|Adams Names First Police Department Corporal|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff |
05:17AM / Thursday, February 16, 2023
|Cpl. Joshua Baker is the first Adams officer to hold that rank. The Adams native has been a member of the Police Department for 20 years. |
ADAMS, Mass. — The town has chosen a 20-year veteran of the police force to take the newly created position of corporal.
Joshua Baker was formally confirmed in the post at Wednesday's Select Board meeting, surrounded by his colleagues and with family in the audience.
"It just shows how this whole community supports each other and law enforcement," said Police Chief F. Scott Kelley. "The new police position allows more advancement for the officers of APD but also strengthens the supervisory levels between patrol officers and sergeants."
Town Administrator Jay Green said the decision to create the position — which is higher than a patrol officer but under a sergeant — came from Kelley and that Baker was a good candidate to be the first to hold that rank.
"Adams has never had a corporal before," said Green. "It is a supervisory position. It is usually a position that's given to those folks who have jobs. They possess certain skills and knowledge. ...
"We have four sergeants, but we have some officers responding to these special interests and skills and chief, and I felt that at this point for purposes of retention and recruitment that we would create the position of corporal."
Baker joined the force in 2003 and is a field training officer who handles certifications for the department. Kelley said he is in charge of nearly all the in-house training for the various departments and has instructed at all levels of tactical disciplines including advanced SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics).
In 2013, the Adams native became a member of the Berkshire County special response team, and currently is a senior operator and team leader. He also served as a frontline technical supervisor during critical incidents and, in 2017, was the recipient of the SWAT Operator of the Year Award.
"Since my arrival two years ago, I have seen tremendous growth in this department," the chief said. "The officers here are driven and want to succeed for the betterment of the community and the department. Josh Baker is a perfect example of this."
In other business,
• The board, acting as the License Board, approved an innkeeper's license for Pleasant Street Holdings, doing business as Topia Inn on Pleasant Street; a weekly public entertainment license for the Adams Theater; facility use, public entertainment for Pro Adams and one-day liquor licenses for Balderdash Cellars and Bounti-Fare all for Thunderfest on Saturday, March 25, at the Visitors Center.
• David Bissaillon and Erin Mucci of ProAdams thanked the board for the town's support of the town and said the major investments being made in Adams that they thought bode well for its future. Mucci noted Thunderfest had previously been held in February to coincide with the resurrection of the Thunderbolt race, but the race has only been held four times while Thunderfest is entering its 12th year.
The event was canceled in 2021 because of the pandemic and shifted into March last year after a spike in COVID-19 after the holidays. It worked out so well that ProAdams decided to stick with a late March date.
• The board approved the Community Development Block Grant application for $1.35 million and accepted new bylaws for the Council on Aging.
• The board approved an intermunicipal agreement with North Adams and Williamstown for the shared human resources director. Green said he and North Adams' interim Administrative Officer Katherine Eade had tweaked the agreement being used in South County and had it reviewed by town counsel.
• The board set a tentative fiscal 2024 budget schedule with an overview on March 6 and another on March 13 for the Finance Committee; joint budget reviews will take place the week of March 20 with a possible vote at the Selectmen's meeting on April 5 and Finance to make its recommendations on April 6. The annual town meeting warrant will open for citizen's petitions from April 5 to 19 and town meeting will be set in early June.
Historical Commission Chair Ryan Biros said the commission is seeking members. Anyone interested should contact Biros at firstname.lastname@example.org