Originally a farming community and suburb of the City of Springfield, the Town of Longmeadow was first settled in 1644, and officially incorporated in 1783. The town currently has a population of approximately 15,900 residents, 5900 residences and a land area covering approximately nine square miles (30 percent of which is conservation land). In 1920 the Longmeadow Police Department was commissioned in response to the growing population and the increases in crime due, in part, to the trolley line traveling through Longmeadow connecting Springfield to Connecticut. Today, the department consists of 26 sworn full-time officers, one reserve officer and three special police officers. We are supported by two civilian administrative personnel and one civilian animal enforcement officer.
“Police protection is not only requested but, it is essential…it has been amply demonstrated during this past year.” – Longmeadow Town Government, ca. 1920
HISTORY OF THE LONGMEADOW POLICE DEPARTMENT AT-A-GLANCE
April 1, 1920: The Longmeadow Police Department is established. Richard Warme was appointed as the first Police Chief with an operating budget of $3000 and a force of 9 special police officers.
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.
1928: The first traffic light was installed on Longmeadow Street, Route 5.
1928: 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.
1939: George Vantrain is appointed Police Chief.
1941: Direct phone lines were installed in the station in 1941 (7-3311). This same number is still in effect today (567-3311).
1942: The first car communications radio is installed. Prior to this, patrol officers would periodically drive by the station and look for a flashing light. If the light was flashing, they would enter the station and gather reported information before responding to the scene.
1943: George Yarsley is appointed Police Chief.
1951: Officers are required to attend 4 weeks of police academy training.
1952: The Longmeadow Police Ambulance garage is built to house the town’s ambulance.
1959: The current Police Station located at 34 Williams Street was erected and it housed both the Longmeadow Police Department and the Longmeadow Fire company.
1960: Interstate 91 is completed; Longmeadow Police Officers are required to assist Massachusetts State Police with accidents and other police matters due to the MSP barracks being distant (Springfield barracks – Station B3 did not exist until 1982).
1961: Traffic lights installed at Williams & Laurel, Converse & Laurel and Bliss & Laurel.
1964: The first traffic radar equipment was purchased.
1976: Donald Abraham is appointed Police Chief.
1982: John Donaldson is appointed Police Chief.
1988: Richard Marchese is appointed Police Chief.
1989: Chief Marchese implements the D.A.R.E. Program and assigns two officers to teach the curriculum to our schools.
1992: The department transitions to the S&W .40 semiautomatic pistol (S&W 4046), replacing the Smith and Wesson .357 revolver .
1995: The first laptops are installed in the police cruisers, granting officers remote access to the RMV and Warrant Management System.
1996: Officer Pamela Chaplin is hired as the department’s first female officer.
1997: Civilian Dispatchers replace officers serving as police dispatch/”desk duty”.
1999: LPD police cruisers are equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED).
2000: Funds are allocated to build a new facility for the Longmeadow Fire Department; 34 Williams Street was renovated so that the Police Department could occupy the entire building.
2003: Robert Danio is appointed Police Chief.
2004: AR-15 Patrol Rifles replace/augment patrol shotguns.
2005: The department transitions to the Sig Sauer P.220 0.45 caliber semiautomatic firearms, replacing the Smith and Wesson 4046.
2009: Robert Siano is appointed Police Chief.
2009: The department transitions to the Smith and Wesson M&P 0.45 Cal. firearms, replacing the Sig Sauer P220.
2015: John Stankiewicz is appointed Police Chief.
2015: The LPD implements its first K9 Team – Officer Amanda VanBuskirk and Kai, a German Shepherd.
2016: Naloxone (Narcan) is issued to every officer in response to an increasing number of Opioid overdoses.
2018: Electronic Control Weapons (Tasers) are issued.
2019: Longmeadow Police Department becomes an MPAC Accredited Police Department – the first municipal police department in Hampden County to become Accredited.
2019: Video recording (“dash cams”) installed on LPD patrol vehicles.
2020: Robert Stocks is appointed Police Chief.
2020: Sgt. Danielle Rex-Bernashe becomes the department’s first female Sergeant.
2020: The department’s last Ford Crown Victoria (Car#8) is taken out of service on June 2, 2020 (Ford discontinued the ubiquitous Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in 2011, replacing it with the Police Interceptor Utility (Explorer).
2020: The department’s first Hybrid police vehicle is put into service.
LONGMEADOW POLICE CHIEFS
Robert A. Stocks: 2020 – Present
John D. Stankiewicz: 2015-2020
Robert F. Siano: 2009-2015
Robert R. Danio: 2003-2009
Richard A. Marchese: 1988-2003
John S. Donaldson Jr.: 1982-1988
Donald H. Abraham: 1976-1982
George A. Yarsley Jr.: 1943-1976
George U. Vantrain: 1939-1943
John S. Henderson: 1924-1939
Richard J. Warme: 1920-1924