A coyote. Watertown Police warned residents to watch their pets after a resident reported that her dog had been attacked and taken from her front porch by a coyote. The dog’s body was later found by Police. The attack occurred Tuesday night at a home on Langdon Avenue. The owner had put her Bijon Shitsu, Moogie, on her front porch.
Funding for a second mental health clinician was added to the Watertown Police Department as part of the $152 million Town Budget approved by the Town Council this week. Town Manager Michael Driscoll announced the addition of $45,000 for the clinician at Monday night’s Public Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The move was made after the Council’s budget hearing held on June 24, when several people requested the Town ad more mental health professionals and to do so by reducing the Police Department’s budget. Driscoll said the new position would be funded using money left in the Town’s Free Cash fund at the end of Fiscal Year 2020, so it did not come out of the WPD’s budget. After last week’s meeting, Driscoll spoke with Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn about adding another clinician, who would also work with the WPD’s jail diversion program.
How the Watertown Police Department’s budget is used, and whether there are other ways the money could be spent became a major topic of discussions of Wednesday night’s Fiscal Year 2021 Town Budget Hearing. The WPD budget was just one of many departmental budgets discussed during the hearing, but it garnered the interested of Councilors and members of the public, many of whom wanted to see a portion spent on mental health services provided by the town instead. The meeting was held remotely over Zoom. The Police Department’s budget of $10.3 million makes up 6.76 percent of the Town’s operating budget. The WPD has 70 police officers (including 52 patrol officers), nine dispatchers and four civilian employees, as well as the school crossing guards.
For the 30th time, the Watertown Police Department will be hosting the Watertown Citizens Police Academy. Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn sent out the following information:
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! 10 WEEK PROGRAM – Fall 2020
WHERE: Watertown Police Station
WHEN: Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m.
WHAT: Watertown Police Officers share and exchange information designed to educate residents with police operations, policies & procedures and community policing programs of the police department. TOPICS INCLUDE:Constitutional Law, Motor Vehicle Law, Community Policing/Programs, K-9Unit, Use of Force, Domestic Violence, Patrol Procedures, ALICE, DefensiveTactics & Courtroom Procedures, Crime Scene Investigation, NarcoticEnforcement and a discussion relative to the President’s Task Force on 21stCentury Policing. Students will have the opportunity to participate in ride-alongs with officers on patrol and tour the police station.
Protesters at the Vigil for Black Lives in Watertown Square on Tuesday hold signs and wave at passing cars. A few hundred people came out. For the second week in a row, hundreds showed up in Watertown Square to remember George Floyd and protest against racial inequity. Tuesday’s event included a march to the Square, and also chalk drawings which became the focus of some disagreements. Also Tuesday, Town Council President Mark Sideris read a statement during the Town Council meeting supporting the protest, but adding that he did not support efforts to defund or cut funding to the Watertown Police Department.
The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department. Arrests
May 18 3:06 p.m.: Police were contacted by an Standish Road resident and her daughter after they found unusual activity on her bank account. She received a notice from their bank about several pre-authorized withdrawals from the account, and an estimated $30,000 had been taken and deposited into an unknown PayPal account. The account has been frozen by the bank and the family. They were able to recover approximately $22,000.
The men and women of the Watertown Police Department are deeply disturbed by the death of Mr. George Floyd. We share the public’s outrage and disappointment, and will not let the actions of a few officers tear away the trust we share with our great community.
Please see Chief Lawn’s response to emails he received concerning this horrific incident. Good Afternoon-
The men and women of the Watertown Police Department are deeply disturbed by the actions of those police officers in Minneapolis. I personally was sick to my stomach watching that video. I am very proud of the work that the men and women of the WPD do every day. We should not be judged or painted with the same brush by incidents that occur in other states.
Sgt. John MacLellan greets one of the many people who came out to say goodbye to him at his retirement ceremony on Tuesday. Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn summarized Sgt. John MacLellan’s career saying “The world would be a better place if there were John MacLellans in it.” Tuesday afternoon, one of the men involved in the shootout with and capture of the Boston Marathon Bombers got a hero’s farewell at the Watertown Police Station.