Watertown’s Canino Inducted into Westfield State’s Criminal Justice Hall of Fame

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Watertown-native Carlos Canino was honored by his alma mater, Westfield State, for his work in criminal justice and his play for the Owls.

Watertown-native Carlos Canino was honored by his alma mater, Westfield State, for his work in criminal justice and his play for the Owls.

Town native and Watertown High School graduate Carlos Canino was honored by his alma mater – Westfield State College – for his accomplishments in criminal justice and on the athletic field.

Canino currently works as the Deputy Assistant Director Field Operations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, after a long career with the agency. He also was a standout in football at Westfield state. Canino be inducted in to the WSC Criminal Justice Hall of Fame along with fellow 1988 Westfield graduate Cheryl Bassett.

Westfield State sent out the following announcement before the event:

Former Westfield State University athletic standouts Carlos Canino ’88 and Cheryl Bassett ’88 will be inducted into the school’s criminal justice Hall of Fame on April 5.

Canino was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, making him the first Owls’ alumnus to be selected to both groups. He was the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2014.

Bassett was an Academic All-America shortstop for the Owls’ successful softball teams of the late 1980’s.

As an undergraduate, Canino was a standout football player in the early days of the Owls’ program where he was a three-time all-conference selection at defensive back and a standout special-teams performer.

Canino owned 14 school records at the time of his graduation in 1988, and still holds eight school records for punt returns, including average yards per return in a season (11.4) and career (9.6), most returns (69) and yards in a career (659), most career touchdowns (3), and longest return (84 yards). He is the former New England record holder for most punt return yards (364) in a season.

After graduating from Westfield State as a criminal justice major, Canino has experienced an exemplary career as a special agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), one of the nation’s premier federal law enforcement agencies.

Canino currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Director Field Operations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He is responsible for leading the men and women of ATF’s Special Operations Division, Firearms Operations Division, National Investigations Division and ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research.

He has held numerous important assignments during the past 30 years: ATF Seattle Field Division; ATF Los Angeles Field Division (ATF/LAPD gang task force); ATF Miami Field Division, ATF Puerto Rico (joint terrorism task force); Resident Agent in Charge ATF St. Louis: ATF Country Attache, Mexico City, Mexico; Assistant Special Agent in Charge ATF Phoenix Field Division: Special Agent in Charge of Miami Field Division and Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division.

Canino is a member of several professional organizations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).  Mr. Canino is a two-time recipient of the International Narcotics Officer Association Medal of Valor.  He is a recipient of the United States Attorney General Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, the ATF Foreign Service Medal and a two-time recipient of the ATF Distinguished Service Medal.

Bassett ranked among the leading hitters in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference by hitting .402 as a junior. She earned GTE-COSIDA Third-Team Academic All-America honors that season.  She was a four-year starter at shortstop for the Owls and a two-year member of the women’s basketball team before injuries forced her to concentrate on just softball.

Bassett currently serves as a Domestic Operations Chief, for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C..  In this role, she is responsible for managing and coordinating all operational and administrative activities initiated in 56 HSI offices along the Southwest border.   She oversees those offices and their respective investigations to ensure that they align with current policies and procedures and serves as an advocate for those offices in providing resources and funding.

Bassett has over 27 years of investigative experience with the federal government.  She began her career in 1989 as an Investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor in Massachusetts. In 1997, she became a Special Agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Rhode Island, Among her many roles with INS, she was promoted to the position of Attaché for ICE in 2014 and was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.  Ms. Bassett had oversight of and led all ICE operations in Brazil and Bolivia for three years.

Bassett has received awards from the Director of ICE, the Commissioner of the INS, as well as, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Washington, D.C. and Boston for her successful investigative work on international human smuggling organizations and the dismantlement of a long-standing document fraud ring.

Westfield State University has a long been known for its outstanding criminal justice program.  Bassett and Canino will be inducted along with eight other notable Westfield State University graduates.  For more information on the ceremony, please visit  www.westfieldalumni.org/CJHOF

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