Each member of a small department of the police of Massachusetts, quit the force on Monday.
Each member of a small department of the police of Massachusetts, quit the force on Monday, reportedly to blame “unsafe working conditions,” among other causes.
All four officers in the Blanford Police Department, including Interim police chief Roberta Sarnacki, signed a statement, obtained by the Massachusetts-based newspaper The Republican, about the resignation.
Noting that the task of the police is inherently dangerous,” the officers wrote that the role “is much (more) as by our city administration.”
Among the complaints listed in the letter were ill-fitting bullet-proof vests with overdue expiration dates, malfunctioning police radios and the occasional need to drive their own cars to respond to situations, as a result of the inadequacy of the patrol cars.
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“To summarize, the city is asking the police to patrol in cars, no a/c (air conditioning), no snow tires, no four-wheel drive…They ask us to do this with no radio coverage, no real back-up for when it is needed, and all that for $14 or $ 15 per hour. Would you put your life on the game in these conditions?” the statement said.
In a Facebook post on Monday, the police told the residents to contact the Russell state police Barracks for non-emergencies, and 911, as usual, for emergencies.
“The whole of the Blandford Police Department of the dismissal of this evening, immediately,” the post said.
State police in a Facebook post said that they regularly provide police services to Blandford and told the local officials that they would continue to do so – and more often if necessary – after the Blandford-department of the dismissal.
The resignation comes in the midst of the discussion of a change in the department.
The Blandford Police Department has reportedly been discussing the combination of police units in Chester, Massachusetts.
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“We have had multiple public meetings with our police and offered them the opportunity to take part and their views for the direction of the force,” a statement from The Board of Selectmen said, according to the outlet.
The state reportedly went on to recommend Sarnacki for her work performance as of late, and adds that “it is a pity that she led this officer to walk as they would have been considered as one of the candidates for the Acting Chief position to pursue the possibilities in the future with our police.”
However, the police offered a different perspective, with the argument that the members of the council have not considered their suggestions.
“We regret to leave the city without a city police, but we have no choice, given the situation, what we stand for,” the officers’ statement said. “We refuse to put our lives on the line more in the way of a city that seemingly gives so very little about us.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.