Bosley Calls for Expanded Use of County Communications
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County Sheriff, called for expanded use of the county's communications system to enhance the safety of seniors.
“I believe that we can create a new program that calls for us to check on seniors who live alone or are in remote areas in the county,” he said.
Bosley explained that the sheriff operates the County Communication Center for most of the towns in Berkshire County. The sheriff also is a member of the Triad Safety Program, which was created for enhanced safety for senior citizens.
“It makes sense for the sheriff to reach out to ensure the safety of at-risk seniors. Our communications center does a great job and I feel that we can check on our seniors to ensure their well-being without an increase of cost to the center.”
Bosley explained that Franklin County had, until recently, several deputy sheriffs who would travel around their county checking on seniors in small towns. He said that the rural nature of Franklin County necessitated this approach. However, recent budget cuts ended this program.
“In Berkshire County, our communications center can use reverse calling to reach out to seniors that would sign up for a phone call each month or at a determined time. This would save us the cost of a more expensive outreach like Franklin County, but would ensure that every senior would be connected to someone who could check on their safety and well being.”
Bosley said that the sheriff’s roles in both Triad and County Communications make the sheriff’s department the logical contact point to conduct this program. If there is a problem, the call center is the place where an emergency call would come for most towns. “This is a low-cost way to ensure that our seniors are safer and are able to get help if they need it," he said.
Bosley also said that working with these agencies would allow the center to give information to seniors each month as well. “Each message could be a health or safety tip, or could contain information that is vital to the well-being of our seniors,” he said.
Bosley commented that his experience in dealing with such agencies as Elder Services would help to coordinate efforts with social and human service agencies and the call center, ensuring the well-being of senior citizens.
|Tags: Bosley, senior citizens|
Sheriff Candidates Press Issues at Debate
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The two candidates hoping to rope the job of Berkshire County sheriff came out swinging on Monday night in their second debate. The 90-minute face-off at Conte Community School drew cheers and a few jeers from the crowd of more than 100 as the two Democrats tried to convince voters what a sheriff should be made of.
Thomas N. Bowler and Daniel E. Bosley last met in June in the first of four scheduled forums before the Sept. 14 primary. The candidates covered familiar ground on Monday night, hitting hard on the themes they've developed over the past few months. But it's been clear from the start that voters will be deciding what kind of sheriff they want — a public safety official or a law enforcement official.
"After 32 years, with the same sheriff, a lot of people aren't clear what the sheriff does," said Bosley, a 24-year state representative, describing that role as "the crux of the issue." "This is a human services job ... it's not a law enforcement job."
It was muggy in the Conte Community School gym and those on stage quickly doffed their jackets; it got more heated as the evening wore on.
Bowler, a Pittsfield detective with more than 20 years in law enforcement, disagreed strongly.
"If you were on a school committee, and you were going to hire a new superintendent for your schools, would you hire somebody who did not have a background in education?" he asked. "If you had a hospital administrator you were looking to hire, would hire somebody that does not have any health care experience — absolutely not."
The debate was sponsored by the Morningside and West Side neighborhood initiatives and moderated by Berkshire Eagle Executive Editor Tim Farkas, who noted the importance of electing the "first new Berkshire County sheriff since 1978." The candidates each were allowed opening and closing statements. Bosley took the first question by coin toss; the second candidate then was given a chance for response before it went back to the first candidate for rebuttal.
The two men did agree on a few things, including support for the revival of inmates growing produce for themselves and continuing to provide academic and trade skills education, working closely with local human service organizations and law enforcement agencies and alternative sentencing for juveniles, depending on their crimes.
In relation to the Morningside neighborhood, both said they would not consider selling off the property near Morningside School because of its current use for teaching trades and potential for further programs.
But they disagree heartily on three main issues — the role of sheriff, the need for a regional lockup and the expansion of programs beyond the House of Correction.
Bosley has called for a regional lockup similar that of Hampshire County. Located in the House of Correction, it would free up local police from transporting and guarding suspects and bring in much-needed revenue to the jail, he said. He estimated the cost for Pittsfield at about $35,000 a year that would translate into more police on the street.
"It makes fiscal sense for the town, it makes fiscal sense for the jail," said Bosley.
Bowler called the idea "completely irresponsible" and a waste of money at a time with the sheriff's budget is already pinched. "From my expereince, my 24 years, I can't remember at any point in time when all the 32 towns and cities had to lock up anyone at the same time."
But the sheriff has to come up with innovative ways to bring in revenue streams to expand programs, said Bosley, who called for the sheriff's department to take on a greater role integrating former inmates into the community after they were released.
"I think we need to be better coordinated to create a 'continuum of services' that would save money and help people to not re-offend," he said. Bosley frequently pointed to Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, which he helped found, as a model for working at the neighborhood level. "We need to follow them out into the community."
Bowler, who spent more than a year working in the House of Correction as a supervisor, said it was important for the department to work with community organizations, and be involved with the schools and Boys' and Girls' Clubs to forge bonds with youth. But there were already good programs in the House of Correction and no need to expand them; rather, the effort should be made through community outreach programs.
"There are adequate programs in education and trades," he said. "I'd talk to inmates and get their input into how we can make it better."
In response to question on the budget, the detective said he'd call for an audit and an assessment by the department's finance staff before making any decisions. The representative quickly responded, "I'm not going to rely on somebody else I'm going to look at the budget myself."
The debate got heated toward the end, with some boos from the back following Bosley's statement that Bowler "is very good at what he does and I think he should stay there." He later chastised the Bowler supporters for catcalls: "This is the way you've conducted this campaign." (The June forum also turned testy when a Bowler supporter tried to debate Bosley.)
Bowler retorted that "This is a true professional versus a politician." Bosley countered, "I prefer to think of myself as an elected official."
The candidates will meet again tonight, Tuesday, at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center. A final debate is planned for early September on WUPE/WNAW.
|Tags: Bowler, Bosley|
Bosley Files Ethics Complaint
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E.Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County Sherrif, has mailed a formal complaint to the State Ethics Commission concerning distribution of his opponent’s lawn signs inside the offices of Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless.
“I don’t take this action lightly”, Bosley said in a statement. "However, the lack of action and the response from the District Attorney concerns me. His cavalier attitude concerning this incident and the wide spread rumors that this is standard practice in this office are unacceptable. Taking delivery of signs at the front desk and distribution by an assistant district attorney would never have been tolerated under his two predecessors, Gerard Downing and Anthony Ruberto. Mr. Capeless didn’t even reprimand his employee.”
Bosley said that there seems to be a disturbing pattern in this campaign. “The present sheriff had to send out a press release concerning people representing themselves as members of the sheriff’s department. My campaign has received [the] similar phone calls from people who felt intimidated when they refused to put a lawn sign on their lawn. As with the DA’s office, there was no apology and the response from the Bowler camp was denial. I know that on two occasions people wearing my opponent’s t-shirts have confronted people wearing mine. While these people are reluctant to come forward, the incident at the DA’s office is documented.”
Bosley also said that he is refusing to accept campaign donations from employees at the Berkshire County House of Corrections (BCHOC) and asked his opponent to take a similar pledge and return any such donations.
“For too long," Bosley said, “I have witnessed people donating to candidates because they are afraid they will lose their job if they don’t write a check. People should be hired and promoted based on their ability, performance and experience; not on the size of their political contribution. The next sheriff will have to make a lot of decisions regarding personnel upon entering office. There should be no question that these decisions are made on merit, not campaign checks. “
Bosley stressed that it is important for the public and employees to have confidence that the system works based on merit. “I have never taken a contribution from one of my employees. It’s just not a good practice, policy, and doesn’t inspire public confidence.”
Bosley's letter to the Ethics Commission appears below:
State Ethics Commission
One Ashburton Place, Room 619
Boston, MA 02108-1501 August 4, 2010
Please find enclosed documentary evidence that appears to detail the use of a public governmental office for political activity in violation of state campaign finance and ethics laws. The documents detail the fact that lawn signs for a county wide political candidate were requested by a state employee and then actually delivered to the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, a state governmental office. The signs were subsequently distributed through said office. This instance provides documentary proof for what is widely rumored in the community - that the District Attorney's Office and its staff are actively participating in the Bowler campaign during work time and using state resources.
The first document is a saved and enlarged copy of a Face Book message exchange between an area attorney who is a top political activist for the Tom Bowler for Sheriff Campaign, Jennifer Breen Kirsch, and an Assistant District Attorney, Dana Parsons dated July 11.The next document is the actual copied page from Ms. Kirsch’s Face Book that is harder to read but has more documentation. The third document is a local newspaper article responding to my complaint to a local newspaper. It was admitted in that Berkshire Eagle article, “Bosley Alleges Ethics Breach” dated July 30, 2010 that the lawn signs were in fact delivered to a state governmental office. In the same article, the Berkshire District Attorney, who has publicly endorsed the candidate whose lawn signs were delivered to his office, told the Berkshire Eagle that no discipline was warranted for this violation of state law. The final document is again from Ms. Kirsch. It contains a post that was published on July 31, 2010; the day after the newspaper article was published. It shows no remorse or regret for her actions. I believe that the post from this officer of the court demonstrates contempt for our ethics law as well as an ignorance of the seriousness of her actions.
Massachusetts Campaign Finance law prohibits the use of public buildings, resources, or offices from being involved in political activity and creates a separation between public resources and political involvement. In Anderson v. City of Boston, 376 Mass. 178, 187, 380 N.E.2nd 628 (1978), appeal dismissed, 439 U.S. 1069 (1979), the Supreme Judicial Court indicated that public resources may generally not be used for political purposes.
The Legislature has passed enhanced ethics laws this term and required that all state and public employees take an annual ethics test to ensure knowledge of and compliance with these enhanced laws. This documents which are attached appear to show that these laws are not be followed uniformly throughout the Commonwealth and require further investigation.
Thank you for your interest in this matter and can be reached if any further information is needed.
Daniel E. Bosley
|Tags: Bosley, ethics, campaign signs|
Bosley Lauds Passage of Silver Alert Legislation
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County Sheriff, praised the passage of the Silver Alert Legislation and pledged to make implementation of the law a priority as sheriff. The bill, passed near the end of the formal session this year, establishes a program to assist in locating seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia who have gone missing.
The Silver Alert program would provide for a coordinated approach to locating an individual with dementia. Studies indicate that more than 60 percent of those with dementia wander away from their homes. The bill directs law enforcement and other key response resources to focus on a geographic area consistent with the missing person’s last known location. It requires training for law enforcement and all key responders. This training would be incorporated into present training for emergency personnel.
“This is a vital piece of legislation for seniors,” said Bosley. “It provides peace of mind for families of seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It gives us a powerful tool to find people in a timely manner, and it saves lives.”
Bosley added,” The Sheriff’s office is integral to the implementation of this new law. The Sheriff is an integral member of the Triad Senior Safety Program. The Triad will be a vital information tool in spreading word of this law. “
Bosley pointed out that there are special considerations with people who suffer from dementia. They may not answer searchers who are looking for them and do not stray far from home. They may look for cover in order to feel safe, making the search for them difficult. “We need to provide information quickly to a smaller geographic area in order to start to search as soon as possible. The Sheriff administers the County Communication Center for 26 communities. Timely information pinpointed to the area where someone is missing is key to our response to a missing person. Our communications center will ensure a swift and accurate response. ”
Bosley also suggested that training should be done through the Sheriff’s department. “Since the office is involved in all of these areas, it makes sense for the Sheriff to take the lead on training emergency personnel and ensuring the safety of our seniors. I was pleased to be able to vote for this law as a legislator and look forward to its implementation as Sheriff.”
Lastly, Bosley pointed to the potential for saving money in cities and towns by putting standard response training and protocols in place. Search efforts without such training and coordination have been known to cost as much as $100,000 according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Approximately 120,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer’s disease with the number expected to increase by 17 percent by the year 2025.
|Tags: Bosley, Silver Alert|
Bosley Calls for Closer Ties with Dept of Correction
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel Bosley, candidate for Sheriff of Berkshire County, is calling for closer working ties with the Massachusetts Department of Correction. The candidate said that effective systems of communicating data on returning offenders to the local area would make our communities safer by allowing the law enforcement community to be informed in a more timely and thorough manner.
“I have been saying since my kickoff that we need effective communications with the Mass Department of Correction in order to provide the Berkshire County House of Corrections/ Office of Sheriff and the local law enforcement community the ability to prioritize the proper utilization of community services," Bosley stated.
"This is part of my pledge to work with local law enforcement and continue to develop a continuum of community safety with the Massachusetts State police so that community resources are multiplied through cooperative, coordinated professional standards. This was one of the reasons for the endorsement of my candidacy by the Massachusetts State Police. I believe we need to form a local re-integration committee and meet monthly with courts, parole, probation and service providers from the county. The Berkshire Regional Employment Board has been looking at re-entry and we need to formalize that plan through a continuing committee. The Sheriff’s office must be an integral part of that," he said.
Bosley went on to say that better information can ease re-entry for prison inmates into the community. “Again, the watchword is safety,” he said.
“Our ability to work with the Mass DOC means that we can ease re-entry and be able to place the offenders in our re-entry programs if we can come to terms with Mass DOC as a revenue source for that work. Simply stated, the redirection of re-entry/community integration funds provided by Mass DOC would allow the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department and local and state police the opportunity to more effectively coordinate our efforts to keep the community safe.”
Bosley said his experience working with the Department of Correction gives him the experience and ability to coordinate such programs. “I have been dealing with the department for years and believe that, given budget cuts over the past few years, we need to become more efficient and innovative in our utilization of resources. Public safety is always enhanced by the standard of excellence that we who are dedicated to this process bring to our tasks each day.”
|Tags: Bosley, sheriff|