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Town Clerk Haley Meczywor swears in new Police Officer Natasha Antona on Wednesday. Antona interned at the police station and became a reserve officer in February.

Adams Appoints Two New Police Officers

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen have ratified the appointment of a full-time police officer and a new reserve officer.
 
Police Chief Richard Tarsa asked the board Wednesday to promote reserve Police Officer Natasha Antona to full time and bring on Dylan Vandoloski as a reserve.
 
"As Yogi Berra once said: it is déjà vu all over again," Tarsa said. "A few months ago I came before the board asking for this reserve officer appointment and I am very proud and happy to be before the board asking to take it to the next step."
 
The department has been struggling to fill its ranks over the past few years because of the limitations of using Civil Service, which requires using candidates from the state exam list. The town dissolved its adoption of the Civil Service law last year and, since then, Tarsa has been filling out the department.
 
Tarsa said Antona interned with the department while studying English at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and found herself very interested in criminal justice. Tarsa said she went on to study criminal justice and was appointed as a reserve officer in February.
 
"She has the praise of her colleagues and as well as mine and I think she has made tremendous progress to get us to this point this evening," he said. 
 
Selectman Joseph Nowak said he was happy to see the department continue to diversify.
 
"I am very happy we have another woman on the force," he said. "I think it is a complement to the force."
 
Tarsa said Antona will start July 1 and attend the full-time academy in October.
 
The board then ratified Vandoloski, who Tarsa said is currently a part-time officer in Cheshire.
 
"He is a mechanic, but he has a passion for law enforcement and he wants to come here to Adams," he said. "He is an advocate for community policing and wants to give back to the community ... I think he will be a great addition to the department and the community."
 
Interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan, who was part of the interview process for both officers, said it was encouraging to meet two young people excited to work in town. 
 
"One of the pleasures of being the interim town administrator is to meet young people that are starting their careers here," she said. "It is great to see how excited they are not only to work in Adams but to be part of the community."
 
Tarsa said in the coming months he plans to bring more reserve officers before the board. 
 
"I have talked about this before putting a reserve team together, so we can promote our department," he said. "Dylan is our latest addition and I am very happy to say that we have others waiting in the wings."
 
In other business, Selectwoman Christine Hoyt gave a report on a recent personnel subcommittee meeting that discussed the status of the town administrator search process.
 
"We did talk about looking at the possibility of hiring a consultant and getting some people here to look at this," Hoyt said.
 
Since the departure of Tony Mazzucco last year, the town has been going through a search process while Cesan filled in during the interim. Recently Hoyt announced that the search committee could not bring forward three qualified candidates for final interviews with the Selectmen.
 
One of the concerns was the salary level being offered and town meeting earlier this approved a higher range to attract more candidates.
 
The screening committee has been temporarily disbanded but the town looks to pick up the search effort again in the coming months.

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Community Remembers the Fallen on Memorial Day

Staff Reports
ADAMS, Mass. — Brothers William and Earle Charbonneau joined the Navy together on Sept. 11, 1942, served together and died together when their ship was torpedoed off Italy 80 years ago this May. 
 
"Our mother was their youngest sister, she talked about them all the time because they were 19 and 20 and she was 18," said Tammy McCarthy. "She talked about them all the time. She said the shock of that happening turned her hair white overnight. She dyed her hair ever since then."
 
The brothers were remembered during Memorial Day services on Monday morning, held in the Memorial Building.
 
"These heroes left the comfort of their homes, their families and loved ones, their friends to serve a greater purpose to preserve American way of life," said master of ceremonies Frederick Lora. "Freedom is not free and each generation must answer freedom's call and its those who paid the ultimate sacrifice that we remember today."
 
The observances included prayers from Deacon Greg LaFreniere, the reading of the Gettysburg Address and of "In Flanders Fields" by Hoosac Valley High School students Talia Rehill and Addison Colvin, respectively. The Hoosac Valley band played the national anthem and Rachel Scarpitto and Corey Charron taps and echo. 
 
District Veterans Agent Mitchell Kiel said Memorial Day is a day to honor and celebrate those who lost their lives in service to the nation. But "after these somber reminders of the meaning of the day ... how are you supposed to celebrate?" he asked. 
 
"They fought for the freedom that allows us to celebrate," Kiel said. "Because our families honor and remember their family members."
 
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