Local TV news stations are reporting that police are investigating the incident and that friends and neighbors plan to fund the planting of new trees (our inquiry to Natick Police in late May, after receiving a tip on this from a reader, went unanswered).
Rossi, who became a lieutenant in 2011, was announced as the new chief by Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert on Monday.
Ashland had narrowed down its choices to Rossi and Shirley Police Chief Sam Santiago from a pool of 14 candidates.
“Both Shirley Chief Sam Santiago and Natick Lieutenant Cara Rossi have a history of success and innovation in their field. This was an extremely difficult decision, but when I compared the candidates to what we are looking for in a police chief, I felt that one had a slight edge over the other,” Herbert said in statement.
You can view the final interviews with the candidates via a recording from Ashland’s local access channel.
Currently, Rossi is the Commanding Officer for the Community Services and Traffic Division. Herbert also pointed to her experience working with outfits such as Natick 180 and the District Attorney’s High Risk Domestic Violence Task Force. This experience will be valuable in the town’s efforts to address serious social issues, he said.
Rossi will replace interim Chief Richard Briggs. He took over after Chief Vincent Alfano retired last year.
Ashland’s population, at less than 19,000, is about half that of Natick’s.
The police department is moving into a new facility this coming year, according to Town Manager Herbert.
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The Natick Historical Society has been uncovering all sorts of treasures as it preps for its museum’s eventual reopening in the basement of Bacon Free Library. The discovery late last week of a Civil War artillery shell in its collection called for some special attention.
The Bomb Squad, a State Police unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, paid a visit to the Natick History Museum on Monday to determine whether or not the shell was dangerous.
They X-rayed the item and found that while it didn’t contain gunpowder, it did have an igniter that needed to be diffused. The Bomb Squad took it to nearby Hunnewell Field, where they took care of business. (MetroWest Daily News took some nice photos.)
“Now it’s perfectly safe,” says Mike Pojman, president of the society’s board. “We’ll determine what to do with it, we didn’t know we had it.”
The shell has been tentatively identified as a Hotchkiss projectile, according to the Historical Society.
The paper trail for older collection pieces isn’t always strong or even existent, and Pojman says the shell was of unknown provenance. He credits Board Member Kenneth Van Blarcom with doing the sleuthing to determine it was a Civil War relic. “It would be wonderful to know if there’s some Natick connection,” Pojman said.
The society, which has been operating out of both the museum and space across the street, is consolidating in the renovated museum. Society staff and volunteers have been working their way through the collection to determine what should find a home in the museum’s displays and cabinets. When the shell was discovered, NHS leadership “out of an abundance of caution” set about contacting authorities, starting with the Natick Police Department.
A spokesman for the State Department of Fire Services said “older military ordinances turn up more often than one might think (or hope)… The Bomb Squad… is regularly called out when relatives cleaning out a veteran’s house find ammunition or ‘souvenirs’ from military service, or when fishing vessels dredge these items up in a net. Sometimes these items are live, sometimes inert, sometimes they may have a little bit of powder left in them as part of firing mechanism, and sometimes one cannot tell. For this reason, we recommend that anyone who finds such a device treat it as live and dangerous. Leave it in place and call the local fire department, which will notify the Bomb Squad.”
Whether the shell has earned a place of prominence at the museum…we’ll just have to wait and see when the grand reopening takes place at a date to be determined.
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Update: Natick Police on Monday night issued the following brief update regarding the gun that they and state police had been searching for in town:
The missing firearm was located on Rte. 128 by the Massachusetts State Police. This event remains under investigation.
Natick Police issued an alert on social media Thursday morning regarding a missing gun that may have fallen from atop a vehicle being driven through town.
The warning reads: “A person has reported that they inadvertently left a firearm on top of their vehicle and it may have fallen off in the area of Lilja School. The area has been thoroughly searched by police and is being searched again. If you see anything, please do not handle it and call 911 immediately. As a precaution Officers will be stationed in the area for the start of school today.”
Lilja Elementary School parents and guardians were notified of the situation as well by the school via email on Thursday morning, for some as they were arriving at bus stops.
Some residents were alerted by a text from the police and Natick Public Schools superintendent:
The police department Facebook post set off a serious of comments from concerned parents and general rabble-rousers, with obligatory gun rights debate.
The police post went on to say that the incident involved a visitor to a private residence in Natick who reported the situation. Natick and state police K-9 unit searched the area near Lilja and along the driver’s route throughout the night and early hours. The gun was not lost on school grounds, according to the police.