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About Chip

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Chip with his wife Noel (Giard), son Connor (US Air Force), daughter Riley (Ludlow HS Senior) & their Golden Retriever Drake

Chip learned from a young age the value of public service having served in a myriad roles; both in public safety and government in addition to being a small business owner.Chip is Married to Noel D. (Giard) Harrington. Noel and Chip graduated high school together in 1986 in Ludlow. Noel is the Heart Valve Coordinator at Baystate Medical Center. They have a son Connor who graduated from LHS is 2013 and has enlisted in the United States Air Force and a daughter Riley, who is a student athlete at LHS in her sophomore year.

Chip started his career in public service as a Correctional Officer with the Hampden Country Sheriff’s Department for five years. He then worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for four years before going back to public safety as the Court Services Coordinator for Massachusetts Community Corrections the next seven years. It was during that time that Chip became a small business owner as well. In 2003, Chip created C & R Harrington, Inc., the company which runs his variety store and in 2005 he went full time as a small business owner.In addition to running his business, Chip decided in 2012 to serve his community yet again as a Special Police Officer with the Ludlow Police Dept. where he works part time.All the while, Chip had a busy elected life in addition to his work career. From 1990-1993 Chip was a member and Chairman of the Ludlow Recreation Commission. From 1993-1997, Chip was a Member of the Town of Ludlow Board of Selectmen. From 1997-2005 Chip was a Town Meeting Member in Precinct 5. And finally in 2005 to the present Chip has served on the Ludlow School Committee.

Among Chips other accomplishments, he founded the Ludlow Football Association, the Ludlow Boys & Girls Club Triathlon, the Ludlow Pond Management Committee, the Ludlow Energy Committee, the Ludlow Landfill/Solar Field and the USMC Toys for Tots Parade in Ludlow. Chip won the JFK Library “Fenn Award” for political leadership in1996 and was a member of the 2007 Inaugural Class of BusinessWest Magazine’s prestigious 40 under 40. Chip also has found the time to Host a popular local TV show since 1999.

Issues

Chip’s Public Safety Plan

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PREVENTION
One must start by recognizing the true root causes of crime are primarily poverty and lack of opportunity. When any piece of legislation crosses my desk that will help address poverty or the lack of opportunity be it in; attaining education, training, housing or employment I will look at it with a lens that understands that helping people out of poverty will help improve public safety.

Narcan for All Police Officers
I have already called for every police department to be fully equipped and trained in the use of Narcan which can reverse the deadly effects of an opiate overdose. Opiates and heroin is running wild throughout the region and the Commonwealth. It does not matter how rich or poor you are, if your black or white, young or old, in the City or the suburbs. It tears families and friends apart and simply destroys lives. If a person can be saved from dying they have an opportunity to turn their life around. Hitting the proverbial bottom can be for some people having a police officer save your life.

Fully Funded Witness Protection for Street Crimes
The Commonwealth has a Witness Protection program that should be beefed up for District Attorneys to tap into whenever they need it. Many times witnesses are simply scared for their life. This program should extend to “street crimes” and not just be used for organized crimes. If providing the proper protection makes the difference between getting a criminal off our streets and behind bars where they belong we need to be able to provide it. People must feel comfortable that their lives will not be in jeopardy if the cooperate as witnesses to a crime. Parents must fell comfortable in letting their children testify or cooperate. Also when others see that witnesses can and will be properly protected they may be more apt to cooperate as well. This also will help build trust between law enforcement and the community. As a State Senator I will make sure that this program is fully funded and that the new DA knows that they can use it whenever they deem fit.

Youth Summer Jobs
We need more money for summer jobs for our youth. There should be no waiting list or lottery for young people to gain employment for the summer. Nothing will replace learning about hard work and gaining the life skills of having a real job. In addition, idle hands are the devil’s play thing. It is only natural for bored youth with nothing to do to get in to trouble. Let’s start teaching our youth the value of hard work. I will fight for Western Mass to have it’s fair share from the Commonwealth to hire our youth.

More Funding for High Risk Young Adults (18-35)
When you look at which people are most likely to be the victim or a perpetrator of a crime it is a young adult who is 18-35 years old. These people are stuck in the middle. No longer a ward of the Commonwealth and under some direction to be educated they are out there left to their own devices to survive. Parents no longer have legal guardianship and in many cases are in no shape to properly provide guidance either because of addiction issues or poor life skills overall. We need more funding for programs like AWAKE and ROCA to work with this population. In addition we need leadership to help guide collaboration between any organizations working with these young adults be they non-profits, public sector or private sector. I would assist in that leadership.

Enforcement

Gateway Cities Public Safety Fund
The Commonwealth under the leadership of Governor Patrick and the Legislature has done a wonderful job in recognizing that cities outside of Boston need some extra help to jumpstart economic development and job creation. I fully support the efforts being made .

With that said; cities like Lowell, Lawrence, New Bedford, Holyoke and in the district I am running in, Chicopee and Springfield also have some real public safety concerns that need to be addressed as well. Having a safer Gateway City would only help to spur development and make the decision of a potential business to move and grow there easier. That is why I propose adding a fund to work hand in hand with the Gateway Cities plan for those Cities to apply for monies for public safety reasons. Whether it is extra patrols in a certain part of town that is ripe for development or money for community non-profits to work with at-risk populations in certain neighborhoods where we are already investing in new housing stock for example. We do not want to throw good money after bad. You can build the Taj Mahal but if the area around it is not safe then it will struggle to succeed. 

Specifically in Springfield, they could use the money for more officers in targeted areas like the South End where a potential MGM Springfield will be. Having a unit work hand and hand with the casino and the State Police stationed at the casino per legislation to mitigate crime that may come along with the project like drugs, prostitution or robbery only makes sense but will cost money.

50 More Police Officers Including More Officers on Gun Task Force
I called for 50 more police officers in the City of Springfield. Many people ask how I would pay for the 50 new officers. I will fight tooth and nail for every dollar I can in any pot of money down in Boston whether it’s local aid or earmarks in the budget. With that said, I will use my bully pulpit as a State Senator to work with the Cities and Towns in my district to prioritize their budget. Public safety and a fully staffed police department should be a top priority. Fully staffing your police department should be done without paying additional taxes. If after you fully staff your PD and their is a need for more dollars for less important items then tough decisions need to be made. I do not support raising any taxes a the local level at this moment. For example, raising an already unnecessary trash tax to pay for a library is not something I would have supported. And if I did it would be to hire more officers.

Work with Neighboring States on “Drugs for Guns” Issue
Governor of Vermont Peter Shumlin used his entire State of the State speech earlier this year to address in what he called “a full-blown heroin crisis” gripping his state. There is evidence that I-91 serves as a pipeline of drugs and guns from NYC all the way to Vermont and New Hampshire. Springfield is obviously a stop on the way. Because of more lax gun laws in VT and NH guns are more easy to obtain and because of the access to NYC and 91 drugs are more easy to obtain in Springfield. So what happens is that guns are traded for drugs. We must work with our neighboring Legislatures to discuss laws that effect each other and how best to collaborate to stem the proliferation of drugs into their states and the proliferation of illegal firearms into ours. I would lead that effort in the State Senate.

Fully Enforce the Mandatory Minimum on Possession of an Illegal Firearm
Work hand and hand with the new District Attorney to ensure that any person caught in possession of an illegal firearm is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All too often the charge of possession of an illegal firearm is dropped in a plea deal. This should only happen in rare circumstances. Criminals need to know that if they are caught with an illegal gun that they are going to go to prison.

In conclusion, as your next State Senator I will be an active partner with local police departments, civic groups, the business community and city leaders working to make our region safer. Public Safety, education, and economic development are three key issues facing every city and town in this district. These issues are all connected by one another and I have witnessed how they impact one another first-hand as a special police officer, business owner, and school committee member. When drugs and crime are prevalent in a community then public education suffers and when those two factors are in distress economic development lags behind.

There is not a single approach that will solve all of our public safety concerns. My ideas and proposals are rooted in my first-hand experience as a police officer, which make me intimately aware of the public safety challenges we face. A comprehensive approach which addresses both prevention and enforcement and provides additional tools and resources to our public safety officials on the ground, will begin to stem the tide of senseless violence in our region.

Are You With Chip?

By Thom Fox

James ‘Chip’ Harrington is a small business owner, special police officer & Ludlow School Committee Member running for State Senate in the 1st Hampden & Hampshire. Chip’s commitment to the community is apparent. He’s a Junior Achievement volunteer, founder of the Ludlow Football Association, the Ludlow Boys & Girls Club Triathlon, the Ludlow Pond Management Committee, the Ludlow Energy Committee, the Ludlow Landfill/Solar Field and the USMC Toys for Tots Parade in Ludlow.   In this interview Chip explains his philosophy for growing the local economy, and his vision for Western Massachusetts.

Listen to In The Engine Sunday edition featuring Chip Harrington 

Harrington Calls for All Police Officers to Carry Narcan

Chip Harrington, candidate for State Senate in the 1st Hampden and Hampshire is calling for all police officers in the Region to be trained in the administration of Naxolene; commonly know as Narcan and for every officer to carry it while on duty.

Narcan is a drug that can be nasally administered to counteract drug overdose. It has been used by EMT’s throughout the region to save people’s lives. There are situations wherein a police officer may be on the scene of an overdose and many are currently not trained or outfitted with this lifesaving drug.

Harrington would like to replicate the efforts made in the MetroWest region of our state in which; the MetroWest Health Foundation awarded a grant that funded the purchase of Narcan doses for police vehicles, along with training to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to implement first responder nasal naloxone programs within police departments in MetroWest (Framingham, Sherborn, Natick, Sudbury, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Ashland and Holliston).

Harrington also endorses the efforts of the Legislature currently being made in both the House and Senate FY15 budgets to have Pilot programs throughout the state to outfit first responders with Narcan. See Line Item 4512-0204 in both the House and Senate proposed FY15 budgets.

“I commend the efforts being made in the Legislature to address the fact that people are dying in each and every one of our communities from drug overdose. We need to equip our first responders with this tool that save lives. We should collaborate at a regional level and get this done like they are doing in Metrowest. I plan to keep bringing this issue up until Narcan is as commonplace on an officer as their badge is.”

Harrington is also a Special Police Officer in Ludlow where he has raised the issue in his own ranks as well and knows any issues of training and liability will be addressed. Harrington who has previously stated that public safety is a priority of his campaign went on to say; “The instances of deaths by opiate use is very much on the rise; especially of young people.

Sometimes we as first responders are at the scene before paramedics and we should be trained to administer this life saving drug. As a first responder, I want to be equipped to save a person’s life if I am able to do so. Having Narcan can make the difference between someone living or dying.”

Valley Advocate Guest Column: “The Standardized Test Trap”

By Chip Harrington

Once again, we find ourselves at a crossroads with Public Education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The last big shift was the Education Reform Act of 1993, when several changes were implemented, including the high stakes test known as MCAS. Since that time, Massachusetts has led the nation in Math and English Language Arts (ELA) test scores. Hooray for us! …  read more

Harrington Commends New Commissioner on 5-Point Plan; Adding that More Springfield Officers Still Needed

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Below is a state from State Senate Candidate Chip Harrington:

It was great to hear the incoming Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri’s outline his 5-Point Plan. His plan of; moving more of the manpower out from behind desks and into the streets, working to lessen response time and using data-analysis to police, streamlining the lines of authority and chain of command and strengthening the relationship with the community through collaboration and feedback are all wonderful points which I wholeheartedly agree with.

With that said; the City along with the City Council should reexamine the prioritization of their budget. We are asking the department to do more and more with less and less. The Springfield Police department had a high of over 540 patrol officers in the late 90‘s. Before the layoff of over 75 patrol officers in 2003 the levels were over 460. Today we are just over 350. That is simply not enough officers.

With numbers like that there are situations where the City has only several officers out on patrol at certain high crime hours. This is not a good thing for the overall public safety of the community and it is just as importantly not a good thing for the safety of the actual officers.

I am not saying this as a politician. Because not only am I a School Committee Member and a business owner but I’m a special police officer. I know what police officers need to protect us. One of those needs is more officers.

As a State Senator I will prioritize this need. I will be a strong and unrelenting voice on increasing SPD’s ranks whether it is through fighting for increased local aid, establishing grant programs to allow for more officers, working to have the State Police patrol more intensely highly drug trafficked corridors like 91 or pushing local officials to look hard at their budget and prioritize more officers over items like political pay raises and expensive consultants.

This is not just a problem for politicians and police officials to deal with. We all have a role to play in the safety of our community. I believe the Commissioners approach is on the right path and as State Senator I will be a partner with the police department, civic groups, the business community and city leaders.  Crime, education, and economic development are three key issues facing every city and town in this district. These issues are all impacted by one another and I have witnessed these interactions first-hand as a special police officer, business owner, and school committee member. When drugs and crime are prevalent in a community then public education suffers and when those two factors are in distress economic development lags behind.  That is where we find ourselves at this point in history in Springfield.

Neighbors should be vigilant about reporting suspicious activities and crime. Parents should keep track of their children and raise them to be productive members of our community. Business owners should be cognizant of what type of crowd is attracted to and congregate at their establishment. Our elected leaders should prioritize giving our public safety officials the tools and resources to properly police. Community leaders and organizations should be supported in their efforts in working with our youth and other individuals to lead positive lives. The private sector should afford those who are trying to lead a different lifestyle the opportunity to become gainfully employed. Our educational system must concentrate on stemming the dropout rate and increasing the graduation rate. Our police department should employ strategies that are not only reactionary but are preventive and proactive. Criminals should know that if they act out of line they will be punished. Our judicial system should properly punish those who perpetrate crime. Playing the blame game with such a nuanced and dynamic problem such as crime, addiction and poverty gets us nowhere.

In conclusion; just adding more officers is not alone going to solve the problem. But if Springfield Police could hire an additional 50 officers I’m sure that those invaluable human resources of brave men and women would only help the Commissioner fulfill the goals of his 5 Point plan.

Harrington Announces Gregoire As Campaign Manager

State Senate candidate James “Chip” Harrington announced today that Eric A. Gregoire of Ludlow will serve as campaign manager for his bid for the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District Senate seat.

“I hit the lottery with Eric! The talents, skills and experiences he possesses fit right into the type of issue driven and grassroots campaign we are running. On top of it he is a hometown kid who knows the district. We are extremely fortunate to have Eric on board.” stated Harrington.

Gregoire recently relocated to the area after serving as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Amesbury, MA; Thatcher W. Kezer III, since November 2012. As chief of staff, Gregoire was responsible for developing and implementing initiatives, advising on policy matters, participating in annual budget development, serving as liaison to constituent groups and supporting on-going municipal operations. Gregoire, a Ludlow native, is the son of Alan and Fran Gregoire.

 

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