HUDSON – The Hudson Police Department recently received its accreditation from the state, the Hudson Select Board learned at its Oct. 16 meeting.
“It’s great to see this,” said Select Board Chair Scott Duplisea.
Hudson Police Chief Richard DiPersio noted that out of 350 cities and towns, 257 of them participate in the Massachusetts police certification and accreditation process. As less than half of those are accredited, he believed it was a “significant milestone.”
DiPersio said everything is now digital in terms of conditions for meeting accreditation and the policies necessary to achieve it.
DiPersio was appointed in 2020, and shortly after, he met with the staff to come up with a list of priorities, including achieving accreditation.
“We knew it was important, and the biggest step was getting everybody else to buy into and recognize that and to really appreciate the work involved,” said DiPersio.
The department put an incredible amount of effort into getting accredited, and it was “full steam ahead out of the gates,” he explained.
After being certified in February 2023, DiPersio said they earned accreditation, as it is not a status that is just given. A remarkable amount of work was put in by everyone in the police department, he said, even though they dealt with the pandemic, recruitment issues and police reform initiatives.
“To see the amount of work and what we accomplished in a relatively short period of time under the conditions we were in, … and to see and appreciate that we were still able to accomplish this is pretty remarkable. And I’m proud of the department for doing that,” said DiPersio.
He acknowledged that accreditation manager Lt. Tom Crippen was “instrumental in this, and it was a perfect job for him.” Crippen led the offense, so to say, to get the accreditation.
The next step is to maintain the accreditation every three years, which would be determined by independent assessors who come out of the HPD. He called it an “ongoing full-time job.”
With the state moving on to the sixth edition standards, the department will need to meet these standards, as they are now accredited for the fifth edition. He believed the department was “up for the task.”
He thanked Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory, the Select Board and the community for their support in achieving this.
“We have a great team here. We have a great community involvement, and it shows. Things like this can be accomplished because of that,” said DiPersio.
Duplisea asked if it would help them in applying for grants, and DiPersio said it certainly would as it shows a high level of professionalism to maintain these standards.
The board authorized Conservation Agent Pam Helinek to apply for a Green Communities grant for the weatherization of Hudson Town Hall.
Gregory said Hudson received its Green Communities designation in 2019, prior to his tenure with the town. Once the community receives this designation, it can apply for a round of competitive grants.
“This is that competitive grant application that we’re putting in this request for. The intent here is to begin to make some effort toward ultimately replacing the HVAC system in town hall,” said Gregory.
Weatherization of the building would be the first step in what will be part of a bigger project over time, according to Gregory.
In other business, the Select Board approved several contracts, including one with Hub Technical for $166,741.44 for the town’s network switch upgrade.
“This is being funded out of free cash from a May 2022 warrant article,” said Gregory.
He noted the delay in applying funds came from a backorder in terms of the upgrade.
The other two contracts were $29,900 to Sorenson Architects and Planners to conduct a conditions assessment of the Hudson Public Library and $29,950 to ReThinking Libraries to conduct a community needs assessment and program draft for the library.
Gregory said the two contracts were being funded through American Rescue Plan Act funds.
In addition, the board received correspondence about materials for the Oct. 25 information meeting about the Wetlands Protection Bylaw being proposed in Article 8 of the November Town Meeting warrant.