The entire police force in Blandford, Massachusetts, walked off the job Monday and pointed to low wages, “cruisers that don’t work,” and bullet proof vests that did not fit, among other things.
They announced their departure via Facebook, writing:
Attention Blandford residents: If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, please continue to call 911 as you normally would. Until further notice, please call the Russell State Police Barracks at 413-862-3312 if you need any other police services. The entire Blandford Police Department resigned this evening, effective immediately.
The Boston Globe reports that Blandford police force consisted of “three officers and interim police chief, Roberta Sarnacki.”
WWLP reports Sarnacki indicated “officers [had] been working with cruisers that don’t work, bulletproof vests that are not fitted to them or might be expired, poor radio communications, inadequate staffing and improper wages.”
Blandford Selectboard Chair Cara Letendre responded to the resignations by saying:
For the past two months, Interim Chief Sarnacki has done a fine job with our police officers and our police department. It is unfortunate that she led this officer walk out as she would have been considered as one of our candidates for Acting Chief position as we pursue the future opportunities with our police force. We have had multiple public meetings with our police force and have offered them the opportunity to engage and provide their opinions for the direction of the force.
Letendre added, “We have reached out to neighboring communities to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. Until such time, residents should continue to dial 911 in the event of any emergency and local or state assets will be dispatched to assist them.”
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