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Chief Mellis is a great friend

Date: 12/18/2014

Let me tell you about a friend. East Longmeadow and former Hampden Chief of Police Doug Mellis is the essence of a friend.  He was recently named the head of the Massachusetts Chief’s Association. I feel bad that I couldn’t be there, but I was taking care of business. What I was going to speak about was the friendship that we have.

When I was going through treatment for polychondritis, Dougie took me to Boston every three months. He’d say, “Give me the dates Vinnie,” and then he’d schedule my appointment on a day that worked for him on his calendar.

There was one day we had to go to Cambridge for testing. We left at 5:30 in the morning to get there for 8 a.m. They were sticking me with all sorts of needles and running all sorts of tests. We were there until 2:15 p.m. and they wanted to do one more test. My arm was on fire. I said, “If I don’t get out of here I’m blowing up that bridge.”

One of the nurses was nervous and asked him which bridge he was talking about. Mellis whipped out his badge and said, “Don’t worry I’m a chief and he’s a commissioner, he’s only joking, he’s just had a long day.” That’s a friend.

There was another time he convinced me to go to Las Vegas. I started getting an attack in my ears. He drove to CVS and picked up a bottle of peroxide. Every day for seven days he’d put peroxide in my ears, and wouldn’t you know it cleared up.

He’s always been there when I needed him and I feel bad that I wasn’t there for him. So I just want to say, Doug, thank you and I love you. From a friend to a friend.
Vincent Villamaino