The Massachusetts town of Blandford is light on law enforcement after the interim police chief and three officers abruptly resigned.
Interim Chief Roberta Sarnacki, Officer Chris Anciello, Officer Gage Terlik, and Officer Krysten Scapin reportedly resigned over “unsafe working conditions,” which -according to Western Mass News– include inadequate staffing levels, maintenance issues with the police vehicles, ill-fitting ballistic protective wear, low wages, and poor wireless communication systems.
“We regret leaving the town without a town police force, but we have no choice given the situation that we face,” Sarnacki wrote in a statement.
Blandford’s selectboard released a statement on Monday, quietly criticizing the interim chief for leading a so-called “walk out.”
“For the past two months Interim Chief Sarnacki has done a fine job with our police officers and our police department,” the statement read. “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.
We have reached out to our neighboring communities to insure the safety and security of our citizens. Until such time residents should continue as normal to dial 911 in the event of any emergency and local or state assets will be dispatched to assist them. The Town of Blandford is continuing its already posted search for a new Police Chief.”
In the meantime, the State Police are expected to pick up the slack for BPD’s notable absence.
The “walk out” comes shortly after local government discussions of combining BPD with nearby Chester’s Police Department, creating a regional police force.
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