Tag Archives: Police Chief Gary Gemme

Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme DELIVERS

By Barbara Haller

Everybody’s got an agenda.  Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme’s agenda is Successfully Making & Keeping Worcester a Safe City.

I have worked with Police Chief Gary Gemme since he was hired as Worcester’s Police Chief in 2004, most of this time as the District 4 city councilor (2002-2011) and in the last 3 years as a local resident and active community member.  While chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee we met nearly every month one-on-one to discuss community problems.  I also met many times with him and key staff members and neighborhood constituents to discuss specific problems and strategies.

I also know Worcester for many years in many capacities.  I went to school in the City (Worcester Junior and WPI), have worked in the City (NGRID), had a small business in the City (Gilrein’s).  I own my home in the City (Main South).  My daughter and her family live in the City (Newton Square); my grandchildren attend Jacob Hiatt.  My partner owns and manages rental properties in Main South.

I know the struggle to get community policing to work.  I know about problem employees, difficult people.  I know about guns, drugs, and rock and roll.  I know about partisan politics.  I know about agendas – hidden and public ones.

Here’s what I know about Gary Gemme:

  • Chief Gemme is the real deal when it comes to commitment and honor.
  • Chief Gemme is a professional in all the positive ways – in touch, engaged, informed, pro-active.
  • Chief Gemme has made and is making a significant impact on controlling and reducing crime.

When he agreed to be hired as Chief, he made it clear to then City Manager O’Brien that he would not compromise on his vision for the Department.  The Manager agreed to support his efforts to change the Police Department culture and our community engagement in solutions to crime.  The 2004 city council was delighted with Manager O’Brien’s success in hiring Gary Gemme as our Police Chief.

The Chief delivers.

He reorganized his department using the split force model allowing for effective reaction to crime and pro-active prevention.  He put together a leadership team with targeted responsibilities and expertise.  He takes action on firing ranges, gun permits, porn houses, knives, officer discipline, technology, party houses, street crime.  He improves and grows partnerships with youth and youth-serving organizations, religious leaders, ethnic groups, athletic organizations.   He works with the Office of Human Rights to improve officer training.  He, working with Manager O’Brien, broke barriers among city departments to successfully develop inter-departments teams to address persistent problem properties.

The Chief’s commitment to neighborhood crime watches, foot beats, along with rapid response to data-driven hot-spots and developing crime trends is nothing short of great.  Last week at my local neighborhood crime watch meeting, our community impact officers were engaged – giving updates on progress for previously reported problems, listening to neighbors’ concerns.  Rather than standing up and telling us what to do, they sat with us and brainstormed possible solutions.  The feeling of partnership was strong.

All this being said there are always those who look for opportunities to criticize. For those of us who are not dogmatic in our beliefs or who feel uninformed, these people cause us to pause and reconsider if we are going in the right direction.  And sometimes they are right.  And sometimes we change our views.  And sometimes needed change comes.

And then there are always those to look for opportunities to misrepresent, demean, and incite.  My experience is that these people have some grudge, a need to see their name in the media, sell papers, get elected, and/or feel obligated to always act against authority and position.  There is an agenda and some ulterior motive.  They too cause many of us to pause and consider.  But we are mistaken if we allow them to lead us to change.

My experience with Police Chief Gary Gemme comes over many years and in many situations.  His commitment to his job and Worcester runs deep.  His motivation is honor and justice.   We don’t have to always agree with him; we don’t have to like him.  But we should respect his knowledge, expertise and professionalism.

We are fortunate to have Chief Gemme in service to our City.  Those who are attempting to misrepresent his accomplishments, demean his character, and incite others to do the same are not acting in Worcester’s best interest.   We would do well to ignore them.

Thank you, Worcester Police Department!

editor’s note: I know more than a few good people who have been killed or horribly maimed by cars careening down Worcester streets. PLEASE! Remember what we all learned (or at least what I learned) in driver’s ed: PEDESTRIANS ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.

Even if they are j-walking, even if they are drunk, even if they are homeless panhandlers, even if they are crawling along …

Anyways, we never ever give a big thumbs up to the Worcester Police Dept. We do today! Thank you, Chief Gemme! And shame on the idiots who are whining about the police stings – and asking where are they and how can we avoid them? These folks have no respect for the inner-city residents of Worcester! Or anyone, for that matter!

This press release from the City of Worcester:

Pedestrian Fatal Accidents Increase over Past Year

Worcester, MA (January 4, 2012) – The Worcester Police report that there have been 6 pedestrian fatalities over the past year, an increase from only 1 in 2010; however, there were 325 pedestrian accidents reported in 2011, a significant decline compared to 384 in 2010.

As a result of the increase in pedestrian fatalities, the Worcester Police Traffic Division increased law enforcement tactics by increasing a plain clothes crosswalk sting operation throughout the city. This operation is known as “Operation Safe Cross.”

This sting involves officers dressed in plain clothes that cross streets in congested areas within marked crosswalks. Meanwhile, marked police cruisers are staged nearby and observe driver behavior. These marked cruisers would then act when a violation is observed. There have been 1,427 crosswalk violations issued in 2011 compared to 769 in the previous year.

The Worcester Police will continue to expand on enforcing cross walk safety for the upcoming year by focusing attention on traditional law enforcement tactics and maintaining the sting operations.

The Worcester Police Department and Worcester’s provincialism

By Rosalie Tirella

I got a chance to catch last week’s Worcester City Council meeting. Appalling! To see all our city councilors get up to kiss Police Chief Gary Gemme’s ass – after he throws out his “you- should-thank-God-for-the-WPD crime” report. For without us, Police Chief Gemme was telling the council (not so blatantly, of course) this place would be Dodge City!! This place would be overrun with crime and criminals!” (truth: Worcester has a lower crime rate than Hartford, Springield, etc because Woercester has more upper income folks/families living in our city limits than cities like Hartford or Springfield do. And rich people don’t commit the kinds of crimes poor/desperate people do. Springfiled, Hartford – even Providence – have many more poor people – poor neighborhoods – than we do. In fact, Hartford is one of the poorest cities in New England and one of the poorest in the USA!). Continue reading

Fourth of July special, courtesy of the Worcester Police Department!

By Rosalie Tirella

How sad this had to happen right before the Fourth of July:

About three or so days ago, a guy and a Worcester cop were infront of a Worcester pharmacy – the guy getting arrested. The guy gives some lip service to one of Worcester’s finest as he’s being arrested, and the Nazi – I mean Worcester Police Officer – would have none of the guy’s sass. So what did the cop do? He pounced on the guy and began whacking him in the balls! Again and again! And after he was finished, he swung his arm around several times – as if to say: Whew! That took a lot outa me! Gotta stretch the ol’ muscles!

“Happy Fourth of July, Worcester! 

– body blows and kisses from the WPD!” Continue reading

The Worcester Police Dept. investigates itself

By Ronald O’Clair

I thought that you would be interested to know the outcome of the Worcester Police Department investigation into my complaint – an account was published in the February 13 – 26 issue of InCity Times.
As I knew before filing the complaint, the charges against both officers involved were declared “not sustained” and “unfounded” in the letter the Chief of Police sent me to inform me of the resolution of my “case.”
I had three witnesses, besides myself, and though they were not exactly stellar witnesses, they do hear and see well enough that they saw and heard what they did.

No matter how many indignant citizens complain to the WPD’s “Bureau of Professional Standards,” the result is the same, time after time: “unfounded” or “not sustained.”

That is why I think that the Chief is so reluctant to release the records that the public has a right to be informed about. He does not want to let the people see how one-sided the so-called investigations are being conducted so that the police department can retain what shreds of dignity it has left, which are not many if you ask me. …

It really is not very funny when an injustice happens to you at the hands of those who are sworn under oath of office to “serve and protect” your rights as a citizen of the City of Worcester.

It is not funny when you take the time to protest the injustice, only to have them white-wash the incident to make it appear that the officers acted responsibly and in a professional manner, when any fool can see that they did not, and do not practice these policies on a daily basis here in the inner-city around the P.I.P. shelter. Continue reading