Blandford looking at next steps after entire police department resigns

Hampden County

The Town of Blandford currently has no police department after its members resigned earlier this week. 

The Blandford Police Department’s four members resigned on Monday night, citing unsafe work conditions and low pay as reasons why. Now, other law enforcement agencies are stepping in to patrol the area. The department consisted of a chief and three officers.

Acting Chief Roberta Sarnacki cited low pay, bulletproof vests that don’t fit properly, and officers having to drive police cruisers that were broken. 

Related story: Blandford police department resigns

22News spoke to Selectboard Chair Cara Letendre. She said she got a call on Tuesday that the police cars were at a mechanic, and had already been fixed.

“They had already been fixed, they were just waiting on someone to pick them up, so we sent someone to pick them up,” Letendre told 22News.

Letendre said the town is now working with the Massachusetts State Police and the Hampden County Sherriff’s Department for assistance, and residents should continue to call 911 if there’s an emergency. 

Residents told 22News they aren’t concerned with their safety because State Police already consistently patrol the roads here in Blandford.

“The State Police barracks is down the road,” Joel Townson of Blandford told 22News. “It’s a small quiet town. We’re not too concerned.”

“Most of the people here call the State Police Barracks anyways so, to me, it was no big deal,” Vicky Bisgrove said.

Letendre told 22News the next step is to hire a new interim police chief as the town looks into restructuring. 

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