Natasha Antona is sworn in by Meczywor. Antona's internship at the Police Department sparked her interest in law enforcement.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen ratified the hiring of two new officers to the Police Department marking the first recruitments since the dissolution of Civil Service.
Town Clerk Haley Meczywor swore in Michael Rossi and Natasha Antona on Wednesday, the first officers not hired through the Civil Service application process.
"Now we are no longer affiliated with Civil Service so we are really looking forward to tonight's meeting, so we can move along to the next chapter of the Adams Police Department," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said.
Last year, town meeting voted to end the affiliation with Civil Service but only recently has the state signed off on the dissolution. Tarsa initiated the process because Civil Service limited whom the department could hire, which left him with staffing gaps in the department.
Both Rossi and Antona were brought on last year as special officers, which limited what they could do on the force and only allowed for certain educational opportunities and training.
First to be sworn in was Rossi who was promoted to a full-time officer.
"It is deeply gratifying to be able to move someone up along the line," Tarsa said.
Tarsa said Rossi is an Adams native and Hoosac Valley High School, graduate. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Springfield College and from the Massachusetts Reserve Intermittent Police Academy.
Tarsa added that he also worked as a part-time officer in South County.
Selectman John Duval read a letter from Tarsa that noted Rossi's commitment to community policing.
"He is a strong believer in the community policing concept and this appointment will not only be a benefit to the Police Department but also to the town of Adams," Duval read.
After the vote to hire Rossi, Duval welcomed him to the force.
"Our town holds our officers at high regard, and we are very proud of what they do in this community and I am sure you are going to make our police department a much better police department," Duval said. "I know you personally and I am glad you stuck with us."
Next to be sworn in was Antona, who Tarsa said started with the department as an intern from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
"She was going for her degree in English, which she received, but during the internship, the opportunity to be with the Adams Police Department struck a nerve with her," he said. "In her words, the department made her feel at home."
Tarsa said Antona is currently pursuing a master's degree in criminal justice and also went through the Massachusetts Reserve Intermittent Police Academy.
She said by moving up to a reserve officer, Antona will be able further her education.
"This will give her the opportunity to further her education process and refine her abilities with us through the Field Training Program," he said. "This will take her to the next step."
After voting to ratify Antona, Duval welcomed her to the force and told her Tarsa has always had great things to say about her.
"Your name has come up several times and he is very proud of the work that you have done so far for this department," he said. "The education you have will be a benefit to this department."
Before moving on, Selectman Joseph Nowak said he was happy to see more women in the department.
Tarsa said he plans to continue to build up his reserve team and fill out the department.
"I am a firm believer in not turning anybody away because in today it not like it was 30 years ago where there was a waiting list to get in," he said. "Now sometimes it seems there is a waiting list to get out but anyone that comes in we want to keep their interest."
Nowak asked that now with the new hires if an officer will be put on Park Street to check the parking meters.
Tarsa said hesitantly said yes and that Rossi will most likely be placed on Park Street patrol after finalizing an agreement with the union.
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