Island resident sworn in as Jamestown’s newest police officer
The Jamestown Police Department will welcome its newest offi cer in a ceremony to take place in the Town Council chambers at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. At the same ceremony, four Jamestown police officers and one civilian will be honored for meritorious service.
The town’s new police officer is Pierre Pages. What makes Pages unique is that with the exception of Chief Edward Mello, he is the only officer on the force who resides in Jamestown. Pages, who is married with two young children, grew up on the island and attended the Jamestown schools before enrolling at Rogers High School in Newport.
After graduating from high school in 2000 – he worked at Conanicut Marine Services as a teen – Pages joined the U.S. Coast Guard. During his four years in the armed forces, he was stationed in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he worked on a cutter doing immigration and drug enforcement. His second duty station was in Kodiak, Ala., where he worked on maritime fisheries enforcement, as well as search and rescue.
Following his time with the Coast Guard, Pages spent the last five years working for the Jamestown Public Works Department. He has also served as a member of the Jamestown Fire Department. Pages was employed by the town until he entered the police academy on July 23. The course lasted for 22 weeks.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in since I got out of the Coast Guard,” Pages said. “When I was 6 years old, I saw my first Coast Guard cutter go up Narragansett Bay and that’s what I wanted to do. I did that for four years and enjoyed every bit of it.”
Pages was pursuing an associates degree in law enforcement at the Community College of Rhode Island when he decided to try out for the Alaska State Police. Then he heard about the job in Jamestown and decided to see if he could remain closer to home.
“Being a police officer for me means more if I work in the community I live in,” Pages said. “I grew up here and I know a lot of people in Jamestown.”
The process of selecting a new police officer for the town began one year ago, and there were more than 100 applicants for the position. Among the requirements for applicants were a background check, a physical agility test, medical testing, drug screening, a psychological exam, a written test, and personal interviews.
Pages will begin his career with the department as a probationary officer. His first assignment, which will last for approximately 14 weeks, will be to work with various field-training officers who will mentor him in the functionalities of dispatch, patrol and investigation. During that time his performance will be evaluated on a daily basis.
“I’m ready and eager to continue my service to the town while maintaining a positive way of life as a Jamestown resident,” Pages said.
The probationary period lasts for 12 months from the date of Pages’ graduation from the police academy, which was Dec. 19. During that period he will be assigned to various shifts to learn how each one functions. His supervisors will continue to evaluate him during that process.
“Pierre is a very mature individual who has a tremendous amount of life experience,” Mello said. “His work here in Jamestown, and his work with the Coast Guard and Fire Department make him a tremendous candidate. That’s what led him to rise to the top of the candidate pool.”
At the Jan. 7 ceremony, Officer John Areson and Sgt. Karen Catlow will be awarded the JPD medal of honor in connection with an event that took place on May 22. The officers responded to an individual who was threatening suicide. They were able to locate him through GPS coordinates received from the individual’s cellphone company.
According to Mello, when the two officers located him, he was trying to injure himself with knives and box cutters. Areson and Catlow physically subdued him inside his car while he continued to threaten to drive them off a cliff at Fort Wetherill.
“Both officers put themselves at risk by intervening,” said Mello.
Officers Ronald Jacobson and Mark Esposito will receive the lifesaving medal for their response to an event that occurred at the Narragansett Café on Sept. 23, when they were dispatched to attend to an unresponsive man at the restaurant. The officers performed CPR while waiting for rescue personnel to show up.
“The use and implementation of their training led to saving that man’s life,” Mello said.
Patrick Foley, a Jamestown resident, will also receive the lifesaving medal as a result. Foley was the first bystander to begin resuscitation on the unresponsive individual.
“This is all part of the program that the department has adopted,” Mello said. “We will recognize offi cers or citizens who go above and beyond, and deserve appropriate acknowledgement for that.”
The public is invited to attend the Jan. 7 ceremony.