Wareham Police Department recognized as 'Patriotic Employer'

By Matthew Bernat | Sep 04, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat From left: Robert Pomeroy, Police Chief Kevin Walsh and Officer Calib Larue pose for a photo after Walsh was recognized as a "Patriotic Employer" for his efforts in supporting veterans.

When National Guard members must serve, employers are sometimes less than supportive, but that’s not the case at the Wareham Police Department.

On Aug. 31, Wareham Police Chief Kevin Walsh was recognized as a “Patriotic Employer” by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense initiative.

The program offers support to guardsmen by offering mediation services between employers and service members when issues arise. It also informs employers about their obligations under federal law.

According to Robert Pomeroy, the South Eastern Area Chair for the program’s Massachusetts chapter, one of the biggest problems facing guardsmen is getting time off for duty.

“Employers will say ‘yes, you can serve on the weekend for duty, but you have to use vacation time or sick time,’” said Pomeroy. “That’s illegal.”

For Walsh, who seeks to hire veterans or guardsmen whenever possible, having military personnel on the force is a huge benefit.

“They possess a certain quality of character and discipline that we’re looking for in officers,” said Walsh. “A lot of good people come out of the military and we try to help them out.”

Out of the roughly 50 officers on the full time roster, 10 are either active duty or veterans, noted Walsh. One of them, Officer Calib Larue, nominated Walsh for the award after noticing the chief’s efforts.

“He’s been very supportive of myself and the other officers who serve,” said Larue, who is stationed with the 972nd Military Police Company based in Reading.

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