NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A 16-year veteran of the police force and city native has been named as the new chief of police.
Lt. Jason R. Wood was selected out of 40 candidates following a national search to replace retiring Police Chief Michael Cozzaglio. He will be the city's first new "police chief" in 38 years following the elimination of the public safety commissioner post.
Mayor Thomas Bernard made his selection known early Wednesday morning. He said in a statement announcing his choice that he was looking for a leader with significant experience who understood collaboration and "a willingness to build and strengthen relationships with key community partners."
"In Lieutenant Wood, the City of North Adams has a veteran officer who understands these challenges, and who is prepared to lead the department in addressing them," he wrote. "In speaking with him, the search committee and I found someone who is ready to lead and to innovate."
Wood is a graduate of Drury High School and earned an associate's degree in criminal justice from Berkshire Community College. He joined the department in 2003 following completion of the Municipal Police Training Council academy. He has been a school resource officer and also created and managed the city's first Police K-9 division. He was appointed acting lieutenant in 2017, and was formally appointed to the role earlier this year.
He also is a certified field training officer and a U.S. Department of Homeland Security-trained active shooter instructor. He has received crisis intervention training from NAMI of Berkshire County, earned multiple Incident Command System (ICS) certifications, participated in leadership training programs through Endicott College and the Municipal Police Institute, and attended sessions of the Advancing 21st Century Policing task force in Washington, D.C. Locally, Wood co-founded the Running With the Law youth fitness program in North Adams, and also served as a facilitator with the Northern Berkshire ROPES (Respecting Other People, Encouraging Self-esteem) program.
He was one of three finalists who was interviewed by the mayor and a search committee two weeks and spoke with community members at a forum held at the UNO Center. Also under consideration had been Wayland Det. Sgt. Jamie D. Berger and Ridgefield, Conn., Capt. Bryan N. Terzian.
"I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to lead the North Adams Police Department into the future. I look forward to building new connections throughout the community, as well as to strengthening already established relationships," Wood said in the statement. "I believe the North Adams Police Department and its staff have the potential to further their roles as agents of positive change within the community by deepening our existing practices and commitment while implementing proven new practices based on the best standards of our profession."
Wood will succeed Cozzaglio who retired in February 2019 after more than 32 years of police service. He will be officially sworn in as police chief on May 1, 2019, with a public ceremony to follow on Friday, May 3.
Story will be updated after a press avail this afternoon ...
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Not that long ago, most people worked for some type of an organization, such as a business or the government or a school district. But today, more and more workers are going their own way and joining what's known as the "gig" economy. If you will be one of them, you'll want to make the right moves to advance your financial goals in what can be a challenging work environment.
But first, you may find some comfort in knowing the prevalence of gig work. About 36 percent of U.S. workers are now gig workers, according to a study from the Gallup organization, which defines the gig economy as one made up of a variety of arrangements – independent contractors, online platform workers, contract workers, on-call workers, temporary workers and freelancers. People join the gig economy for many reasons, but most of them, like you, could benefit by considering these actions:
Establish your own retirement plan. When you're a full-time employee, your employer may offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan. But as a gig worker, you need to save for your own retirement. Fortunately, you've got a lot of attractive options. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to open a SEP-IRA or even a "solo" or "owner-only" 401(k), which offers many of the same features of an employer-sponsored 401(k). Both these plans allow you to make pre-tax contributions, which can lower your taxable income. Plus, your earnings can grow on a tax-deferred basis. (Keep in mind that taxes will be due upon withdrawal, and any withdrawals you make before you turn 59 1/2 may be subject to a 10 percent IRS penalty.)
Create an emergency fund. Working in the gig economy can bring rewards and risks. And one of those risks is unpredictable – and often uneven – cash flow. This can be a cause for concern during times when you face a large unexpected expense, such as a major car repair or medical bill. To avoid dipping in to your long-term investments to pay for these costs, you should establish an emergency fund containing at least six months' worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account.
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