Gavin and Chase Dawley pinned the badge on Lt. Thomas Dawley.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Seven members of the Police Department were recognized for earning promotions.
Michael Grady and Matthew Kirchner were promoted to captain; Thomas Dawley, Glen Decker, and John Soules were promoted to lieutenant, and James Parise and Ryan Williams were promoted to sergeant.
The seven were celebrated at Taconic High School during the first pinning ceremony held by the department in a number of years.
"The role of commanders and supervisors in the Pittsfield Police Department is significant, it is key. I get a lot of credit for a lot of hard work that is done by a lot of other people. But it is the first-line supervisors, the mid-level managers, and the command staff that actually manage and maintain all of the functional stuff," said Police Chief Michael Wynn.
Each promoted officer was pinned with their new badge by loved ones. One by one the walked to the center of the stage to receive their recognition.
The pinning ceremony is new for the department. It was implemented to recognize the accomplishments.
"Traditionally, the promotion of somebody within the Pittsfield Police Department is handled in a fairly informal fashion — maybe some photos in the chief's office or photos across the street at the clerk's office when taking the oath," Wynn said, later adding, "even the formal recognition that would have during or after a City Council meeting, when we'd take some photos in the hall, kind of fell by the wayside. For the last couple years it's been congratulations, here's your personnel order, come to work tomorrow, walk across the street when you get a minute take your oath of office."
"Our brothers and sisters in the Pittsfield Fire Department in the last couple years have been making us look really bad. They've been doing promotional and pinning ceremonies, a couple of which I had the opportunity to be at as a guest and one of which the department had the opportunity to participate in when they first dusted off that idea," Wynn said.
"But that one and only time we were there with our brothers from the red side, that kind of fell by the wayside again. That's not OK."
Wynn said the entire command staff has changed over the last 10 years and the current slate is a strong group.
"My current commanders and my current supervisors are knocking it out of the park," Wynn said. "This has not been an easy 12-18 months. We've had a lot of departures. We've had a lot of departures in short notice. We had one tragic loss. We changed the method people get promoted from the traditional written exam to the assessment center. And all of these officers have stepped up, succeeded and excelled."
When the officers said they'd like to have a pinning ceremony again, Wynn told them to organize one. And the command staff did.
"I basically got instructions saying be here at this time and serve this role, we took care of the rest, chief. And that's awesome. That's how it is supposed to work," Wynn said.
Mayor Linda Tyer provided remarks to recognize the efforts the promoted officers do every day. She said they earned the promotions because of dedication, training, expertise, and commitment to the profession.
The seven promoted were honored during a pinning ceremony on Monday. It is the first ceremony the department has held in years.
"The city of Pittsfield has entrusted you to protect life and property, to enforce laws, to conduct fair and thorough investigations, and to seek justice. You are highly trained and represent Pittsfield's Police Department and the city of Pittsfield with honor," Tyer said.
Tyer said she is briefed just about every day on departmental actions and said she is continually impressed.
"I am impressed by your willingness to extend yourselves beyond the basic in a million different ways. Every day you make decisions that affect the lives of the people that are your friends, neighbors, residents of our city," Tyer said.
She addressed the families of the officers, thanking them for their support and what they go through with a loved one in law enforcement.
Chaplain Russell Moody provided the invocation and benediction.
"We ask a special blessing upon those who accept the charge to lead men and women into our streets and down our thoroughfares to the boundaries of our fair city and beyond in the name of all that is good, honorable, and just," Moody said.
Officer Izinna Lytle sang the national anthem. The Honor Guard posted the colors. And light refreshments were provided in the lobby. The event was attended by current and former members of law enforcement, numerous family members, Sheriff Thomas Bowler, City Council President Peter Marchetti, and City Councilors Helen Moon, Anthony Simonelli, and Peter White.