Local Deputies Hunt For ‘Deadbeat Dads’
By Jack Farrell

Union News

Thursday, June 4, 1998

SPRINGFIELD – The look on the face of Kevin Jenkins, dropped-jaw and all, was fairly typical, according to the Hampden County Deputy Sheriffs arresting him for his failure to respond to a court order regarding his childcare payments.

“What?” said Jenkins, as he put his arms behind his back to be cuffed outside his 414 Berkshire Ave. apartment last night.

“That’s the typical defense we get. The ‘What do you mean’ look,” said Senior Deputy Charles Camerlin, after placing Jenkins under arrest.

Jenkins told the deputies that he was up to date on his payments and was in complete compliance with court orders. The deputies didn’t know how much in child support Jenkins, or anyone else on their list owed. But all of court orders they’ve served have been accurate, said Camerlin.

Chicopee–based Constable Scott Goodkowsky was also touring the county last night searching for other deadbeat parents. He and a partner we’re scheduled to visit Springfield, Agawam, Holyoke and Easthampton.

He and four other deputy sheriff’s traveled throughout the county last night to apprehend “deadbeat dad,” parents accused of abdicating their responsibility to provide financial support for their children. There were six names on their list. All were men.

“Arrests are the last resort for these officers of the county, ” Camerlin said. “The delinquent parents are notified several times to appear in court on family related matters, but when, after repeated tries there is still no response, the arrest warrant is issued by the County’s Probate and Family Court.”

Not every stop last night went as smoothly. At a house on 14 Reed St., The deputies searched for Canute Pitters, but they came up empty. His mother allowed the deputies to search the house, and then told him that his son was at an auto body shop on Armory Street, where he worked. The deputies checked, but the business was closed. They returned to the house on Reed Street, and searched again. The deputy said they would continue to search last night until all leads were exhausted for Pitters and anyone else still left on their list.

Another stop for the team of deputies was Liberty Heights, where at 22 Denton Circle, a woman gave permission for a search of the apartment she shares with Richard Nelson Jr. He wasn’t home, and the deputies not wishing to alarm a small inquisitive girl who lives at the same address, asked the woman to have Nelson telephone the deputies in the morning. The deputies were then headed for Chicopee and then on to Bondsville, before doubling back to check a couple more of their Springfield stops.