History

In 1918, it was decide by the selectmen that the police presence was needed in the Town of Longmeadow, "Police protection is not only requested but essential has been amply demonstrated during the past year."

Richard Warme
Richard Warme was appointed Chief on April 1, 1920 with an operating budget of $3000 and a force of 9 special police officers. In 1924 Chief Warme resigned and John S. Henderson filled his position. In that year, the first motorcycle was purchased for the purpose of traffic enforcement. In 1928 the first traffic light was installed on Longmeadow Street, Route 5. Police headquarters was moved from the Albert T. Wood Post (The building now standing on Longmeadow Street across from Edgewood Avenue) to the basement of the town hall.

In 1939, while in office, Chief Henderson died and was replaced by George Van Train. Direct phone lines were installed in the station in 1941 (7-3311). This same number is still in effect today (567-3311). The first car radio was installed in 1942. Prior to this, patrol officers would periodically drive by the station and look for a flashing light. If the light was flashing, they would come in the station and gather reported information before responding to the scene.

George Yarsley Jr.
Chief George Yarsley Jr. was appointed Chief in 1943 before retiring in 1975. During his tenure the safety program was implemented (1950), officers were required to attend 4 weeks of academy training (1951), the ambulance garage was built (1952), I-91 was completed (1960), the present police station was completed (1960), traffic lights installed at Williams & Laurel, Converse & Laurel and Bliss & Laurel, (1961-1962), the first radar equipment was purchased (1964) and a dramatic increase in crime rate was reported.

Donald Abraham
Chief Donald Abraham was promoted to Chief in 1975. He retired in 1982 and was replaced by John S. Donaldson who retired in 1988.

Richard A. Marchese
The seventh chief, Richard A. Marchese, was appointed in 1988. During his tenure, positive attitudinal changes and technological advances took place. A full time Safety Officer position utilized (1989), 2 officers trained and implemented DARE program (1989), 2 officers are trained in Crime Prevention (1990), 2 officers trained and begin and deliver Crime Prevention strategies to the community (1992),officers begin working regionally: Drug Task Force (1994), 3 officers patrol on bicycles (1994), the 1st session of the Citizen Police Academy (1995), one officer assigned to assist the Board of Health to assist with the enforcement of tobacco law violations (1995), 3 more officers assigned to bike patrol (1996), 2 officers trained in accident reconstruction (1997), civilian dispatchers replace Officers on "desk duty" (1998), funding approved for renovation of police headquarters (1998), and the newly renovated police complex was completed (2000).

Chief Richard Marchese retired in 2004 after completing almost 35 years of service to the Town of Longmeadow. Chief Marchese served in that capacity for 16 years.

Robert Danio
Robert Danio was appointed Chief in 2004 and retired in 2009 after completing 39 years of service to the Town of Longmeadow. 5 years were Chief of Police.

Shortly after Chief Danio's retirement Robert Siano was appointed Chief of Police after his most recent assignment as Detective Captain. Since his appointment, Chief Siano has been instrumental in providing the same level of service to the community while working within the confines of a level funded budget and reduced staffing.

Personnel
The year 2000 was the last year the Department was funded for a full compliment of Officers (31). The police department personnel currently include 23 full time officers (2009).

Technology Improvements

Recent technology improvements have included:
  • Pamet System - in house computer for reporting and tracking of incidents (1990)
  • Updated dispatch area in control room (1992)
  • New Motorola radio system installed- no interference from station to portable and cruiser units (1994)
  • Enhanced 911 system, E911 (1995)
  • Mobile computers installed in cruisers- officer on the street able to get driver and warrant information (1995)
  • Lidar unit - light detection and ranging, speed monitoring device (1996)
  • Infra-red viewing unit - night vision (1996)
  • All cruisers equipped with life saving Automated Defibrillator Devices (1999)
  • AR-15 Patrol rifles replace Patrol Shotguns (2004)
  • IMC Dispatch/Records Computer system implemented January 2004
  • IMC/RMV compatible laptop computers installed in Cruiser for real-time dispatch and report writing (2005)
  • Sig Sauer 0.45 Cal. Firearms replace Smith and Wesson .040 caliber (2005)
  • Smith and Wesson M&P 0.45 Cal. Firearm replaced Sig Sauer 0.45 caliber (2009)