|WellesleyPDPhoto.com's Top Photos From 2010
In an effort to pick the top photo from 2010, WellesleyPDPhoto asked members of the Wellesley Police Community to pick their favorite photos. The
'judges' were not told anything except to make their picks from 2010 and the reasons why they liked that particular photo. Based upon the judge's
picks, the most popular photo was chosen.
The nine judges who participated were Deputy Chief Brooks, Lieutenant Cleary, Sergeant Jeff Renzella, Officer Tim Barros, Dispatcher Tim Gover,
Dispatcher Bobby Rowe, Dispatcher Sarah Walsh, The Swellesley Report Editor Bob Brown, and Chemist Frank Waligora. Despite the wide range of
backgrounds from the judges, all of the top choices were very similar. A four way tie for first place resulted.
The top choices for 2010 were Officer Ron Poirer's cow incident (CowWhisperer), the photo of Chief Cunningham saluting Chief Weaver (Final
Salute), Officer Tim Barros watching Boston MedFlight take off from Route 128 over Route 9 (Liftoff) and the car fire in Wellesley Square (Corvette
Fire). These four photos each received four votes from the judges. The Final Salute photo was taken by Nat Whittemore, who shows that even in
retirement with a mere 'still camera' he's still producing spectacular images.
|Sergeant Jeff Renzella, Midnight Shift Commander: Sergeant Renzella is the midnight shift commander and always seems to know
what is going on in Wellesley at all times, especially if it's been posted on the web. Sergeant Renzella has been featured on this site since
it's inception, and over the years has put up with the camera following him around (as well as me talking to him during games at
Fenway, and during long runs, both of which are apparently 'frowned upon') Sergeant Renzella can best be summarized by a simple,
but famous, quote by author Tom Clancy: "A good man in storm."
Sgt. Renzella's comments: The photo of Ron and the cow was pure comic relief but it showed how we respond to everything and
anything in Wellesley. I liked the photo of Officer Ashe reflecting, which to me showed the routine part of the job vs the potential
danger behind every stop or inter-action. The Powder Puff photo represents the extensive community involvement and the pride of
having hometown officers involved in town activities. Officer Amalfi doing field sobriety tests was great composition, with the grey fog
a good parallel to the seriousness of the stop.
Sergeant Renzella's photo choices are below:
|Cow Whisperer: Officer Ron Poirier coaxes a cow back to pasture.
Story behind the photo: It was 3:15 AM. Officer Ron Poirier and I were at the station reviewing an
arrest report he was working on when the call went out on the radio for a 'cow in the road' at
Washington Street near Pond Road We looked at each other and laughed, heading for the door. Ron
jumped in 1403 with me. Very carefully, we came around the corner on Washington Street and found
"Starr" a blue ribbon cow calmly grazing on the sidewalk, having escaped from her pasture. While trying
to locate the owner, Ron managed to coax the cow back towards the pasture with a handful of acorns.
I figured the cow was going to attack him at any moment, or worse, charge me. Ron knew exactly
what he was doing though and got the cow off the street. When we cleared the call, Ron was worried
he didn't have his cover (hat) on in the photo, and then made his biggest mistake of the night: Admitting
to me he worked on a farm growing up, thus bringing "Ron the Secret Farmer" as the caption on the
original photo. The Swellesley Report would later dub Officer Poirier the "Cow Whisperer." when it ran
Sgt. Renzella, Dispatcher Walsh, Swellesley Report Editor Bob Brown, and Frank Waligora all voted for
this photo. Lt. Cleary picked a similar photo from the incident.
|Final Salute: Chief Cunningham salutes Chief Weaver.
Story behind the photo: The death of retired Wellesley Police Chief Leroy Weaver was very unexpected
and struck a nerve within the department. Not only did Chief Weaver serve as police chief, he still lived
in town, and his son, Officer Richard Weaver, is still an active duty officer assigned as the department's
prosecutor. Since I was going to be part of the Honor Guard for the funeral, I wanted to make sure we
had photographs to tell the story. Photographing funerals is a tricky exercise, as a photographer has to
balance covering the event with sensitivity and respect to the family. Deputy Chief Brooks and I decided
on retired veteran CBS newsphotographer Nat Whittemore, who is also my father. Mr. Whittemore
covered the event from start to finish as a courtesy to the Wellesley Police Department, and proved he
can still produce spectacular, heartwarming images. This photo was taken in the final moments of the
burial ceremony, where the pall bearers remove their gloves and place them on the casket to be buried.
The entire series of images that Mr. Whittemore produced during the funeral were very moving and
captured emotions that went far deeper than a simple image.
Dispatcher Bob Rowe, Swellesley Report Editor Bob Brown, Dispatcher Tim Gover, and Officer Tim
Barros voted for this photo. Deputy Chief Brooks, Lt. Cleary and Officer Barros also picked additional
images from this series.
|Lift Off: Officer Tim Barros watches Boston MedFlight depart from Route 128.
Story behind the photo: The initial call for this incident was reported as a 'possible' accident on Route
128 near Route 9 on Columbus Day afternoon at 3PM. Officer Timothy Barros who had been working
since midnight, responded to the call and was on the scene first. AMR Paramedic Kevin LaBarge from
Medic 1 immediately called for MedFlight due to the trauma. It was decided to land MedFlight right on
Route 128 northbound after the victim was extricated from the car, so all traffic on the highway had to
be stopped. No matter how many times we've seen MedFlight land, there is just something spectacular
and unnerving about watching a huge helicopter land in the middle of the road. Despite the wind and
debris kicked up by MedFlight, Officer Barros couldn't resist a quick glance as it lifted off, seemingly
underneath the sign for Route 9 west.
Lieutenant Cleary, Dispatcher Bob Rowe, Dispatcher Sarah Walsh, and Dispatcher Tim Gover voted for
this photo. Officer Barros voted for a similar photo of Officer Rosenberg and MedFlight from this series.
|Corvette Fire: A car fire in Wellesley Square
Officer Chris Fritts, who is usually assigned to Wellesley Square when he works First Half, was at the
police station finishing paperwork when the call for a car fire came in during rush hour. As he shot
down Washington Street, all the traffic westbound was at a dead stop. That's never a good sign. As he
passed Wellesley Ave, he thought a bomb had gone off, or that it was a building on fire, not just a car.
Thick plumes of black, toxic smoke filled Wellesley Square. Chris leaped ahead of the flames to block
traffic from Central Street, then ran up to the burning car to make sure the driver had escaped.
Eventually, most of the First Half shift would be needed to shut down traffic in all directions as the fire
raged. Once Engine 1 arrived, the fire was quickly extinguished. This is one of those images that is
enhanced by it's location--how many car fires do you see raging out of control in the heart of Wellesley
Frank Waligora, The Swellesley Report Editor Bob Brown, Lieutenant Cleary, and Dispatcher Sarah
Walsh voted for this image.
|The Judges Favorites From 2010:
Scroll down to see who the judges were and their favorite photos from 2010.
|Dispatcher Robert "Bobby" Rowe, NightWatch Communications: The voice of midnights. Many of the photos that were taken here
were as a direct result of Dispatcher Rowe calling me on the Nextel in the middle of the night if I was off duty. Simply put, Dispatcher
Rowe is a huge contributor to this website and never forgets to call me when something happens.
Bobby has made several wise and sage suggestions to me, such as "Website updates at 4:30 AM may not be such a bright idea."
Dispatcher Rowe's comments: I like the photo of the Chief saluting the casket because it shows the brotherhood. The MedFlight photo
was just a cool action photo. The famous fox and the skunk battle shows the lighter side of things that happen on the job. The photo of
the Youth Academy shows the strong community relations that the department has. The fireworks and the cruiser posed in front was just a
Dispatcher Rowe's photo choices are below.
|The Swellesley Report Blog Editor and Founder, Bob Brown: As founder of The Swellesley Report, Bob Brown arguably has "THE"
most popular blog/news source in Wellesley. Covering just about every item in town, Mr. Brown consistently finds new material and new
stories to bring to his hugely popular and regularly updated bog site. The Swellesley Report was one of the inspirations for this website.
Mr. Brown comments: "So many to choose from! I tried to pick a mix of photos. The cow photo is the one I really remember because it
was just different. Everyone likes a fire photo, except the car owner, of course. The photo of the suspect on the car looks like something
right out of the TV show 'Cops.'
The Swellesley Report's photo choices are below:
|Mr. Frank Waligora, Chemist: Frank is a lifelong friend whom I served with in college, working many First Halfs at RIT. Although
Frank is a renowned chemist, he is a good friend to the Wellesley Police Department, most notably as a feared roll player during some of
our Night Sims training scenarios. Frank has played everything from a crazed terrorist, hostage taking lunatic (see photo left), and
nightmare car stop driver.
Mr. Waligora's comments: First off, the photo of the RIT Tiger and Chief---what a great combination! The cow photo is funny and
incongruous. The cow is looking at Ron, Ron is looking at the cow, and neither knows what the hell the other one is going to do. The
photo of Mike Leach in the Tower Ladder bucket was simply a cool photo, with the bucket surrounded by the smoke and the steam. The
car fire photo is a favorite because I like Corvettes...even ones that are on fire. I picked the firework photo because it looks very
Mr. Waligora's photo choices are below:
|Deputy Chief Of Police Brooks Hands down, one of the biggest supporters of WellesleyPDPhoto.com! Deputy Chief Brooks has his
hand in just about everything having to do with day to day operations of the Wellesley Police Department. At 7AM you can usually find
him in the Sergeant's office, getting a briefing on the previous night's incidents. Big incidents are usually followed with the question,
"When will the photos be on the website?"
Deputy Chief Brooks comments: I liked the photo of the capture because it showed the Chief in the field. My favorite is the photo of
Officer Mao on the car stop. I also liked Officer Poirier's 'Cow Caper' and the caption of the 'Secret Farmer.' The caption of
'Unscheduled Vehicle Merger' with Officer Poirier was very clever.
Deputy Chief Brooks' photo choices are below.
|Lieutenant Marie Cleary: Lieutenant Cleary, even while on vacation, took the time to go through the WellesleyPDPhoto
website and pick her favorite photos from 2010...from the hotel computer! Lieutenant Cleary, as the department's Public
Information Officer, frequently has to deal with the media, giving answers in the aftermath of photos being posted on this site.
She has made some fantastic comments regarding WellesleyPDPhoto in the Boston Globe as well as Globe West. She is always
available day or night, and publicly represents the Wellesley Police Department as the professional organization that it is
Lieutenant Cleary's comments You asked me to pick a handful of photos which was a lot harder than it may seem. I think the
photos I picked demonstrate the types of calls officers respond to daily, from car crashes to building fires and even a stray cow.
My favorite photo for the content is the Grove Street crash. It was an incredible job capturing the scene and fire department
rolling up. The photo of Officer Derby on Brookside Road during a snowstorm is just a reminder that officers are out there on
the streets doing their job day and night in good weather and bad. The Secret Farmer captures the lighter side of the job. Who
would ever think that an officer would have to help a cow get back to her pasture?
Lieutenant Cleary's photo choices are below.
|Dispatcher Sarah Walsh, Dayshift Communications: The 'Scourge of West Tac' Dispatcher Walsh has been instrumental in proofreading
and catching typos on the site, she also offers constructive criticism and isn't afraid to voice her opinion on images. Photos of Dispatcher
Walsh on this site have been featured in the Boston Globe and communications related publications, much to her chagrin.
Dispatcher Walsh's comments: I picked the photo of the foggy night because it was Officer Amalfi and the variety of colors even with the heavy
fog. MedFlight photos are always awesome. In this particular photo of MedFlight, the image put me on the scene of a call that I took in
dispatch. I was able see the call in the eyes of the officers on the scene.
I like the photo of Officer Rosenberg at the funeral home for Chief Weaver's wake because it showed the cloudy sky overhead, giving the
impression of a gloomy day. However, the sun was shining bright on the cruisers and Evan as he stood on his post, giving the sign of hope that
the department will continue on with it's mission despite the loss.
As far as the Officer Poirier and the cow, well, no other reason really except it's Ron and it's a cow.
The shadow photo of you and Chief (the dog) pretty much sums up the website and you.
Dispatcher Walsh's photo choices are below.
|Officer Tim Barros, Midnights: Officer Barros is featured in many of the photos on the site because he always seems to be the officer
that arrives first at big incidents, and he always..always..has his cover on. From a fully involved house fire on Willow Street to an
overturned auto in Newton, Officer Barros is 'that guy' who is always the first on the scene. Officer Barros is usually the centerpiece of
any 'spoof' articles that are written either here or at WellesleyPolice.com because of his unique ability to laugh at himself and take
everything in stride.
Officer Barros' comments: The photos of Chief Weaver's funeral really pulled at my heart strings. The photos are very emotional and it
reminds me of the camaraderie of the police department. The photo of Evan and MedFlight looks great, I like the straight on view and
Evan looks very squared away with his vest on and MedFlight right over his shoulder.The fire photo is just unbelievably spectacular, it's
something you see very rarely, maybe once in a blue moon. I like the fireworks shot with the cruiser and the action shot from NightSims
and the range..anything showing us training. Of course, the Powder Puff team photo has extra meaning to me since we won this year, and
there are a lot of happy, smiling faces. Plus I like any photo of Sergeant Showstead. The Youth Academy photo is, well....let's just say
that has extra meaning to me as well,and because it shows a new young face in police gear.
|Dispatcher Tim Gover, Dayshift Communications: Dispatcher Gover is not only featured in many photos on the site, but has also
contributed several photos that he took at incidents for the website. Like Dispatcher Walsh, photos from the website of Tim have been
featured in communications and trade publications. Dispatcher Gover is also fantastic at letting WellesleyPDPhoto know of breaking events
during the day.
Dispatcher Gover's comments: All of the photos are great photos. I was drawn to the actions shot the most. It was about the story that the
photo told. They really captured the drama of each event as it unfolded. The fire photos were the most dramatic for me, which is why I
picked two of them.