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Another example of out of control small town politics--as if we really need another example! Grapevine has it that Leverett Select Board wants to merge with Shutesbury PD. Staff from both PD's don't approve, but it seems like the fix is in. Both towns recently created "police advisory committees" to 'study' the most likely already decided issue. QUESTION: Can anybody out there cite a currently succesful example of this arrangement in western Mass, southern VT/NH or NW CT? Interested parties need to know this info. If you know of unsuccesful arrangements, let me know stating the reasons why it didn't work. I'm looking for a regionally applicable example, not somewhere out west or down south where this might work given the preeminence of County Govt and wide open spaces. Shutesbury is unionized and Leverett is not. Both towns are quite similar in population and demographics. For the record, LPD officers are united in their support of OIC Kelson Ting who deserves the Chief's job. Leverett Selectboard is biased against him for reasons that are a complete mystery to LPD. Absolutely no complaints about him from the public, just a few inside rats in town who are envious of his success and hard work ethic. We write more tickets that towns 5 times our size, get all the grants we can, take it easy on the locals, everybody gets road job details, pay is processed on time...what more do they want? Tx
 

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I worked in Erving for years. Erving, Gill and Northfield tried it. Then Gill, Northfield, and Bernardston tried it. It never worked then because the Chief's didn't want to give up their rein on authority. BUT, with the Selectmen pushing it, the cops might not have a choice. Gotta love small town politics and BS. Especially in Franklin County. :wl:
 

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Here in VT it has not been done yet. Towns are starting talks about it tho, as there is a big need for more law enforcement up here. Stil a few years away.
 

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I think the issue in Vt is the low pay. I took a serious look at Vernon PD and Windham Co SD. For me, w/3 kids, I just couldn't afford to live. I'd love to move up there as would my wife, but we just can't justify it. Maybe mergers would rectify that issue. Bigger agencies, more grants etc., better pay?
 

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That could be true Sarge. But in the absence of any known nearby successful examples, it could be that Shutesbury/Leverett will be breaking new ground here. Are their Select Boards up to the challenge to make it really work. We've all heard of examples of regionalized school systems for instance but isn't this a totally different thing?
 

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Absolutely Brother. Merging two PD's is a whole new adventure. I personally think it would work. You have to have the right leadership which both these two particular PD's have. It could set the presedent in Franklin County. I'll be watching closely.
Be safe.
 

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We are forgetting one thing. The Unions. I do not remember if Leverett PD is unionized but I recall back in the days of Chief Maxwell that Shutesbury is part of the Teamsters Union.

I would think if the PO's and Unions do not want it it will not happen.

I do recall a certain Sheriff in Franklin County offering to put his DS through the academy and have them patrol the smaller communities in Franklin County but Greenfield and Montague had a hissy fit so the Sheriff backed away from that idea.
 

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This issue has come up frequently with the towns of Hamilton and Wenham up on the northshore. They currently share dispatch. Check out Hamilton's website. I think there is a copy of a consultant's report that outlined all of the costs involved in merging the 2 departments. I found it very good reading. What usually starts off as an attempt to save money (I'm guessing in this case there is a vacant chief's job and if they merge the dept they won't have to fill it) winds up costing a lot more. Often time's it is the selectment that don't want to give up the control over their own dept.
This has worked with fire districts so it could probably work with police. Jurisdiction is simply a matter of legislation. I think Berlin and Marlborough created a police district so officer's of both towns have jurisdiction at the mall that is in both towns.
Could be interesting!!! Keep everyone updated.
 

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Here is a picture of a badge I took off of Ebay a couple years back. I can only surmise it is from SOMerville - MEDford. Either this guy was a Special in both towns or he was associated with Tufts University which straddles both towns. Any thoughts?

 

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It would only make sence if all Franklin County Police departments merged together. It would be better for publice safety and officer safety. Officers would be able to share information at shift change and on in house computers. This would solve more crimes in the county and better serve the public. Now being part of a larger police department, officers would be able to enter into special units, ie detective, drug, k9 and so on. It would end jurisdiction problems. Towns that now have limited man power and equipment would now have it at their fingertips. But dream on folks. Small town chiefs want to control their sand box and select boards want to control their chiefs. What would be better for the officers and public as a whole does not really matter.
 

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Agreed jo. And yes a few years back Sheriff McDonald wanted to put his SD's on patrol. He has a large number of qualified guys/girls up there on the hill who could do the job. But, as you stated, Montague and Greenfield, as well as Erving and a couple smaller towns had a little hissie fit. :cry: The Chiefs were afraid that they'd be out of a job because especially in the case of Erving, the SD would do a better job. Even today when we call for a cruiser it takes 40-45 minutes to get one, if at all. I don't see that happening with the SD. If it's set up correctly, which I believe McDonald could do.
 
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