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Why Are Flags at Half Staff?

Some people have asked why many flags are at half staff on Tuesday.

Flags at government buildings are at half staff on Tuesday in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week.

In Hamilton, Police Memorial Week will be observed on Sunday, May 20 at 9 a.m. with a observance at the Hamilton Police Memorial in , according to Sgt. Stephen Trepanier.

The observance is being organized by the Hamilton Police Relief organization and the guest speaker will be Dr. Timothy Johnson, the headmastere at .

"Police Officers Memorial Day honors and remembers police officers who gave their lives while on duty and those who served the town of Hamilton," Trepanier said in announcing the observance.

In his note to local governments, Gov. Deval Patrick's note reads:

"Please be advised that in accordance with President Barack Obama’s proclamation, Gov. Deval L. Patrick has ordered that the United States flag and the Commonwealth flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week."

Patrick said the order applies to the main or administration building of each public institution (for example, and ); other state-owned or state-controlled buildings and all state military installations

Anne Sweeney May 17, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I don't know, I bumped into a former Peabody business owner, owning Scotty's Music, over at Crosby's and he thought that the Hamilton Police do a great job in serving the public. As he said "I am not always in agreement on the issues", "I feel they give neighbors a heads up when trouble is about" "I believe that the Wenham department and Hamilton should be consolidated, that's my only pet peve", "consider the alternative" "Anarchy under Libertarians such as, Ron Paul"
A Cop May 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
As a response the the issue of the Hamilton police I feel it necessary to say a few words as I have followed this contemptible police department for years now as I work in another department nearby. The issue of if HPD is good or not should not be in a forum about police week because that honors heros and HPD has not one hero left in the ranks. It should be in an article that tells about the degradation in the hamilton police. This is a police department that not only lied and stole money to line their pockets but hung one of their own, good members, Mike Marchand. The reasons are still hard to believe for other officers serving in this area. Any police department or officer willing to destroy a really great officer like Mike, for self-serving reasons should be ashamed and that is the reason that Hamilton police are viewed as dirty rats by other police departments. The rest of us might have our faults but the thought of destroying the life of another cop for the reasons they did is unforgivable and the answer to why Wenham police left Hamilton for the regional dispatch and resist the idea of a police merger and the Ipswich police are against a dispatch merger with Hamilton. I for one think that the actions by officers like Wallace, Hatfield, Dupray are despicable and the lack of action to prevent this attack on Mike by the rest of the department is unforgivable. This is why your police department is not trusted, respected or even liked by all the other police in our area.
Anne Sweeney May 18, 2012 at 05:04 PM
An analysis of local police budget statistics to see how much money could be saved through consolidation here. Governments in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky budgeted more than $50Billion in tax dollars this year on 116 police departments. That's enough to build another Paul Brown Stadium, five more outlet malls like Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe or fund more than half of The Banks riverfront project. Maybe Retired officer Robert Nyland could address your questions, without a public forum, or maybe they can all or would have answered to your statement above for all to see ? Obviously there is a code of silence on these issues and events as they unfold. I do think District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett could have done more to nip things in the bud, but law enforcement or the lack thereof is not my area of expertise. I sympathise with your obvious frustration over the system and how it does or does not work for everyone. The demands and expectations driving corrupt dealings can become so ingrained into a system that they go unspoken. How can we reliably distinguish corrupt activities from acceptable ones?
Hamilton townie May 20, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Anne, I think I can speak for how Bob Nyland I know him well for years. Bobby is a decent man and was second in rank in the police for years working for a chief who could be abusive and intimidating to Bob. He said he was really ashamed of actions by people of the police department. The costly Marchand suit and the fake ambulance training all took a huge toll on him and he left the police department with a early retirement. Bob has helped many people in Hamilton most the elderly and i say whatever happened was not his character and was not a good reflection of how Bob normally conducts himself. I know that Bob had officers working for him that acted poorly, they are named in the blog and I know them as well and they just were wrong and let Bob and the townspeople down. Bob and others felt these officers spiraled out of his control and I believe him when he said that he was unaware of any of these problems that cost Hamilton so much in trust and money. I believe him that he was not aware of the fake training problems or any bad behavior by officers that ended with the police lawsuit. I believe the actions of these bad officers caused him to be blamed because he was in a command spot and I think we can all understand how bad employees can get a boss in trouble so do not put blame for this on Bob's shoulders Anne, he is a good person who seemed to be caught up with some bad apples.
Anne Sweeney May 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Maybe if we had had a civilian oversight group, non-political entity comprised of seven volunteer members appointed by the Board of Selectmen serving under the Town Manager in conjunction with the police Chief, these issues could have been nipped in the bud. Citizen Police oversight committee member terms would coincide with the terms of office of the town manager or members of the board of selectmen who at the police department’s employees’ labor representation group, and the Chief of Police each have a designated representative to serve on the Board as a continuing ex-officio, non-voting member. Lastly, the Board may appoint up to four advisory, non-voting, members. These members are appointed so as to enhance the diversity of the Board. Advisory members must meet the same criteria for appointment as the voting members. Advisory members may serve for a period of two years. Citizen oversight keeps everyone spot on relative to issues and Town Policing challenges as they arise. The Board can only investigate complaints related to the Hamilton/Wenham Police Department. It does not handle complaints about Fire, EMS or any other department, bureau, or division within the Towns of Hamilton/Wenham. Merging entities or creating gray areas of responsibility is where the past challenges arose. Robert Nyland was and still is an honorable past officer and current neighbor of us all. Good people are not imune, we should not forget that when coming to judgement of others.

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