The Somerville News Weekly’s Special Person Of The Week Joe Voutour

Joe Voutour photoBy William Tauro

Meet this week’s “Special Person of the Week: Joe Voutour

Joseph Voutour was born and raised in Somerville on Willow Avenue. He attended Somerville Trade High School and graduated with Valedictorian Recognition in the Electrical Career Field (1973) He pursued his career and received his Journeyman’s & Master’s License, along with a teaching Certificate. In 1974 he joined the US Air Force, did his four years active duty, and served in the Reserves for another sixteen years, retiring with many medals, awards & decorations. His job in the Air Force was in the electrical field.

Joseph began his Somerville Employment Career as an Auxiliary Police Officer in 1978. In 1981 he was appointed to the Somerville Police Force, a job that he loved and and still does to this day. In 1988 he was involved in a very tragic fatal police shooting inside the Somerville Police Station. All levels of the government that investigated this shooting, cleared him of any wrong doing, and infact he was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations including the departments highest award, the Medal of Honor. Joe was also decorated with awards and citations in the Governors Office (Mike Dukakis), and the Massachusetts State House of Representatives (Alderman Vinnie Ciampa). In 1990 he accepted the position of Somerville’s Superintendent of Electric Lights & Lines (full time) at the DPW and went on a temporary leave of absence with the Police Dept.

Also in 1990, he was served notification that the wife of the shooting victum (Franco LaPorta), was sueing him and the City of Somerville for $ 20 million each. He was served on the last day of the two year statue of limitations, and it was done at the Federal Level, along the state level. This civil case went on for four years, two years in the Federal Court System and was subsequentally thrown out. They then proceded in the State Court System, which also lasted two years. The very day of his trial, in Superior Court, in front of the judge, he accepted the terms which closed the case. It was agreed the City of Somerville would pay $3000.00 dollars to Laporta’s wife, with the understanding that the 3k would be going to Laporta’s children (3 x $1000.00 each), and futher that there would be no compensation to her attorney. The matter was then closed, and yet the stress endured after four yrs of litigation, prompted him to quit his city job and move to Maine.

Joe applied for a disability pension with the Somerville Police Deptpartment, and was granted the normal 72 %. After being in Maine for about a year, Joe returned to the Somerville DPW job as Electrical Supt, but only in a part time capacity. He continued to work for Mayors Mike Capuano, Bill Roach , Dot Gay and Joe Curtatone. Joe Curtatone later offered him the position of the combined Superintendents (Electrical & Highway Divisions), a full time job and he was ready for its challenges.

Joe is now retired living in Maine and Florida!

We here at the Somerville News Weekly salute you for everything that you do to make Somerville a better place.

Congratulations!

18 thoughts on “The Somerville News Weekly’s Special Person Of The Week Joe Voutour”

  1. I don’t think this article is actually right .if my memory service me correctly he shot a man that was actually going to report the drug use of the cops at that time. he was not shot by the front as the report states but by the side a man killed trying to stop the corruption in the police force at the time . I my self could name at least four officers at the time who was using drugs at the time and I was a teenager you can all say what you want but the fact remains medical reports do not lie he was shot by the side where the bullet collapsed his lungs and killed him all because he was going to blow the whistle on the police officers

  2. the LaPorta’s have suffered greatly at the lost of there father. not only at the lost of there father but also at the hands of thesomerville police that has abused them from the day they all turned of age they have abused there power the fear that Francis children would take down a police force that was corrupt at the time and wqs scared that the whistle would be really and truly be blown on some officers but they seem to forget the children where too young to remeber names or faces. I don’t believe they should suffer anymore at the hands of the Somerville police or people who only know what they read in a article and not the actually facts of the issue

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