Hamilton Police Chief Featured in Television PSA Promoting Saturday’s Drug Take Back Day

prescription drug take back day police chiefsHamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens is featured in a public service announcement publicizing Saturday’s Drug Take Back Day.

Hamilton police are working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to host the spring Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29.

The take back day will run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hamilton Public Safety Building at 265 Bay Road. In addition to Saturday’s take back day, there is always a medicine dropbox in the police station lobby.

The public service announcement featuring Stevens (who is the third officer from the left) has been running on WCVB-TV channel 5 this week to get out the word about this Saturday’s drug take back day.

Hamilton police are asking residents to clean out their home of unwanted medication and dispose of the drugs on the take back day.

Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is an opportunity to help reduce the threat. Hamilton Police along with other public safety agencies want everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets and make their home safe from drug theft and abuse.


Sign Up for Emergency Alerts Via Phone, Text, Email and App

code redA new, more robust community notification system is being rolled out to Hamilton residents and businesses this week.

Police Chief Russell Stevens told the Board of Selectmen this week that the town has licensed the CodeRED Community Notification System to help disseminate important or critical information to residents and businesses in town.

The system uses phone calls, emails, text messages and social media to get out information about everything ranging from evacuations, flood and fires to planned road closures or water main repairs. When signing up, residents have the option or getting only emergency alerts or also getting more general alerts and announcements. Residents can add as many phone numbers, text numbers and emails addresses as they want.

“We encourage all residents and businesses to go to the town website, click on the CodeRED logo to enter your contact information – including additional phone numbers, text numbers and email addresses – to ensure all of the data in our system is accurate and current,” Stevens said.

The CodeRED login page can also be reached directly and there is also a mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones – go to the App Store or Google Play and search for CodeRED.

There is no cost to residents to use the service and all of the information will be kept private.

For anyone that uses call blocking, they will want to add two numbers to the allowed number list – 866-419-500 for emergency calls and 855-969-4636 for general alerts.

CodeRED is used by many other local communities and replaces a notification system from BlackBoard Connect that the town had been using. The official changeover will happen before June 30.

If you do not have Internet access, contact a friend or family member to help add your contact information to the CodeRED database, Stevens said. If needed, residents can also call the Hamilton Emergency Communications Center at 978-468-1212 for assistance.

Hamilton Town Hall Closed Thursday, Trash Pickup to Happen

Hamilton Town HallHamilton Town Hall will be closed on Thursday because the forecast calls for a significant  snowstorm.

All non-emergency employees have been instructed to stay home and the state Department of Transportation has also asking motorists to stay at home, said Acting Town Manager and Police Chief Russell Stevens.

Trash pickup will happen as scheduled, according to the town’s trash contractor, Casella Waste Systems. Pickup will only be halted or delayed if the storm prevents pickup, according to DPW Director Tim Olson. If pickup ends up being delayed, further updates will be issued.

A parking ban will also be in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday.

Police Chief at the Helm During Town Manager’s Leave

Hamilton Police Chief Russell M. Stevens

Police Chief Russell Stevens will serve as Interim Town Manager while Town Manager Michael Lombardo is out on leave.

Lombardo is out on leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, said Scott Maddern, chairman of the Hamilton Board of Selectmen.

Lombardo could be out up to 6-8 weeks, but he could be back before then. When he returns, Maddern said he expects Lombardo “won’t miss a beat when he returns.” There will be no interruption in town services during Lombardo’s leave, Stevens said.

Previously, Stevens has served as interim town manager during Lombardo’s vacations. In the coming weeks, both the Board of Selectmen and the Finance and Advisory Committee will be preparing for the Annual Town Meeting on April 1. Both boards have full confidence in Stevens and have been impressed as he’s helped develop the fiscal year 2018 budget, Maddern said.

The Police Department is in the capable hands of Lt. Scott Janes, according to Maddern and Stevens. The department has been well trained and prepared under Stevens’ “steady hand,” including state accreditation and reaccreditation, Maddern said.

New Prescription Drug Drop Box Available in Police Station Lobby

med box hamilton
Hamilton Police Sgt. Stephen Trepanier stands with the new prescription drop box in the lobby at the Hamilton Police Station at 265 Bay Road.

A new drug collection box is now available in the lobby at the Hamilton Police Department, where residents can safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

The drop off box is a safe and secure location for Hamilton residents to get rid of unwanted medications 24-hours a day, according to Hamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens.

The drug box is part of an effort to reduce access to prescription drugs for teenagers, who report they can easily obtain prescription pills from medicine cabinets in their own or other people’s homes, according to Stevens. Unused and out-of-date medicines are also danger because of the chance of theft and misuse. Additionally, flushing medications down the sink or toilet can contaminate the water supply, Stevens said.

This drop box is open to anyone for free and will accept almost all unwanted prescription drugs but syringes cannot be placed in the drop box under any circumstances. Medications in standard containers and loose medication in plastic bags can be deposited in the box as well as liquid medications, which need to be in secure containers and placed in a plastic bag before being dropped in the box. All of the prescription drugs placed in the box will be legally and safely disposed.

Hamilton Police Sgt. Stephen Trepanier and Officer Matthew Donovan, along with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, helped get the MedReturn drop box for the Hamilton Police Department through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Police: Remind Your Children About ‘Stranger Danger’

strangersParents and children are both reminded about “stranger danger” this summer, according to Hamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens.

A stranger is anyone a child doesn’t know and can be a man, woman or a teenager. If a child has never met the person in real life, they are a stranger.

Stevens encourages Hamilton parents to speak to their children about “stranger danger” while reviewing the list of safety tips.

Here are some tips for children to stay safe with strangers.

  • Memorize and know your name, address, phone number and parent’s cell phone number.
  • Use the buddy system and don’t walk anywhere alone and instead walk with a friend or sibling.
  • Trust your instincts – if you feel you are being followed or something is not right, get help immediately or go someplace safe.
  • Always tell your parents where you are going and call them when you get there.
  • Do not get close to strangers.
  • Don’t ever tell your name, address or school name to a stranger.
  • Never take candy, money or gifts from a stranger.
  • Never go with a stranger to help look for a lost pet or play a game.
  • Never get into a car with anyone you don’t know without your parents’ approval.
  • If a stranger follows you or grabs you, yell real loud. Shout, “I don’t know you,” so people know you are in trouble. Fight back and make as much noise as you can. If they threaten to hurt you, keep yelling.
  • Never hitchhike.
  • Know safe places you can go, such as a police or fire station, library, a store with people around or a friend’s house.
  • If someone is following you try to remember the license plate of the vehicle and immediately tell a trusted adult or the police.
  • If anyone touches you in a bad way, say “no” as loudly as you can and run away then tell an adult right away.
  • Trust your feelings because if something feels funny or wrong, you can say no and then tell someone you trust what happened.
  • Tell your parents about places or people that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1.
  • At home, never tell anyone on the phone you are alone and do not tell callers your name, phone number, address or school name. If you don’t like what someone is saying on the phone, hang up right away.
  • Never put your name on the outside of your coat, lunch box or bag since someone could trick you into thinking they know you by using your name.

Crosswalks Get a Fresh Coat of Paint Today

crosswalkThe crosswalks across Hamilton will be a bit brighter starting Thursday after the Hamilton DPW repaints them.

The work will start near Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and work south toward downtown, according to Hamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens.

Drivers should be alert for the DPW crews doing the paint and also keep an eye out for the fresh paint. Plus, of course, remember to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

The bright, newly painted crosswalks should help kids that are trying to be especially safety conscious this summer, in hopes of earning a free frozen yogurt.