MCLA Director Of Public Safety Joseph Charon Recieves Community Recognition Award


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that its director of public safety, Joseph Charon, recently received a Community Recognition Award sponsored by Northern Berkshire Neighbors of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition after he mobilized residents of the City of North Adams and surrounding communities following the collapse of two radio towers on Florida Mountain due to high winds and heavy rain on March 30, which caused a major interruption in the area's communications service.

According to Charon, shortly after the cell towers collapsed, members of the Northern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC) assembled and activated the area's Emergency Operations Center.  The collapse of the cell towers impacted numerous communications systems in the area, including cell phone and wireless data services, public radio and emergency responder radio systems.

"I am honored to have received a Neighborlies award for my involvement as MCLA's chief of campus police and chairman of the Northern Berkshire REPC in managing the critical incident," Charon said. "I was certainly in good company with my fellow colleagues, who also received the award recognition for their amazing contributions."

According to Charon, working collaboratively with the officials from the City of North Adams, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Berkshire County Sheriff's Department, North Adams Police and Fire Departments and the North Adams Ambulance Service, the incident was quickly assessed, responded to and mitigated within a short period of time.

"Efforts of this magnitude and success do not happen without a team effort," Charon said.

Charon was nominated for the award by Corydon Thurston, the owner and president of North Adams Tower Company, Inc., which owns and manages telecommunications towers. 

"Neighborlies" awards are given to people or groups who have made a contribution to the neighborhood or community. Charon was presented with his award on May 7, at the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in North Adams. The event included a reception and was attended by North Adams Mayor Dick Alcombright.

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