Blandford, MA - As of July 30th, the entire Blandford police force resigned from their duty as police officers, citing unsafe conditions as the cause of the exodus.
In the small town known as Blandford, only 1,200 people reside. In this small western Massachusetts area, only 4 police officers are employed. Police Chief Roberta Sarnacki led the mass resignation of the police force after enduring unsafe working conditions. Sarnacki stated that her and her officers deeply regretted leaving the town with no police force, but that working under such conditions would have been a danger to them all.
Blandford residents are not in any immediate danger because of this resignation. They are still able to call 911 and reach state police officers at any time in an emergency. Massachusetts state police officers stated on record that they will stay committed to the town and protect the community in the wake of the resignations of the Blandford police officers.
Reasoning behind the resignation was documented this past Monday. According to the Blandford police force, certain working conditions were extremely uncalled for. Police scanners and radios were only working part of the time and bulletproof vests were either expired or did not fit properly. In addition, wages were at an all-time low, consisting of an approximate $14-$15/hour. On top of these circumstances, all of the officers complained that their ‘best car’ was a secondhand 2010 Ford Crown Victoria. The vehicle had no air conditioning and the front car seat was permanently stuck in a reclining position. Blandford police chief stated that it looks ridiculous to residents who have to see police officers dripping sweat and laying back in their car as if they’re relaxing.
Blandford police officers claim that the neglect towards the police force is primarily due to the current merger with a nearby police force from Chester. Chief Sarnacki has no additional comments to add.
According to Cara Letendre, Blandford’s selectwoman, the police force did not express any of these concerns until now. Also according to Letendre, the police vehicle was being fixed as of this week and was reported to be back in the lot on Tuesday evening (July 31st).
As of now, the towns officials are looking into dissolving the entire police department of Blandford, seeing as 90% of police calls in Blandford are dealt with by the Massachusetts State Police.