Bowler Lays Out Campaign Platform
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for sheriff Thomas N. Bowler has announced a campaign platform focused on increasing public safety, advancing accountability during serious economic times, and bringing a new kind of leadership to the office of sheriff that is based on education, experience and training.
"In today's world, the sheriff must reach out to law-enforcement professionals in Berkshire County and collaborate with them to increase public confidence and develop a true community-based approach to criminal justice," Bowler said. "As a Pittsfield Police detective, I experienced the devastating and costly impact that crime has on families and community. As sheriff, I'll work with passion and dedication to make Berkshire County a safer place to live. By working together, we can produce far more positive outcomes."
Bowler, who has received endorsements from the district attorney, the Berkshire County Police Chiefs, court officers and corrections officers, among others, said that the sheriff's office is in a unique position to help the law enforcement community.
"Step One includes developing a comprehensive means of gathering intelligence from the inmate population and sharing it with local and state police to help their efforts in fighting crime," he said. "Berkshire County has changed dramatically over the last several years, requiring a careful and professional approach to law enforcement that joins every level of criminal justice into a highly-efficient and effective team. I believe the sheriff's office can play a valuable role in a collaborative new approach to reducing crime, and I pledge to help in every way possible."
A police detective and 24-year member of the Pittsfield Police Department, Bowler also served as a deputy superintendent in charge of security at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction. He has an undergraduate and master's degree in criminal justice.
"I've been preparing for this role for most of my adult life," the candidate continued. "I believe I have the background and experience that the job of sheriff requires. The real issue in this campaign is one of leadership - who is best prepared to lead the men and women currently employed at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, maintain the safety and security of this facility, collaborate with the county's law enforcement agencies and forge effective alliances with the county's social service agencies who are major players in the lives of those incarcerated at the jail. This has been my world for the last 24 years, and I'm ready to take it to the next level as sheriff."
As a former high-level jail administrator, Bowler said he already understands the process and the enormous responsibility involved in turning around the lives of people who have broken the law. The candidate noted that
there are a multitude of rehabilitation programs already in place at the jail and will not propose any additional initiatives until he has had the chance to assess the value of existing programs. "The state's fiscal crisis means there are far fewer resources to address all serious issues, including adequately funding our schools, programs for the disabled, people out of work and senior citizens. In this economic environment, we need to use what we have to its highest potential and that will take the right leadership."
Bowler said his campaign platform does not include additional spending. "In the last two years, the state has cut the jail's budget by 13 percent. Adequately staffing this facility is now an issue. Building a new lockup and other initiatives proposed by my opponent are currently beyond the means of taxpayers, who ultimately pay the bills," Bowler said. "We need to insist on the most efficient and cost-effective application of resources, which can take far more initiative and creativity than spending money."
Bowler said he will aggressively pursue grants and private funding for worthy initiatives. In addition, he will draw on the expertise of the Berkshire delegation to the State House to ensure that the jail receives adequate state funding.
"No one has a monopoly on politics," Bowler said. "It is the sheriff's role to work with staff to put together the best budget possible and then work with our state legislators to secure funding. This job requires a collaborative effort at every level."
The candidate has spent the last few months on the campaign trail, meeting groups and individuals and talking about his platform, which can be viewed in total at www.tombowlerforsheriff.com. He will participate in three televised debates in August and a countywide radio debate in early September.
|Tags: Bowler, platform|
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|
Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The nonpartisan League of Women of Williamstown is sponsoring a public forum for the candidates running in the Democratic primary elections for the offices of the Sheriff of Berkshire County and State Representative from the Berkshire 1st District.
The forum will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus, in the auditorium on the second floor of the Church Street Center. League President Anne Skinner will moderate. Each candidate will make opening and closing statements, and members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.
According to the League, all of the campaigns have indicated that their candidates will be attending. The Democratic candidates for the office of sheriff are Daniel E. Bosley and Tom Bowler. The Democratic candidates for the office of Berkshire 1st District representative are David Bissaillon, Gailanne Cariddi and Edward MacDonald. (There are no Republican candidates for these offices).
WUPE/WNAW radio is also planning an on-air debate for the sheriff' candidates in early September that iBerkshires has agreed to participate in. More information will be released when the date and time as been confirmed.
The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Because of the dearth of Republican and independent candidates for sheriff and the 1st district, the primary will essentially decide the winners for the two positions.
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|
Bosley Expands on Regional Lockup Concept
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County sheriff, further expanded on plans for a regional lockup facility and criticized his opponent for his stance opposing this.
"A regional lockup facility would save money for our cities and towns in these tough fiscal times, would give the Berkshire County House of Corrections an additional revenue source and would put more police officers on the street rather than spending time guarding prisoners," Bosley said. "My opponent's opposition to this idea shows that he doesn't understand how this system or budgets work."
Bosley said that at the present time, any police force in the county has to watch over people who have been arrested.
"That means that we are taking police off the streets to watch prisoners in towns all over the county. I would rather keep these officers on the streets by bringing all prisoners to one facility and having people with an expertise in this area watching them."
The current state representative pointed to Hampshire County, which has a regional facility. "The Hampshire County jail charges a per-capita fee of less than a dollar a year to cities and towns and a charge to the state for state police prisoners for this service. For that minimal fee, the sheriff transports prisoners to the regional lockup, and the towns don't need to watch, feed, provide medical care for prisoners, nor keep police off the streets. A regional facility is a good deal for both the jail and cities and towns.
"This is the kind of innovative thinking we need to make sure we have the resources to do the job and to ensure that our cities and towns are safe. This is part of my plan as to how we can do this. Given our budget situation in Massachusetts, we need to be thoughtful and innovative. We need to offer up a vision of how we will perform as Sheriff and not just offer vague platitudes about collaboration."
Bosley went on to say that if the state built a facility for the sheriff's office, it could be used to make positive changes to the present facility.
"We could use the opportunity to move the woodworking shop from an area where it is virtually unusable to make it more productive and conducive to training inmates in skills that will help them find jobs and stay out of jail in the future. That makes us all safer. We could also install an area in anticipation of video arraignments. This is an idea that I have pushed in my campaign. It is an idea that works in other states. The court budget is in a desperate situation. The courts are laying off employees and closing courts, even here in Berkshire County. Now is the time to advance this idea to save money for both the courts and the jail. I will be ready day one with ideas that will take advantage of these opportunities."
|Tags: Bosley, lockup|