Talk On How Supreme Court Ruling Effects Gun Ownership in Belmont Friday At The Beech Street Center

Photo: The talk will take place at the Beech Street Center, Friday, Aug. 12 from 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 pm.

The decision in June by the US Supreme Court to loosen handgun restrictions in New York City will have an effect on Belmont residents seeking to purchase a weapon that they wished to carry on them in public.

Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac will host a conversation and discussion about the court’s gun reform ruling, gun reform laws in general and how it impacts Massachusetts at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St., Friday, Aug. 12 from 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 pm. Cost is free.

“I was approached by the senior center about … the court decision and what effect it would have in Massachusetts,” MacIsaac told the Select Board at its Monday, Aug. 8 meeting.

The June 23 decision struck down a New York law requiring people to show a specific need to carry a firearm in public. Gun safety advocates, however, emphasize that the court’s ruling was limited in scope and still allows states to regulate types of firearms, where people can carry firearms and the permitting process, including requirements for background checks and training. 

MacIsaac said the commonwealth had “pretty good gun laws” prior to the ruling: an applicant would need to present three letters of recommendation and then questioned on their need to carry a weapon in public. In Belmont, the police chief who was the issuing authority could then either reject the application or grant either a Class A license – which allowed for a person to carry a concealed at any time – or a Class B which allowed them to carry to and from a shooting range.

The Supreme Court’s ruling did away with the classification systems and the need for letters of recommendation, said MacIsaac. “It’s still up to the police chief in the community if there’s a reason that they find someone’s not suitable and we still have the statutory exemptions that prevent people from obtaining a firearm.”

Belmont Fire’s Recruitment Open House: Tuesday, Aug. 16 At 6 PM

Photo: If you had a dream to become a firefighter, come by the Fire Department’s HQ on Tuesday.

Learn about how to become a Belmont Firefighter at a Recruitment Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m. at the Belmont Fire Department Headquarters 299 Trapelo Rd.

Learn more about …

  • Tour our headquarters station, view our apparatus and equipment, and talk with our firefighters.
  • Our modern apparatus, equipment and stations,Exemplary Advanced Life Support Services
  • Advanced training opportunities in Haz Mat, Technical Rescue and other skills,
  • 24/72 shift schedule,
  • Competitive compensation and benefit package

An innovative fire department where you can make a difference.

Belmont Opens Cooling Centers Over Weekend During Heat Wave

Photo: The town has opened cooling center over the weekend

Due to the current heat wave, the Beech Street Center at 266 Beech St, and the Belmont Public Library at 336 Concord Ave, will be open as cooling centers this weekend, according to a press release from the town. 

The hours will be as follows: 

Beech Street Center:  

  • Saturday, July 23, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 24, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Belmont Public Library: 

  • Friday, July 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for a free movie night
  • Saturday, July 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

“We encourage everyone to stay cool and hydrated,” read the press release. “We ask you to check on elderly friends and neighbors, and others who may need help, during this period of high heat and humidity.”

Town Negotiates Contract With Superior Officers Association; Three Unions Left To Be Settled

Photo: Contract settled with Belmont Police Superior Officers

Three down, three to go as the town reached a multi-year contract with another of it employee unions announced on Monday, June 27.

The Belmont Police Superior Officers Association reached an agreement on a new three-year contract to be in effect from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023. The parties agree to three 2 percent base wage increases from 2020 to 2023, according to Shawna Healey, the town’s Human Resources director.

The contract also provides education incentives and adds the Juneteenth holiday as a paid holiday. As part of working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the town is providing a one-time payment of $2,000 for active employees who worked from March 2020 to March 2021.

There are 16 members in the association representing Belmont Police sergeants, lieutenants and captains.

With Concerns Heightened, Belmont School Committee Will Host Community Safety Forum Tuesday, May 31

Photo: The Belmont School Committee will host a virtual community safety forum on Tuesday, May 31

After a pair of alarming incidents directed at and in Belmont schools and the recent mass murder of students and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the Belmont School Committee will host a virtual community safety forum on Tuesday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m., according to an email from Belmont Superintendent John Phelan.

  • To join the Zoom video meeting, click this link:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83217919060 Webinar ID: 832 1791 9060
  • To join by telephone:Call: (929) 205-6099 and enter this PIN: 83217919060# To ask a question or raise your hand, enter *9 on your phone.
  • The meeting will be cablecast live on channel 8 (Comcast) and channel 28 and 2130 (Verizon) and online at belmontmedia.org/govtv

The meeting comes after a bomb threat on May 11 was directed at Belmont High School and “concerning” social media messages accompanied photos of the interior of the Chenery Middle School has raised tensions among residents and parents of school-age students.

The meeting, which will be attended by Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac, Fire Chief David Destefano and Facilities Director David Blazon, will be an opportunity for public safety and town officials “to update on our protocols and to listen to concerns and feedback,” said Phelan.

“As most of our students have exposure to technology, news media, and social media, many of them have likely heard about the tragedy in Uvalde,” said Phelan.

“This topic will no doubt be top-of-mind among families throughout the nation for days to come. Our staff and counselors are available for students in school as needed. Please reach out to one of your child’s teachers, counselor, or principal if you feel your child needs specific support in processing this incident.”

UPDATE: Missing Chenery Middle School Student Found

Photo: Belmont Police was seeking the public’s help finding a missing Chenery Middle School student

Update: Jonathan McHugh, the 12-year-old Chenery Middle School student who was reported missing Wednesday, has been found and reunited with this family, according to Belmont Police.

The Belmont Police Dept is seeking assistance from the community to locate a missing Chenery Middle School student.

Jonathan McHugh was last seen at the Chenery Middle School, 95 Washington St., at approximately 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 25. McHugh is a 12 year old white male. He is 5’4”, weighs approximately 100 lbs. and has sandy blonde hair.

Courtesy photo

He was last seen wearing a white Champion’s sweatshirt, gray pants and he was carrying a reddish maroon backpack.

If anyone has seen Jonathan, or has information regarding his whereabouts, please contact the Belmont Police Dept at 617-484-1212.

Belmont Police Will Be At District Schools Wednesday After ‘Incident’ At The Chenery

Photo: Chenery Middle School where an “incident” occurred on Tuesday which was resolved by Belmont Police.

Belmont Police will have an increased presence at all district schools Wednesday morning, May 25, after an incident Tuesday at the Chenery Middle School and yesterday’s mass killing of elementary school children in Uvalde, Texas.

At 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 24, Belmont Police were made aware of a social media post showing pictures of the inside of the Chenery Middle School that included comments from the poster which were deemed “concerning” to the police, according to Chief James MacIsaac.

“Officers immediately responded to the Chenery Middle School along with our Co-Responder Clinician and located the person responsible for the social media posts,” said MacIsaac in an email press release.   Officers and the clinician were able to successfully address the matter.

Belmont Police would not expand on the nature of the comments in the posts, whether they could be perceived as a threat or a call for help.

“Out of an abundance of caution and due to today’s incident in Texas,” police will be at each of Belmont’s six schools Tuesday, said MacIsaac.

Also on Tuesday, the Belmont School Committee led by Chair Meg Moriarty paused for a moment of silence at the start of its business meeting to remember the 19 students and two faculty members murdered by a lone gunman in Texas earlier in the day.

Rash Of Residential Break-ins Has Belmont Police Advising Homeowners To ID Suspicious Behavior

Photo: Screen shot of the person Belmont Police believe is responsible for three housebreaks in town.

With the warmer weather has come what local law enforcement has described as an “uptick” in the number of incidences of home burglaries in town.

In a May 16 press release from Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac, Belmont has witnessed a rash of residential break-ins with three occurring near the Burbank Elementary School during the early morning hours of Monday, May 16. Homes on Adams and Madison streets and Watson Road, were entered by a suspect who appears to be traversing through backyards to move from house to house.

The suspect cuts window and door screens to gain access through open windows or an entrance way door that was unlocked. Once inside, the suspect appears to be targeting electronics – four laptops were stolen – and other valuable items. “If possible, place these items in a safe deposit box or a hidden area other than a dresser or closet,” said MacIsaac.

The Belmont Police have responded by increasing directed patrol activity in the areas where breaks have occurred while its detective division is working full time on these cases.

“We are urging residents to please call 9-1-1 immediately if they observe any activity which might be suspicious at your house or a neighbor’s house,” said MacIsaac.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=315&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbelmontpolice%2Fvideos%2F682201429739081%2F&show_text=false&width=560&t=0

What to look for:

  • Someone parking in front of your house and then walking down the street or around the corner.
  • A stranger walking around your or your neighbor’s house or in and through their back yard.
  • For investigative information only, please contact the BPD Detectives at: 617-993- 2550
    for all other concerns, please call 617-993-2501.

NH Man Arrested For Belmont High School Bomb Threat

Photo: Belmont High School

A 39-year-old New Hampshire man was taken into custody on Thursday, May 12, for making a bomb threat that forced the closure of Belmont High School the day before, according to a press release from Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac.

Acting on information provided by Belmont Police detectives, members of the U.S. Marshall Fugitive and the Massachusetts State Police Fugitive task forces arrested without incident the unnamed resident of Ossipee, NH at a Holiday Inn in Peabody. He will face charges for making a false bomb threat and could face additional federal charges as well. The suspect’s connection to Belmont, if any, is unclear.

.

Breaking: Belmont High School Closed After Bomb Threat [Updated 1 PM]

Photo: Belmont High School on the first day of the 2021-22 school year.

Due to a phoned in bomb threat, classes at Belmont High School have been cancelled for today, Wednesday, May 11, according to an email from Principal Isaac Taylor. Four Belmont Police vehicles and a Belmont Fire engine are at the school on Concord Avenue investigating the threat.

“Out of an abundance of caution the school department has elected to close the school for the day,” noted the Belmont Police twitter account.

Taylor said in his email that he was working on “how we will reschedule AP exams that were supposed to be taking place today.”

Chenery Middle School and Belmont’s four elementary schools remain open.

“At no time were there any threats or concerns for our elementary and middle school buildings,” said Belmont Superintendent John Phelan.

Update: 1 p.m.

The Belmont School District has provided a detailed timeline of the events of Wednesday, May 11:

  • 6:34 am: Belmont Police dispatch received a call from Massachusetts 911 stating that they received a bomb threat specific to Belmont High School.
  • 6:44 am: Belmont High School administration was notified via cell phone  of the threat as they were enroute to the school building.
  • 6:45 am: Belmont Police, in collaboration with school officials, proactively pulled the fire alarm to empty the school of any staff and students who arrived early in the building.
  • 6:56 am: Belmont Police requested permission to bring the Explosive Ordinance Dogs (EOD) from surrounding municipalities to sweep the building.
  • 7:14 am: BHS administration was provided access to the internet to communicate to Belmont High School students, staff, and families of the situation and the school closure decision for today.
  • 7:23 am: District administration sent out the first communication to BHS families, students, and staff.
  • 7:36 am: EOD teams arrived at BHS to sweep school.
  • 7:53 am: District administration sent out an automated call to our Belmont High School staff and families.
  • 8:24 am: District administration sent out an email communication to our PreK-12 community.
  • 8:40 am: BHS administration sent out a second communication to families, students and staff with an update.
  • 9:42 am: School administration was informed that the sweep of the building was complete and school was safe for activities this afternoon and safe to open for a regular school day tomorrow, Thursday, May 12.

Belmont Superintendent Phelan wrote in email to the school community just before noon:

“I want to thank the Belmont Police Department and Belmont High School administration for their vigilance, support, leadership and commitment to the safety of our school community. In addition, my appreciation goes out to our neighboring police departments for their support in sweeping the building.”

“The High School administration will provide an update on the schedules for today’s afterschool activities and the rescheduling of Advanced Placement exams impacted by today’s school closure.”

“My deepest gratitude to all of our staff who supported our students in all schools today as we worked through this morning’s incident. Staff will be made available to talk with students for the remainder of the week, should there be any questions or continued concerns.”