Four new officers bring Hatfield police to full force
HATFIELD — Four new officers have joined the ranks of the Hatfield Police Department. Chief Thomas Osley said he is pleased with the new recruits, selected from a pool of 16 applicants.
The four new officers have been in training with the Hatfield Police Department since being sworn in Sept. 4. All of them work part-time at the now 12-member force. Only Osley works full-time.
Osley said it is quite difficult to find people who want to work in a small town and that he feels lucky to have gotten some very qualified candidates.
“It took several months to hire them and these are the four that made it,” Osley said. “They are a good bunch. They are young and intelligent.”
The new additions to the department include officers Jonathan Holmes, Jacob Lapean, James Galeas and Bridget O’Connell. They bring a variety of different backgrounds and experience.
Galeas is a seasoned captain in the Army National Guard, while Lapean is studying criminal law at Greenfield Community College. Coming from a long line of Massachusetts State Troopers, O’Connell spent time in Boston working security at Brigham and Women’s Hospital before moving back to the western part of the sate. Holmes previously worked in the law enforcement division of the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office.
O’Connell is the only female officer in the department, though Hatfield has had other women who have served on the force.
“My father is a state trooper and my grandfather was as well. I guess you could say that I am following in their footsteps,” she said. She was interviewed recently at the Police Department, when she had stopped by with Lt. Michael Dekoschak while being trained on making motor vehicle stops.
“It has been very good training here, and I can’t wait to get out on my own,” she said.
The new officers are learning a variety of procedural regulations, acquainting themselves with the town and undergoing several hours of field training with other Hatfield officers.
Osley said Dekoschak and Lt. Timothy Paciorek have been doing most of the training of the new officers.
“They are all doing an excellent job,” Osley said. “They are starting to go out on their own now when there are other officers around, and they should be fully ready by December.”
Osley said the new officers are not filling newly created positions.
“We were just replenishing our inventory, so to speak,” he said. “This will put us back up to a dozen officers, which is right where we should be.”