On Thursday evening, while shoppers flocked to downtown Westfield retail stores and restaurants enjoyed a spike in dining patrons due undoubtedly to the unseasonable warm weather, thieves put their skills to work in a retail chain store on E. Broad St.
Thieves ran off with merchandise swiped from the shelves and racks of Victoria's Secret putting into motion a series of events that questions the actions of a professional trained to respond in a manner that echoes the the old law enforcement motto, "To Protect and Serve."
While criminals fled the store and the crime was reported via "911," Westfield Police Chief John M. Parizeau was driving through Westfield in his police issued Dodge Durango equipped with state of the art emergency lights in the front grill and outfitted with communications equipment enabling him to be in contact with his police force. The mobility gave him the ability to respond to the emergency in moments notice. That would not be the case on this night, and it wouldn't be the first time the escape of a criminal was indirectly "aided: and "abetted" by Parizeau.
A description of the the vehicle used by the criminals to flee the scene was given out over police radio and Chief Parizeau heard the broadcast. Sources have confirmed that as a vehicle fitting the description of the suspects vehicle (van) passed by Chief Parizeau, he radioed police headquarters his observation. What did he do as this vehicle was on the run? Nothing, except to drive away?
With an "undercover vehicle" used for surveillance purposes, as described by town officials, could Parizeau have turned his vehicle around to follow the criminals? Should Parizeau have activated his emergency grill lights to make a u-turn to apprehend the suspected thieves or at least follow them until marked back-up patrol units arrived? Had the suspect vehicle been stopped, it would have at least afforded police an opportunity to ascertain the identity of the occupants and possibly solve a crime just committed.
Parizeau is no stranger to witnessing the escape of accused criminals and letting others apprehend them or doing nothing at all.
In 2004, Parizeau witnessed a woman escape out the side door of police headquarters after squeezing her hand out of a handcuff that is attached to floor bolted metal bench. Accused criminals are cuffed and housed in the "mug and print" room at police headquarters where they are processed after being arrested.
Parizeau's response to that escape, he watched and alerted the police dispatch workers. The suspect was caught by officers that were alerted by the passive Parizeau.
And finally, a thief from within the department was the beneficiary of Parizeau's "aiding and abetting." A blog story posted here, that remains one of The Fact of The Matter's most viewed blog stories, chronicles the theft by a Westfield Police Department supervisor, that was allowed to run free of the crime even after Chief Parizeau had obtained the evidence necessary to arrest the officer. Read the blog story here: http://07090.blogspot.com/2010/12/westfield-police-chief-john-m-parizeau.html
and another at:
A dog may be considered a man's best friend. In the case of criminals and law enforcement, Chief Parizeau is a thief's best friend.