Sheriff Candidate Bowler Campaigns in North County
A casually dressed Bowler discussed his career and goals for sheriff.
"It's nice to come outside of Pittsfield, into Berkshire County, and receive such a warm welcome," the Pittsfield Police detective told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters packed into the back room of the Hub on Wednesday night.
"I firmly believe that the sheriff's department can be utilized as a resource," he continued. "There's a tremendous amount of knowledge in that facility when it comes to investigations."
These are the themes you're going to hear during the campaign: collaboration, resource and team approach and good working relationships, said Bowler, a Pittsfield native and 23-year-veteran of the force. That includes working with agencies from the federal government to the district attorney's office.
"We need to integrate all the agencies and have them work every day together."
Bowler's sisters Murphy and Donna Mattoon, center, handed out T-shirts and buttons.
"I feel that what I've learned over 24 years, the collaborative effort, utilizing our resources, a team approach ... [I want to] bring this to the sheriff's department and obviously make this a better place," he said.
Bowler was introduced by City Councilor Keith Bona, who said the detective reminded him of his grandfather, a Clarksburg police chief, one of several family members who worked in law enforcement. "I believe people who do a good job in their careers deserve ... to take another step up the ladder, and it's not all about playing politics."
With Bowler was his wife of 24 years, Dale Bowler, and two of his seven siblings, Mary Murphy and Donna Mattoon. He is a 1978 graduate of Taconic High School and earned his bachelor's degree, in 1982, and later his master's degree in criminal justice from American International College in Springfield.
He has worked in homicide, drug and arson investigations. He started his career working summers for three years at the old Second Street jail and was assistant deputy superintendent for security at the jail for about a year and half earlier in the decade. He stressed his good relationships with the many law enforcement agencies; the correctional officers' union endorsed him last month.
Bowler will likely have to face a number of opponents for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring incumbent Carmen C. Massimiano Jr. Longtime Rep. Daniel E. Bosley of North Adams announced his intention to run in January; others evincing interest include Democrats Alfred J. Barbalunga, William M. Palmer and John T. Zelazo as well as Michael W. Garvey, who is unenrolled. Candidates have until April 27 to submit 500 signatures; a primary, if needed, would be held Sept. 14.
Bowler has never run for office but set his sights on the sheriff's office a long time ago.
"Throughout my law enforcement career, I've always had this at the end of the tunnel," he said. "That I'd love to end my career as the sheriff of Berkshire County."