Easthampton Police Department swears in new officer, promotes two

Laste modified: Saturday, November 16, 2013
EASTHAMPTON — The city’s Police Department added a new officer to its ranks and promoted two others at a busy swearing-in ceremony Thursday.

Joining the department as a patrol officer was Jared Pabis, 26, of Hampden, who left his job as assistant director of parks and recreation in Wilbraham to continue a family tradition of working in law enforcement.

Dennis Scribner, 36, was promoted to detective after 11 years as an officer. He will join Mark Popielarczyk in the department’s detective bureau.

Officer Kyle Kinlock, 48, who has been on the department for 27 years, was also recognized Thursday as the department’s senior patrol officer. The position comes with a gold badge.

After the ceremony, Police Chief Bruce McMahon said it felt great to add and promote such promising individuals.

“I’m excited for all of them,” he said. “We went through a long period of time when officers were injured and now we’re replacing them and getting back to a more normal number.”

In the last few years, the department has retired Detective Steven Burgielewicz and officers Anthony Covalli and Richard Facteau after they were injured in the line of duty and no longer able to work.

McMahon told the 50 people in a meeting room at the Public Safety Complex Thursday that Pabis was continuing a family legacy by becoming a police officer. His grandfather, uncle and father all served as officers.

The police chief said that Pabis stood out from the other 31 applicants for the job because “he did a phenomenal job in the interview and because of his background.”

He graduated from Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham in 2005, earned a business degree from Western New England University in 2009 and graduated from the Reserve Intermittent Academy of western Massachusetts in 2012.

His training isn’t over. He will get on-the-job training at the department until February and then spend eight months at the Western Massachusetts Police Academy in Springfield before he will be a full patrol officer in Easthampton.

Pabis said he felt lucky to land the job. “It’s a great position,” he said.

Though he has only spent a few days in Easthampton, he said he can see it being a place where he will have a long career as a police officer.

“It’s something that was always in the back of my mind, and a few years ago I decided to take it on as a career,” he said. He said he will probably move to the city soon.

McMahon couldn’t recall how many applied for the job of detective, which was open to anyone in the department, but said Scribner was “absolutely right” for the position.

“Dennis really, really excels at everything he does,” McMahon said. He recalled a time years ago when he was looking to hire a new officer and Scribner’s supervisor said, ‘just give me another Dennis Scribner.’”

McMahon said the new detective is prepared for the job because, as an officer, he has headed many of his own investigations. “He really knows how to talk to people. He’s very smooth, and that’s important in a detective,” he said.

Scribner, a Holyoke native who lives in Easthampton, said he is grateful to the administration for its “vote of confidence” in him.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges and the rewards and the new opportunities,” he said. “This department always encourages officers to work cases to their best ability, and certainly this will be an opportunity to build on it.”

Scribner worked at the Southampton Police Department and in the Smith College Public Safety Department before becoming an officer in Easthampton in 2002. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University.

Kinlock, who started working at the Easthampton Police Department in 1986 at the age of 20, deadpanned that his new gold badge signifying his seniority as an officer meant one thing: “I’m old.”

He started out as a voluntary auxiliary officer in 1986 and moved up in the ranks to reserve officer and intermittent reserve officer that same year. He became a full-time officer in 1993.

McMahon recalled a case Kinlock cracked more than a decade ago. It was a serious hit-and-run accident that left a pedestrian hurt. Kinlock had just a few pieces of a truck’s grill to go on, but he recognized the make and estimated the year of the model.

“He said, ‘I’ll find it,’ ” McMahon said. Six hours later, after driving around all night looking, Kinlock found the truck parked in the city and the driver was arrested.

The starting salaries for patrol officers is $44,437; for detectives it is $54,737. Both officers and detectives can earn more because of incentives paid for additional education and training.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.