Earlier in the year, the Towns of Blandford and Chester requested funding from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts District Local Technical Assistance program, to seek consultant services to explore and analyze options for shared police services. The PVPC retained The Novak Consulting Group (TNCG) to perform this study and had been tasked with reviewing the operations of both police departments to assess potential benefits or obstacles associated with consolidation or sharing of personnel, facilities, or equipment. They reviewed data regarding calls for service, staffing, scheduling, and budgets from both police departments. They also conducted fieldwork, meeting with the Chief of Police, Town Administrators, and elected officials, as well as visiting the Towns’ police facilities and touring both towns. These review efforts enabled TNCG to develop a preliminary understanding of the areas served by the two police departments, the desired levels of service from the perspectives of both staff and elected officials, the financial constraints within which the Towns operate, and the challenges faced by the departments. The result are several recommendations aimed at providing both municipalities with options for full or partial consolidation of their police departments or sharing of services in which can be read about in the final report. Download the full report here.

The Board of Selectmen invite the public to review the report and be part of an open discussion regarding the report at the January 7, 2019 Board of Selectmen meeting at 7:00pm at Town Hall. If you are unable to attend the meeting and still would like to provide input, please forward your input to the Town Administrator at [email protected].