Greenfield city leaders discuss a proposal to eliminate the overnight police shift
GREENFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Greenfield city leaders had a meeting over the controversial move to eliminate the overnight police shift.
The proposal was met with backlash from members of the city council, and the community.
The city’s mayor, the entire city council, the police chief, and members of the public, were all present on Wednesday night to arrive at a new proposal, after a lengthy meeting held last week.
At that meeting, the police chief Robert Haigh said due to recent budget cuts amounting to a six percent decrease this year along with staffing shortages.
There would be no overnight police officer staffed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
On Wednesday night, city council president Dan Guin, Mayor Roxanne Wedegartner, and others commented on the amount of feedback, they have received from greenfield residents over the last week.
Last week, Mayor Wedegartner expressed her support of the proposal and announced a new proposal tonight.
The start date is pushed back one month from February 1st to March 1st.
A temporary measure is in place from March 1st to June 30th.
1st shift: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2nd shift: 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
No staffing from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.
And the Massachusetts state police will be on call to cover if needed.
They’ll work ten-hour shifts, four days on, four days off.
And first and second shift officers will be paid $300 per week for the “inconvenience in the change in work hours.”
Mayor Roxann Wedegartner said, “This will save significantly on overtime which we can’t really afford at this point with our budget anyway, and will allow us to fill those hours in the overnight shift, so basically all of the hours but 3 to 7 are going to be covered.”
But some city councilors are still expressing their concerns with this proposal.
Virginia Desorgher, a Greenfield city councilor from the third precinct also said, “My little grandson that I picked up today, I’m telling him about it, and he said, that’s a bad idea grammy, then all the robbers should come at three. And I said, ‘that’s right, Jackson!’ And he just turned twelve.”
Last week, Police Chief Haigh announced the department will receive a 375-thousand-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
But it still needs to go to the ways and means of the committee for formal approval.
As of March 1st, the proposal will go live with full staff coverage until then.
The Greenfield city council is set to meet again on Wednesday, February 15th.
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