Greenfield city officials discuss hiring officers to close overnight shift gap
GREENFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - Greenfield city officials announce plans to hire additional police officers on Wednesday evening. Nearly one month after the department stopped 24-hour police coverage due to staffing shortages.
Members of the public safety commission voted unanimously to recommend to Greenfield’s mayor four candidates who would serve on the city’s police force.
“We are moving forward! I appreciate your time and good luck,” said the commissioner.
Members of Greenfield’s public safety commission voted unanimously to recommend four individuals to the mayor during Wednesday’s meeting. Three would serve as officers, the fourth as a dispatcher. They have already received conditional offers to serve the community full-time.
“You four are the future of Greenfield,” said the commissioner. “I am looking forward to tracking your progress closely.”
“I am very excited for this opportunity,” said one of the candidates. “I was very excited to get a job dispatching. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn about the town, learn about the people, learn about the department.”
The move came after city councilors accepted a $375,000 federal grant which would be used to hire three additional officers. The fourth position would fill a vacancy left in the department.
“The council was gracious enough to approve the grant that we put in,” said the commissioner. “Which allows us to hire three officers.”
The Greenfield Police Department eliminated the overnight shift, which went into effect on March 1. Now, officers work two 10 hour shifts daily with a 4-hour gap.
Massachusetts State Police responds to calls during those remaining four hours of the day between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.
“Obviously that is not sustainable,” said the commissioner. “We need to be able to handle our calls.”
Many of the commissioners expressed their excitement for the newest additions to the force.
“I wish you luck, I wish you safety, and as I echo the words of my fellow commissioners, we’re available,” said Rick Clark.
As long as the remainder of the process goes smoothly, one of the officers could be ready to start as soon as April 1. At this point, the department has not set a date for when we could expect to see them return to a 24-hour shift.
Copyright 2023. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.