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Sounds like someplace to avoid!
 

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I interviewed with them for a reserve position, why wife is from there. It is the smallest town in the state (even smaller than millville). Last time i was home (x-mas leave) they did have some budget cut and i think they had to let go some reserves, but i am not sure. Alot of the officers that i met were great. they have a good staff. I have my own personal opinion about the town itself, but it wouldn't be proper to voice my opinion in this post. Bottom line is it is a good PD with a bad budget.
 

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I don't know if thats a fact or not,i do know that the land area in under 5.5 square miles. Its smaller than millville (not by much) but it has more than twice the population (5900+ vs 2700+ as of 2000). It mostly italian and irish community.
 

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HOPEDALE -- A single keystroke error has held up legislation that would have enabled Civil Service to be abolished in town.

The House and Senate recently enacted a bill that would exempt the local police department from the civil service law. The bill was on Gov. Mitt Romney's desk yesterday, awaiting his signature, when an attorney noticed the Civil Service chapter number was wrong by two digits.

Instead of Chapter 262, the bill read Chapter 264, said Roselyne Lariviere, chief of staff for state Rep. Marie Parente, D-Milford.

"These things happen from time to time," said Harry Grossman, general counsel for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, who caught the typo.

Grossman said he will advise Romney to send the bill back to the Legislature for an amendment since it was already enacted.

"Only they can correct it," he said.

News of the error came after Parente and state Sen. Richard Moore's offices sent out a press release announcing the passage of the legislation.

"It's just a technical thing," Moore said of the typo. "It just delays (the legislation) a couple of days."

Moore said errors in bills are typically caught early on. This time, "somebody wasn't reading closely, I guess," he said.

The legislation will likely be reenacted by the Senate and House on Monday, Moore said.

"We should be able to get it through very rapidly. Obviously, it was the will of the Legislature that this (bill) be enacted," Lariviere said.

Police Chief Eugene Costanza, who has been advocating for the end of Civil Service in town, said he is confident Moore and Parente will push the bill along as quickly as possible.

"It's not going to slow me down," said Constanza, who is in the midst of finding candidates to fill four vacancies in his department.

Town Meeting voted last October to abolish Civil Service, which has been in place for three years. Parente and Moore filed the bill on behalf of the town.

Moore said the elimination of Civil Service will give the town greater control over who it hires.

"Civil Service sends you a list and you have to pick off of their statewide list," Costanza said. "It takes the local authorities...out of the picture to a certain extent."

Parente said Civil Service also inhibits the town from being able to attract many candidates. It makes it difficult for a town to select local applicants since they are competing against statewide candidates who may have priority status, she said.

"You like to choose local candidates because they know the people, they know the streets, they know the values of the community," Parente said.

Parente and Moore said Civil Service also is becoming unnecessary as police associations are able to gain their benefits through contract negotiations.

Costanza said he is looking forward to the end of Civil Service and being able to interview and hire candidates "our previous way."

"It's in the best interest of the town," he said.

Costanza finished interviewing 14 academy-trained candidates Thursday and is looking to call back at least eight of them to take a written test.

"Hopefully out of those 14, we'll be able to come down to four good candidates to eventually offer the positions to," he said.

The chief will recommend to the Board of Selectmen the four candidates he would like to see join his force. The selectmen, who have appointing authority, will make the final call.

Costanza said he hopes the legislation abolishing Civil Service will be passed at the same time the town is ready to hire four officers.

Once the new recruits come on board, the department will be fully staffed with 12 officers.

"I'm optimistic that the positions will be offered by the end of the month," Costanza said.
 

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don't know if the statistics are still current but before I left for a better job, the Town of Millville (literally 10 min from Hopelessdale) was, in terms of size, 1 square mile with a population of just over 2000....and that is just the cattle population....seriously though, the pop was around 2K about a year ago. It has prob changed but that would be my vote for the smallest town in MA.
 
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