Braintree Police Lt. David Del Papa has been named Abington’s new police chief.
Del Papa’s first day is Oct. 4. He’ll take part in a public swearing-in ceremony on Oct. 13 during an event at the Senior Center from 5-8 p.m.
Selectmen Chairman Kevin DiMarzio endorsed the selection of Del Papa by Town Manager Scott Lambiase.
“The town is in great hands with incoming Chief Del Papa and I’m excited to see this department transformation and the growth in the coming years,” said DiMarzio, one of multiple members of the Abington Board of Selectmen who have been vocal in their support for new leadership within the department.
Lambiase originally chose Truro Police Chief Jamie Calise for the top cop job, but Calise backed out after the Cape Cod town convinced him to stay.
Del Papa, 48, is an Abington resident who has been with the Braintree Police Department since 1996. He was named a lieutenant in 2013 and oversaw the department’s accreditation effort. He previously served as the commanding officer for the motorcycle unit, patrol supervisor, and co-commander of the detective division
Del Papa also holds a law degree from the Massachusetts School of Law, from which he graduated as valedictorian in 2017.
Details of his contract were not immediately available.
Among Del Papa’s first tasks will be stemming the flow of police officers out of the department and rebuilding the department’s ranks. Four Abington police officers left the department between April and July, with Abington Police Union MassCop Local 476 President Joseph Davern telling selectmen the departures were due to pay issues and that more officers were about to leave.
The department is budgeted for 31 police officers including the chief’s position. They have currently 23 in uniform based on departures and officers serving on active duty.
FIREWORKS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY NIGHT AT 8 P.M.
A reminder: Abington Celebrates will be sponsoring a fireworks display Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. at Memorial Field. The display follows a community field day starting at 5 p.m. No parking signs will be erected along the southern lane of Washington Street; from Route 18 to Washington Terrace. Police say the lane is being closed “so that we can maintain emergency access to the event as well as throughout the town.” Handicapped parking will be located on Ralph Hamlin Lane, next to the Beaver Brook Elementary School. Anyone with a valid permit should enter through the south entrance to the Beaver Brook School off of Washington St. Spectators are reminded by the Abington Celebrates community to leave weapons, coolers, booze, grills, and pets at home. Here’s the full list of rules:
MEMORIAL BRIDGE SAFE FOR FIREWORKS SPECTATORS
The century-old bridge spanning Island Grove Pond is safe enough for fireworks fanatics this weekend, but is going to need significant repairs soon, according to DPW Director John Stone. The status of the bridge was called in question recently after the Parks & Recreation Commission voted to recommend that the bridge be closed as a fireworks spectating spot due to loose railing sections. Stone said department employees were able to shore up the railings, but will block those sections off with plastic barriers for Saturday’s display out of caution. “The bridge needs to be rehabbed but it’s definitely sound to be walked on,” Stone told selectmen this past Monday night. Stone said it won’t be a full tear-down job: a study found the bridge piers were still in good condition but its the deck that needs to be upgraded.
SCHOOLS RELEASE WEEKLY COVID NUMBERS
Over the past week, seven members of the Abington Public Schools community have tested positive for COVID, according to an email from Schools Superintendent Peter Schafer. Those testing positive include two individuals from the Beaver Brook Elementary School, two individuals from the Woodsdale Elementary School, one individual from Abington Middle School, and two individuals from Abington High School. According to stats from the Department of Public Health, 41 people in Abington have tested positive for COVID within the past 14 days.
RT. 139/CHESTNUT ST INTERSECTION UPGRADE IN THE WORKS
There were 38 vehicle accidents at the Route 139/Chestnut Street/Old Randolph Road intersection between 2017-2020, a recent study found. AS a result, selectmen have approved a request to have the intersection put on the list of roadway improvement projects waiting for state funding. The intersection of Chestnut and Hancock Streets is an example of a project in the state Transportation Improvement Program, a five-year capital funding program that pays for new intersections, sidewalks, bike paths and other transit-related projects.
TOWN MANAGER REPORT HIGHLIGHTS:
Scott Lambiase’s Town Manager’s Report to Selectmen including the following:
- The recent community survey on the town website collected 105 responses; 38 percent said they visited the town website monthly, and people come looking mostly for information on town news, calendar items, and other events. Improvements to the website are underway.
- He is starting to review Town Accountant candidates to replace Sue Moquin, who is departing later this month.
- The 2021 Tri-Town Veterans Day parade will take place Nov. 11 in Abington.
- He plans to schedule the Annual Town Meeting on April 4, the date included in the Town Charter. The town in recent years has postponed the Town Meeting until May or even June, citing the desire to wait until state local aid numbers were more firm.
- A property owner on Chestnut Street wants to gift the town 20-plus acres of land. The board will discuss it further at its Sept. 27 meeting. “This is a piece we definitely want to get into conservation,” Lambiase said.
BEAVER BROOK STREET NAMING FUNDRAISER UNDERWAY
The annual Beaver Brook Elementary School fundraiser – where a family gets a schoolyard roadway named after them – is underway. Tickets are $5. Entries must be in by Sept. 24.