Five Holyoke officers promoted to new supervisory positions

By DUSTY CHRISTENSEN

Staff Writer

Published: 02-18-2022 10:14 AM

HOLYOKE — Five Holyoke Police Department officers were promoted to new supervisory positions on Wednesday in a ceremony at City Hall.

The promotions were made in part to deal with what police leadership say is a staffing crunch in its higher ranks. This fiscal year, then-acting mayor Terence Murphy presented a budget that cut a lieutenant position from the department. Then the City Council, in an effort to keep costs down in the city department with the biggest budget, decided to cut funding for a fourth captain position.

“It was almost like a double whammy for the Police Department,” Mayor Joshua Garcia explained to the City Council’s Finance Committee during a Jan. 31 meeting. In addition, four supervisors are currently out on medical leave and another is out on military leave.

In order to rely less on overtime to cover those positions, the Police Department and mayor’s office decided to fill the fourth captain position anyway for the remainder of the fiscal year, using surplus money that, because of grant funding, has accumulated in the department’s budget for captains. That wouldn’t prevent city councilors from again deciding to only fund three captains in the coming fiscal year.

Those promoted on Wednesday were Lt. Manuel Reyes, who made captain; Sgts. Mark Harrison and Anthony Sotolotto, who were promoted to lieutena nt; and Officer James Dunn and Detective Joseph Zurheide, who became sergeant s.

Update: This story has been updated to clarify where money for a fourth captain is coming from in Holyoke’s budget.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.]]>

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