Security is a high priority of Pittsfield residents. The Town is well-served by a small full-time police department. There are six full-time officers including the Chief and Sergeant. There are also eight reserve officers who have had a 100-hour Criminal Justice Academy training course.
As a testament to the depth of support for the police department, the Comprehensive Plan Committee's opinion poll conducted at the November 1996 election showed that 86.4% of 1157 respondents favor maintenance of the Town's department over reliance on the Somerset County Sheriff's Department. Also, the Pittsfield Tomorrow vision specifically references the police department's contribution to community quality-of-life: "The community as a whole will achieve high behavioral and attitudinal standards, which, together with a skilled police force, will deter crime and substance abuse in the community."
The police department is kept well-equipped. With 100 miles averaged per patrol shift, the two cruisers are each replaced every three years as a matter of routine. The department office has a main communications and administrative room, an office for the chief, an interrogation room for finger-printing, photographing and processing of suspects, an officers day room where reports are filled out, and a storage room for housing various types of evidence and ammunition. There are also locker room and bathroom facilities.
The department provides support for Community Watch, which the chief feels is working very well. In its effort to foster positive activities for youth, the department also began a Hooked on Fishing (free fishing equipment rental) program for youngsters in 1997, with support from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.The department operates a middle school DARE program.
The Town has had a mutual aid agreement with Newport for police back-up since 1987, which works very well. Relations with State and County police departments are good, although the Town calls on them only when absolutely necessary.
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