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Town will offer free FID cards: Maynard to provide women the chance to have pepper spray

By Michael Kane / CNC Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 17, 2004

MAYNARD -- While the wave of local home invasions and assaults has not touched Maynard, there are still concerns. As a result, the Police Department is offering a free safety course and chemical spray Firearms Identification Card to Maynard residents.

Police Chief James Corcoran said several calls have been made to the department in recent months as numerous assaults against women have made the news. Starting with a series of brazen home intrusions and rapes in MetroWest last year, recent months have seen incidents on border towns including Acton and Sudbury.

In Acton, two women in separate incidents were followed home after early evening shopping and groped after leaving their vehicles. In Sudbury, Corcoran said a man entered a home in daylight where a woman was with a baby. In those cases, the males fled.

"Several residents have called concerned about the recent chain of events in the area and the possibility of being attacked," Corcoran said. "A lot of concerned females have asked about the use of chemical spray."

As a result, Corcoran said he has decided to use money from the Community Policing Grant to sponsor FID cards for the pepper or other chemical sprays.

"I urge all concerned citizens, if you have been thinking about it, this is the time to do it," Corcoran said. "There will be no cost for them other than the purchase of the pepper spray."

Applications for chemical FID cards are taken over a one-month period -- Nov. 15 through Dec. 17 -- and will be paid for by the Maynard Police Department. The regular cost to a resident for chemical use cards is $25.

Corcoran said the FID card is good anywhere in Massachusetts, which makes carrying the spray while grocery shopping or going to the mall legal. You must be 18 years old to apply for an FID card.

Once background checks are done and the applications are approved, Corcoran said there will be a group training session and chemical spray demonstration, probably in January. Applicants will be notified by mail.

In addition, Sgt. Clifford Wilson said there will also be a self-defense class given the with the pepper spray training. Wilson said Maynard High teacher Steve Calloggero, a fifth degree black belt, has offered to teach that class.

Wilson expects the evening to take about two hours.

To apply for a chemical FID card, you must make an appointment with an officer the day you wish to apply. Call 978-897-1011.

Applications will be processed Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., by Lt. Alfred Whitney or Sgts. Wilson and James Dawson, depending on shifts.

Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. applications will be processed by Sgt. Stephen Jones. Wilson said the form takes about 15 minutes to fill out. Criminal background checks will be done.

For any questions on the FID card or the training session, call Chief Corcoran at the station
 
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