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HPD Audit

Posted on February 21, 2023


The Holyoke Police Department audit, prepared by Municipal Resources, Inc., is an overview of the department with an eye towards identifying strengths and weaknesses. The audit concludes with a series of recommendations to help us improve our operational position at the department and offer services our community expects and desires. Of these recommendations, one I wish to call to the public’s attention is accreditation. Accreditation, according to the audit, “provides a roadmap that will help guide the Holyoke Police Department as they work toward overcoming deficiencies and managing risk.” As you review the other recommendations in the audit, you might come to the same conclusion. The accreditation process can ensure the adoption and cultivation of best practices, and address areas of concern.

Other suggestions in the report have the ring of common sense and may not be surprising. Suggestions like more training, bringing in civilians to perform jobs that don’t require sworn officers, improving evidence storage practices, developing a maintenance plan, strengthening communication, managing overtime, and more. Two others may well raise eyebrows such as separating from Civil Service and renegotiating collective bargaining agreements. The goal, as I need not say, is achieving incremental progress for improvement and doing so together. The report cites several areas where improvement — in some cases significant improvement — is needed, such as adequate staffing for the patrol function. The recommendations to remedy that situation are far reaching and consequential. It’s going to require cooperation and a commitment between all stakeholders to support efforts for improvement.

In closing, I would like to commend Police Chief David Pratt for his support of the audit initiative and his cooperation with the Municipal Resources, Inc., research team. I also want to thank the rest of the Police Department that participated in this process as well as the members of our Police Relations Advisory team. Lastly, thank you to the Holyoke City Council for being supportive of getting this done. I am very much looking forward to working with the council, the police department, and the rest of our Holyoke community to implement the recommendations in the report.

Joshua A. Garcia, Mayor

The following are supporting documents:

CONSULTANT SELECTION PROCESS: The Mayor’s Police Relations Advisory Committee was the working group through the RFP (price/non-price) selection process in search for a the most advantageous firm who can perform the work. A draft scope of services was developed with recommendations by the Advisory Committee. In the process, we received two proposals – one from Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI) and another from Raftelis. After rating the proposals, interviews, and price, MRI’s price and non-price proposal was selected by the Advisory Committee as the ‘Most Advantageous’ proposal and made a recommendation to the Mayor to offer the award to MRI. The Mayor honored the recommendation and entered into a contract with MRI.

PRESENTATION: MRI will be presenting the report to the Public Safety Committee of the City Council on March 6, 2023.

QUESTIONS: Any additional question, contact the Mayor’s office at mayorsoffice@holyoke.org.

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