
The garden dedication also served as a graduation ceremony for nine people finishing the Community Corrections Center substance-abuse recovery program.
Leary said the difference between the graduates on Thursday and on the day they started the program is “the most amazing transformation you’ll ever see.”
“When somebody is fighting addiction, to see them take a step forward is a wonderful thing,” Barbera said.
Jane Serrano and Dunn said they were proud of the graduates, and glad to see hope for recovery.
“People really do recover,” Dunn said. “Each and every day you wake up and make the decision to not use is a good day.”
Evangelidis said in a statement that the dedication “represents a community effort, all of us working together to do all we can to prevent another tragedy and young life lost to opiates. My heart goes out to the families who have lost a loved one to addiction and I am proud of our graduates who are now on the road to recovery and a better life.”