The City Council got back to business Monday
night with a special organizational meeting and then quickly taking care of the
new year’s first agenda items.
As expected, the Council approved a second
term for Damali Vidot as council president. District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada
was voted in as vice president, and Yamir Rodriguez as the Council’s delegate
to the School Committee.
“I want to thank all my colleague’s for
entrusting me with one more year as president,” said Vidot. She is the first
female councillor to serve two back-to-back terms as council president.
Vidot said she is looking forward to a year
of unity and respect on the council.
In other business, the Council unanimously
approved funding for new contracts for the City’s two police unions.
The contracts include a retroactive salary
increase of 2.5 percent for FY17 and 3 percent for FY18 and FY19. There is also
a 3 percent increase slated for FY20 and an additional 1 percent increase that
goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
The contract also implements residency
requirements for all new hires for the Police Department.
Later in the meeting, the Council also
approved an amended residency ordinance for all police, fire, and civil service
The ordinance requires that all personnel
who live in Chelsea at the time of the hire must maintain residency for five
years from the date of hire. Personnel who do not live in the city at the time
of hire have six months to relocate to Chelsea.
Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson cast the
lone vote against the amended ordinance, using the example of a child who might
have to look after sick parents as a possible reason an employee may not be
able to relocate.
•During the public speaking portion of the
meeting, some familiar guests dropped in to say thank you to the Council.
Several members of the Chelsea High senior
class thanked the council for its recent vote to fund a turf field cover to the
tune of $170,000 for the new high school field.
With the field cover, the senior class and
subsequent classes will be able to hold outdoor graduations.
“We’ve put so much hard work into this, and
everything that has happened has been amazing,” said Senior Class President
Poste and several
other seniors presented the Council with a signed letter in appreciation for
their efforts. They also asked the council for their signatures on a
proclamation documenting the students’ and the Council’s efforts to work
together to make the turf field cover a reality.
The long-awaited episode of the ‘COPS’ television show that was filmed in Chelsea will air this Saturday night on Spike TV at 8 p.m.
Film crews followed Chelsea Police officers for several weeks last summer filming the ins and outs of being a police officer in the City. They also filmed some footage in Revere and Lynn as well. The episode is titled ‘One in the Bush.’
A synopsis of the show is as follows: “An offender placed in cuffs tries to rewrite the rules; an unlicensed driver speeds away from a checkpoint; officers seek the truth from two evasive suspects.”
The show was welcomed to the city warmly by most officers, and crews actually were instrumental in an incident at a Broadway bar last summer where a man bit off the finger of a passer-by below the knuckle. A cameraman for the show actually found the man’s finger on the street, and was able to direct medical personnel to the missing digit – which was retrieved and an attempt was made to reattach the finger.
That situation was one of many that will likely be featured on the show, where Chelsea Police are shown in a very good light doing their job professionally, Chief Brian Kyes said.
“We were very excited and honored to learn that the Spike TV COPS Show was interested in filming here in Chelsea based on the positive reputation that our police department enjoys in local law enforcement circles around that state,” he said. “We looked at this as an opportunity to showcase the hard work and diligent efforts that our personnel exhibit on a daily basis as they take to the streets to keep our residents safe. The crew was extremely impressed with the professionalism displayed by all of our Officer
A film crew from the TV show COPS rode along with officers in Chelsea last summer for about a month, and the footage will air this Saturday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. on Spike TV.
s and Supervisors that they had occasion to work with during their month or so here in Chelsea. Certainly being a duly sworn Police Officer in a thickly settled urban inner city environment like Chelsea has its occasional challenges, but to perform at extremely high levels despite these obstacles speaks volumes of the caliber of Officers that the City is lucky to have as their ‘agents of protection.’”
COPS is the longest-running reality television show on TV, having debuted on the Fox in 1989.
It is now in its 28th season on television – having moved to Spike TV recently.
Fire departments around the Commonwealth were ordered to lower all flags to half-staff in
honor of the fallen Boston Fire Fighters from last Wednesday’s 9-alarm fire in the Back Bay.
Here, Chelsea Firefighter Michael Fiola lowers the flag at the Chelsea Firefighters Memorial
last Wednesday evening, March 26.
The tragic 9-alarm fatal fire in Boston last Wednesday has Chelsea firefighters reflecting on their own procedures and preparing to attend the funerals for both fallen Boston jakes.
Earlier this week, department shift commanders took the time to speak to fire crews about the Boston fire. In addition to going over the incident internally, they also reviewed their own ‘mayday’ procedures.
“The firefighters are having a difficult time with this fire where it appeared to be a routine job that suddenly turned tragic,” said Dep. Chief John Quatieri.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Fire plans to send more than 50 members and an honor guard to each of the two funerals. A limo company in Medford was kind enough to donate a bus, Quatieri said.
“Joseph’s Limousine in Medford was kind enough to donate a bus to the department, each day, to transport our personnel to the funerals,” said Quatieri.
Pictured below are Firefighter Phil Rogers (in the bomb
technician gear) and Mass State Police Trooper Dan Jones
during last week’s training.
The Chelsea Fire Department frequently works very closely with the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Section, and last week several firefighters were able to train with the specialized unit in order to prepare for an emergency.
“We routinely train with the Mass State Police Fire Investigators,” stated Captain Richard Perisie, who is the fire department’s lead fire investigator. “We just recently started training with the Hazardous Device (Bomb Squad) units as well.”
The fire department provides support to the State Police Bomb Technicians any time they operate in the city.
“Our personnel need to be prepared if a device detonates,” stated Deputy Chief John Quatieri, “the troopers are putting themselves in an extremely dangerous environment, you just can’t downplay anything these days.”
The training provided to the fire department this past week focused on supporting the bomb technicians during incidents involving suspicious packages, improvised explosive devices and other types of explosive events.
The training was delivered by Mass State Police Trooper Dan Jones who is the EMS coordinated for the State Police Bomb Squad. Chelsea firefighters were informed of what type of injuries to expect if a device were to activate and how to rapidly get the technicians out of their protective gear if necessary.
The City Council ruled a controversial public safety measure out of order at Monday’s meeting prior to any discussion.
An order had been put in last week by several councillors to look into enforcing the 10-mile state law that requires all police, fire and EMS employees to live within 10 miles of their municipal employment. The order was born out of information uncovered during budget discussions, information that pointed to a number of personnel living beyond the 10-mile limit. With the recent Boston Marathon bombing and Chelsea’s history of major fires, the Council had expressed interest in discussing the implications of that. Enforcement of that state law used to be quite stringent, but in recent years has become rather lax statewide with the advent of better communications and better mutual aid agreements. ‘Call backs’ for emergencies among public safety personnel are also rather rare nowadays.
However, a strong majority of councillors felt they wanted to explore a return to the more stringent enforcement of that state law – with the order calling for all personnel living outside the 10-mile limit to move back in that zone within six months or face termination.
By Monday night, the mood of a majority of the Council had changed radically, and instead of moving the measure to committee, eight councillors voted to rule it out of order and not discuss it at all.
Three councillors, including Joe Perlatonda, Leo Robinson and Giovanni Recupero, voted to keep it on the table and put it in a Committee on Conference for further study.
The change of heart followed what many said was a strong behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign.