Tom Bowler for Sheriff Night at Wahconah Park
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for sheriff Thomas N. Bowler will throw out the first pitch of the game between the Pittsfield Colonials and Quebec at Wahconah Park on Tuesday, July 27, to kick off a night out for campaign volunteers, supporters and anyone who loves the game of baseball.
General admission tickets will be reduced to $4, and box seats to $7 for the evening. This is not a fundraiser for the campaign. According to Bowler, the night out at Wahconah Park is an opportunity for everyone in the area to bring family and friends to the renovated Wahconah Park to enjoy professional baseball. The game begins at 7 p.m.
Bowler is the former captain of the varsity baseball team at Taconic High School. He also played varsity baseball at American International College in Springfield for four years, where he also served as team captain. As an adult, he has helped coach his children's teams.
"As a campaign, we decided we needed a night off and there's nothing better on a summer evening in the Berkshires than baseball," Bowler said. "I'm hoping that all of our volunteers and supporters and everyone who hasn't yet had a chance to see the Pittsfield Colonials play will join us at the park."
Tickets are available at Bowler's Pittsfield campaign office on Park Square and his North Adams campaign office on Eagle Street. Tickets for the reduced prices can also be obtained at the Pittsfield Colonial's office at 2 South St. and at the gate on July 27.
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State Police Association Backs Bosley
State Police Association of Massachusetts representatives came to Pittsfield to endorse Daniel E. Bosley, center, for Berkshire County sheriff. With him are SPAM Treasurer Dana Pullman, left, President Rick Brown, Vice President Tim Babbin and Jeff Gordon, representative for Western Massachusetts.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Flanked by state troopers, sheriff candidate Daniel E. Bosley stood outside the Berkshire Juvenile Resource Center on Thursday afternoon to announce that he'd received the endorsement of the State Police Association of Massachusetts.
"I sent very few letters out looking for endorsements but one of the ones that I did send out was to the state police association," said Bosley, who added his experiences with the state police goes back 23 years when he was serving on a criminal justice training council for the Legislature. "We've had a good working relationship."
SPAM, as it's known, represents nearly 2,000 troopers and sergeants across the state; the Commissioned Officers Association of Massachusetts represents those the rank of lieutenant and above. The association's 15-member Executive Committee voted on the endorsement several weeks ago but the announcement was delayed in part by accidents that caused the tragic death of one trooper and injuries to two others in less than two weeks.
"We've supported Dan in this race because he's a huge supporter of the state police association," said SPAM President Rick Brown, noting the state representive's strong advocacy in keeping the Westfield barracks open and for making the state police the primary law-enforcement agency for gaming, should it be approved. "Whenever we've asked Dan to step forward for us, he's always been there."
Though standing outside a center operated by the sheriff's department, the North Adams Democrat was technically in enemy territory. Signs for Tom Bowler, a 20-year Pittsfield Police detective and native son, dotted the neighborhood.
This is Bosley's first endorsement from any group. Bowler's wrapped up local endorsements from the district attorney, corrections officers and police officers locals, and the Berkshire County Police Chiefs Association, all of whom he's worked with at one time other, as well as the local representing court officers and the Central Berkshire Labor Council.
Their different backings from law-enforcement agencies not only reflects their long careers but their deep philosophical difference on the role of the sheriff: lawman or warden.
Brown made it clear SPAM believes the job is that of an administrator.
"The sheriff's departments are experienced in taking care of care, custody and control, and transportation," he said. "Our job out on the road is law enforcement; their job is to take care of people inside the facility and maybe have a chance to rehab these people and maybe we won't have to encounter them when they get out of jail.
"Every candidate we've supported in these races believes this."
Bosley has touted his experience in the Legislature, from drafting bills to leading committees, as providing him with an understanding of corrections, education and rehabilitation as well as a continuing relationship with Beacon Hill leaders that will open doors.
"Our job is a public safety job, not a law enforcement job," said Bosley. "We need to work together and that's why I proposed the regional lockup ... we need to work together faciliate the law enforcement part of this as well as the rehabilitation and public safety portion."
Brown said the association does not seek out candidates to support but will consider those who request endorsements. Bowler did not approach the organization for an endorsement, he said. Normally, the group also doesn't endorse candidates in primaries, but with both Bowler and Bosely running as Democrats, the primary will determine the winner.
"He's not going to be carrying a weapon, he's not going to be going out there doing law enforcement, he's going to be administering, bringing funds in and making sure the inmates that are behind the bars in that jail stay within the facility," said Brown. "If anybody can get the resources to make that happen, Dan bosley can because of the relationships he has on Beacon Hill."
Original press release received July 14, 2010.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Sheriff candidate Daniel E. Bosley has been endorsed by the State Police Association of Massachusetts. Representatives of SPAM will appear with Bosley to announce the endorsement at a press event Thursday, July 15, at 3 p.m. outside the sheriff's Juvenile Resource Center, 264 Second St., in Pittsfield.
"Representative Bosley understands the value of a strong working relationship between the sheriff's office and the state police in the effort to better protect residents of Western Massachusetts," SPAM Secretary Ed Hunter said of the Executive Board's vote to back the state representative.
"During the past few months of his campaign, Representative Bosley has stressed the importance he places on taking care of business within the jail – focusing on care, custody, and control – while working with the state police outside of the jail. He has articulated a clear strategy for sharing information with the state police, preparing for the re-entry of state prisoners, and partnering on common goals such as the creation of a regional lockup.
"Based on his past record of support for SPAM, his assertion of these goals, and his stated commitment to the State Police and Public Safety, the Executive Board believes the residents of Berkshire County will be best served by his election."
Bosley, of North Adams, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the post of sheriff in order to continue his service to the people of Berkshire County. Bosley has represented the First Berkshire District since 1987. As sheriff, he said he will draw on his experience in public finance, public administration and public safety to ensure the Berkshire County sheriff's office, the jail and House of Correction, and the programs run by the sheriff's office receive fair funding from the state. Additionally, he said he would bring an innovative approach that will allow him to improve systems and programs, making Berkshire County a safer place to live while conserving taxpayer dollars.
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Sheriff's Office Not Involved in Campaign
The sheriff's office isn't campaigning — for anyone. That's the word from Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano Jr., who felt compelled to issue a statement on Monday clarifying the issue after more than a few calls from county residents who thought his office is stumping for candidate Thomas N. Bowler.
Massimiano, who is stepping down at the end of his current term after 32 years in office, said he's also reminded his staff that while they are free to participate in campaigns, they do so as individuals and must not represent themselves as campaigning in any official capacity.
Robert McDonough, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said several recent calls brought the matter to the sheriff's attention. In the statement released by the sheriff's office, those callers "said they have been approached by workers for the Thomas Bowler campaign who claimed to be representing the sheriff's office. At least one resident reported feeling she was being intimidated into posting a Bowler campaign sign on her property."
Bowler's sister and campaign manager Donna Mattoon said on Tuesday she was baffled by the complaints.
"We can't keep lawn signs in stock," she said. "We don't have to force anyone to host a lawn sign - we're running out."
Mattoon said the campaign ordered 5,000 signs and only has about 500 left; so many people have contacted the campaign by phone, website and Facebook, "we're running around like crazy people lately" delivering signs. Plus, she added, Massimianio was still a candidate whem Bowler threw his hat in the ring, so why would he be stumping for her brother? "I don't think anybody is confused by that issue."
Massimiano has not endorsed either Bowler or his opponent Daniel E. Bosley at this time. The two Democrats will meet in a Sept. 14 primary that is expected to decide the winner of the office.
"I want people to understand that no one is out putting up signs on behalf of the sheriff's office," Massimiano said in the statement. "If you have been told that this office wants you to post a sign — for either candidate — please call and let me know. The situation will be taken care of."
Bowler, a Pittsfield Police detective, received the overwhelming backing of Local 297 of the International Brotherhood of Correctional Officers in late February; the local represents officers working in the Berkshire County House of Correction. He also was endorsed by the local police chiefs association and Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless.
His supporters are passionate — one got into a debate with Bosley at a forum for the candidates last month. Mattoon described the campaign as "joyful."
"People aren't being discouraged from campaigning zealously," said McDonough. But, he said, it's a violation of ethics for backers who misrepresent themselves.
Mattoon said she heard the sheriff's statement on the radio Tuesday morning. "I was stunned to see that someone felt intimidated into hosting a lawn sign.
"We would never want anyone to feel intimidated," she continued. "But if somebody's lines got crossed I'd love to know about it so we can fix it."
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Bosley Calls For Regional Lockup
Daniel E. Bosley of North Adams, a candidate for Berkshire County sheriff has renewed his call for a regional lockup facility to assist state and local police. A regional detention facility would give local communities a place to detain people arrested in their local communities, he said.
Bosley said many smaller Berkshire County communities don’t have facilities to detain people when they are arrested. "In smaller communities, this hampers our public safety efforts. In larger communities, it is cost effective to use a regional facility."
Weekend arrests are particularly troublesome and costly for local departments, he said. "Imagine having to pay a local employee to watch over someone arrested for an entire weekend. Now multiply that by several communities, add the savings for cities and towns if the sheriff’s department transports their prisoners and you can see that a regional facility makes sense."
Currently, the configuration of the Berkshire County House of Corrections doesn’t allow the sheriff to accept arrests from the local police in all circumstances. Women are particularly difficult to provide for because they need to be housed in separate areas, according to the candidate.
"Currently, we don’t have the room or flexibility to take people from the police on a consistent basis. We need to work with local communities to have a facility that provides services for state and local police, save money for taxpayers, and makes us safer," said Bosley.
The current state representative added that we have ample land on the present site that houses the BCHOC and noted that his experience on the Bonding and Capital Assets Committee in the Legislature gives him the experience to work with government officials and Department of Correction personnel to build a facility.
"There are people in government looking at consolidation of Department of Corrections programs and that gives us an opportunity to work with them to develop capital plans and funding for a regional facility. With my expertise in this area, now is the time to add a regional lock up to the sheriff’s services," he said.
"This is just one of the new ideas that I have been talking about as I travel around Berkshire County talking about my candidacy. People deserve to hear our ideas and plans as well as our experience in this campaign."
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Bosley, Bowler Differ on Definition of Sheriff
Tom Bowler, left, Town Democratic Committee Chairman James E. Mahon Jr. and Daniel E. Bosley at Wednesday's forum.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It became clear during Wednesday night's forum that the primary difference between the two candidates for sheriff was their definition of the job: Law enforcement or public safety.
The disparity in perception can be immediately traced to the backgrounds of the two men who hope to become Berkshire County sheriff, a seat that's open for the first time in more than 30 years.
Tom Bowler, a 24-year police officer and detective in the Pittsfield Police Department, says the job is everything to do with law enforcement; Daniel E. Bosley, a 26-year legislator representing the 1st Berkshire District, says it's public safety.
"I submit this election is going to be about whether people agree that it's law enforcement job or whether it's a public safety or administrative job," said Bosley, after a verbal tussle with an apparent Bowler supporter at the end of the 90-minute session.
It was standing room only in the Selectmen's Room as supporters from Williamstown, Adams, North Adams, Lanesborough and Pittsfield packed into the chamber to hear their candidate. More than a few were clad in blue Bowler T-shirts to declare their support for the detective.
Both candidates fielded questions from the audience, ranging from mangement style to health care costs.
The forum was hosted by the Williamstown Democratic Town Committee and moderated by its Chairman James E. Mahon Jr. It was broadcast live on WilliNet and will be available later on the WilliNet website and is expected to be broadcast on Northern Berkshire Community Television.
The two Democrats are seeking to fill the seat being left vacant by retiring Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano Jr., who has held the position since 1978. With no independent or Republican candidate, the election will essentially be decided in the Sept. 14 primary.
During the forum, the candidates took questions from the audience and, in large part, agreed on the broader needs of the job, including that the sheriff has role to play as a social service provider for inmates in terms of rehabilitation and substance-abuse services.
"I firmly believe that the individual, you have to understand their behavior," said Bowler. "Not every person is a bad individual; they've made bad decisions."
As a police officer, he said, not only are you there to take care of the situation, you help families understand how they can get help. "What we like to do is educate families, show them they can make their lives better."
Bosley said he believed 75 percent of the state's sheriffs were social workers, pointing to Hampden County Sheriff Michael J. Ashe as an example.
On average, Houses of Correction have an inmate for nine months, inmates who have substance abuse problems, come from single-parent homes, poverty ... , he said, and facilities need to find ways to work with existing programs inside and outside the jails. "We need to find a way to be more seamless with the programs we have."
Both advocated more training programs, particularly vocational programs, to help inmates integrate back into the community and as a way to bring revenue to the jail — either by wages (for restitution) or selling items they created.
Bosley touted his ability as a representative to bring money into the county, including funding for the nearly decade-old House of Correction. His contacts in Boston and Washington, D.C., would help tap into federal and state monies, he said.
Bowler said he would look for innovative funding, such as private foundation grants as well as government monies, to aid with training programs and equipment.
For Bowler, election to sheriff would be the culmination of his career in law enforcement. "I feel everything I've done in the last 24 years has led me to that position."
He stressed his time as an investigator covering some of the most "horrific crimes" in Berkshire County, his understanding of the inmate population, the area's drug and gang problems, and his yearlong stint as assistant deputy superintendent overseeing security during the move into the new House of Correction facility.
"I want to work collaboratively," said Bowler, both as an administrator with the jail's staff and with local law enforcement. "There's the tremendous amount of information inside that jail. I've been able to extract that information and solve crimes ... I think I have a lot to offer as a public servant, not as a politician."
Bosley said he would ensure "bright lines of authority" and would assess performance and delegate authority as needed. "You have to let people do their jobs."
"I'm proud of the fact I'm a politician. A good politician is a statesman," he said, adding he accomplished nearly everything he'd set out to do, including several landmark legislative actions, and now wanted to focus on the county. He said he was familiar with the workings of the state's correctional facilities, including the Houses of Correction and stated "The sheriff has the opportunity to affect people's lives."
But where they disagreed was on the definition of the job, a point stressed by one of the audience members, who proceeded to engage with Bosley over the authorities given by the state to the deputy force and by Bowler's description of how he'd handled a potential uprising by 50 inmates some years ago. Deputies were law enforcement, insisted the man.
(Massimiano worked for the North Adams Housing Authority and in the probation office when he was elected sheriff.)
"I don't intend to run the [jail] that way," said Bosley of using the deputies to make arrests or back up local police. "It's tough enough to be a correctional officer within the House and our budget is stretched enough without giving people additional duties for jobs that other people do and do very well."
When the individual started giving "what if" scenarios, Bosley said he wasn't going to debate him and Bowler, too.
Bowler said he wanted to make clear that "I have no intention of putting roving patrols of officers patrolling Berkshire County. ... If [an inmate] escapes then we will work on a collaborative effort with every law enforcement authority in the county, as we have in the past."
The websites for both candidates can be found on the blog's siderail.
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