By Karen Daniels
December 17, 2013 was officially proclaimed Fire Rescue Appreciation Day by the City of Meadows Place. Mayor Charles Jessup and City Council presented Chief Larry Di Camillo of the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department with a certificate recognizing that fighting fires is one of the most hazardous professions requiring physical strength, stamina, extensive training, courage and a selfless concern for the welfare of their citizens.
Mayor Jessup said, “This city has a tremendous working relationship since its inception and continues to work with the City of Stafford and Fire Department.” Meadows Place became a city in 1983, but was working with the City of Stafford prior to then. Meadows Place supplies the fire station and contents and Stafford provides the man power and equipment, a real team effort. On hand to share the honor from the Stafford Fire Department: Lieutenant Matthew Berg, Firefighters Dillon Merchant, Blake Cernosek, Jerry Parker, Josh Palma, and Dante Jones. Thanks for all you do!
It was also announced at the meeting by Captain Jack Ashton that the Meadows Place Police Department will be training all of their officers to be Certified Mental Health Officers. Currently six officers have this distinction, but by February 2014 the remaining 11 will also be trained. In a follow-up interview with Chief Gary Stewart, he explained that all of their officers are certified as C.I.T. (Crisis Intervention Team) officers and have training in dealing with people in distress. This new certification will provide more education to effectively read major cues and provide a calm presence. The training consists of 40 instructional hours, and before the officer can take the written exam, he must pass a “scenario reality-based situation.” Chief Stewart said there was a “countywide push to get this done.”
Burglaries are a big concern at Meadows Place Police Department this time of year. “Bad guys know that people are shopping right now. And they are shopping, too.” Chief Stewart spoke of the department’s TLC program. Officers leave pass/fail cards on the windshields of vehicles parked around the city. When they notice packages left in plain sight, windows down, doors unlocked, these are typically “fail” cards. For the month of December, 121 passed and 32 failed.