5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmingtons New Police Chief Joe Desmond PART 1

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple recently caught up with Wilmington Police Chief Joe Desmond, who was appointed to the position on Monday, July 15. Question #1: You grew up in Wilmington. You’ve been on the force for more than 30 years. Can you describe what it’s like to now be Chief?Chief: “It’s been quite a journey. I started July 2 of 1988. It doesn’t seem so long ago as things do move quickly. I never envisioned myself becoming chief. I was never one of those people who had an ambition to be the leader of the department. I always wanted to be involved and extend my responsibilities as best I could, but I never saw myself here. It’s an honor and I’m looking forward to it.”Question #2: You told the Town Crier: “We’ve always had a department that has had a very good reputation in the community and that’s responsive to the community’s needs.” How do you plan on continuing to maintain this reputation and responsiveness? Will the public see any noticeable changes now with you at the helm?Chief: “Being responsive to the community’s needs is one of the most important things that we can do. I try to stress to [my staff] that our reputation doesn’t happen by accident. You get a good reputation by being responsive to the community’s needs and being professional. My goal is to keep that going and improve on it in any area that we can.”“I don’t think you’ll see any major changes right away. The best, longest lasting change you can make is change that happens slowly. Our biggest priority right now is staffing issues with Deputy Chief Richter going to Kittery and the Chief Begonis going to the private sector. We had two retirements last year and two more coming up, so the amount of time it takes to hire people, train them at the academy and get them road trained and ready to go is a big turnaround. One of my biggest issues will be getting up to staffing levels. Once you get there, you can begin to broaden out a bit.”Question #3: What are your thoughts on the new Police Explorers Program your department is starting? Chief: “One of the ways we always look to improve is outreach to the community. We’re a reactive profession in a way. We wait until someone calls us and then come and try to solve their problem. We’re looking for ways to be proactive. We think the Explorers program is a nice way of doing that. Officers Dan Furbush and Mike Cabral are spearheading this. We hope to be starting in October. We’ve got some good early feedback. They’re looking for 20 participants. We’re looking forward to it. It’s a way of making the younger generation have a positive response to this profession. For some reason, we’re not getting the type and number of recruits we used to get. Not as many people are taking the civil service test. For whatever reason, this job doesn’t have the appeal that it used to have. A program like this can be almost like a farm system, where we instill that this is a good profession. We hope some of these kids who participate will grow up and someday join our ranks.”Question #4: Your department is holding its National Night Out event at Rotary Park this coming Tuesday, August 6. What are your thoughts on the event and what are you trying to accomplish with it? Chief: “I agree with [former Chief Begonis] that National Night Out is one of the best nights of the year for the department and I want to carry on what he did with it. Because of the Cummings Foundation’s generosity, we were able to hold the event, although most of what you see is volunteers. All the agencies are doing this on their own free time. Red Heat Tavern donates all the food. The evening provides a relaxed atmosphere where citizens can come out and meet people in law enforcement in a nice setting, not a stressful setting or in positions of authority. There’s also an educational aspect to it too — citizens can learn more about what we do. And, for those wondering, yes, we have the helicopter back for this year’s event, weather-permitting, which is always a crowd favorite.”Question #5: Lt. Brian Pupa was recently appointed Deputy Chief of Police. What are your thoughts on his promotion? Chief: “Once I was promoted to permanent chief, the issue of filling the deputy chief came up. The two candidates at the top of the list were Lt. Dan Murray and Lt. Brian Pupa. There was no way I could lose. I’m very much looking forward to working with Brian. His civil service rank is Deputy Chief, but I really want to view this as Chief and Chief 1A. I have that much confidence in him and value and trust his opinion that much. It’s going to be great and I’m excited about it.”Look for 5 more questions with Chief Desmond tomorrow on Wilmington Apple.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Police Chief Joe Desmond & Deputy Police Chief Brian Pupa Sworn InIn “Police Log”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Police Chief Joe Desmond (PART 2)In “5 Quick Questions”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”last_img read more

Police stabbed assailant shot at UK parliament

first_imgPolice tapes off Parliament Square after reports of loud bangs, in London. Photo: ReutersBritish police shot a suspected attacker outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday after an officer was stabbed in what police said was a “terrorist” incident.The building in the heart of the British capital was immediately sealed off and MPs and staff ordered to remain inside.David Lidington, the leader of parliament’s lower House of Commons who is responsible for arranging government business, told MPs: “What I am able to say to the house is there has been a serious incident.”It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.”There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster,” he said.He said he could not go into further details until there was confirmation from the police and security authorities.Prime minister Theresa May is safe, a statement from her Downing Street office said, and she was seen getting into a car and being driven away from parliament.Lidington said an air ambulance was at the scene to take away casualties.TV pictures showed traffic halted on the nearby Westminster Bridge and emergency vehicles swarming around. The busy bridge was completely shut off to traffic.Armed police swarmed to the area which was quickly sealed off to the public.The incident came on the same day that Belgium was marking a year since its most deadly attack, when 32 people were killed in suicide bombings at Brussels Airport and a metro station.In July 2005, four British suicide bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda attacked London’s transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people.Two weeks later, there was an attempt to carry out a second wave of attacks.A spokesman for the House of Commons told AFP: “We can confirm that the sitting has been suspended in the Commons at the moment. We are aware of a security incident that has taken place.”London’s metropolitan police said on Twitter: “We were called at approx 2:40 pm to reports of an incident at Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident — police on the scene.”Officers — including firearms officers — are on scene and dealing with the incident.”A staff member in parliament, who did not want to be named, told AFP: “I definitely heard shots. I saw someone in dark clothing go down.”Westminster station on the London Underground train network, which is opposite the Houses of Parliament, was closed over to the incident.Read more:UK parliament in lockdown after ‘shots fired’Assailant shot, at least a dozen injured in incident at UK parliament: Reuterslast_img read more

Hasina expects no help from Trump on Rohingya issue

first_imgBangladesh`s prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks with a reporter during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Photo: ReutersBangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina said she spoke to US president Donald Trump on Monday about Rohingya Muslims flooding into her country from Myanmar, but she expects no help from him as he has made clear how he feels about refugees.As Trump left an event he hosted at the United Nations on reforming the world body, Hasina said she stopped him for a few minutes.“He just asked how is Bangladesh? I said ‘it’s doing very well, but the only problem that we have is the refugees from Myanmar’,” Hasina told Reuters in an interview. “But he didn’t make any comment about refugees.”A Myanmar military response to insurgent attacks last month in the country’s Rakhine state sent more than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh, escaping what the United Nations has branded as ethnic cleansing.The Myanmar government says about 400 people have been killed in the fighting.Hasina, who is due to address the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, said Trump’s stance on refugees was clear, so it was not worth asking him for help with the Rohingya Muslim refugees.“Already America declared that they will not allow any refugees,” she said. “What I can expect from them, and especially (the) president. He already declared his mind … so why I should ask?”“Bangladesh is not a rich country … but if we can feed 160 million people, another 500 or 700,000 people, we can do it.”A senior White House official was unaware of the exchange but said Trump was deeply interested in the subject and that “he would definitely engage if it were brought up.”Shortly after taking office in January, Trump tried to put a 120-day halt on the US refugee program, bar Syrian refugees indefinitely and impose a 90-day suspension on people from six predominantly Muslim countries.“The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!” Trump said on Twitter on Friday.Trump says the move is needed to prevent terrorist attacks and allow the government to put in place more stringent vetting procedures. There is a key Supreme Court hearing next month on the constitutionality of his executive order on the ban.About a million Rohingya lived in Rakhine State until the recent violence. Most face travel restrictions and are denied citizenship in a country where many Buddhists regard them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.Hasina said she wanted to see more international political pressure on Myanmar to allow the Rohingya to return.“(Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi) should agree that these people belong to her country and that Myanmar is their country. They should take them back,” she said. “These people are suffering.”Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has faced a barrage of international criticism for not stopping the violence. Myanmar national security adviser Thaung Tun told Reuters on Monday that Myanmar would ensure those who left their homes could return, but there was “a process we have to discuss.”US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley urged the Myanmar government to end military operations, grant humanitarian access, and commit to aiding the safe return of civilians to their homes.“People are still at risk of being attacked or killed, humanitarian aid is not reaching the people who need it, and innocent civilians are still fleeing across the border to Bangladesh,” Haley said after Britain hosted a meeting on the crisis in New York on Monday.A US deputy assistant secretary of state, Patrick Murphy, is due in Myanmar this week.last_img