BLANDFORD, Mass. - All four members of the police department in Blandford, Mass., resigned suddenly and without notice, saying they could no longer work for a “town that seemingly cares so little about us,” ABC affiliate WGGB reported.
The four officers, including interim police chief Roberta Sarnacki notified the community’s select-board by email Monday night. They cited safety issues and insufficient remuneration — cruisers with shoddy brakes, ill-fitting ballistic vests, faulty radios, understaffing and low pay — WGGB reported.
“We refuse to put our lives on the line anymore for a town that seemingly cares so little about us,” the officers said in a media statement.
The officers were also upset over the idea of merging them with the department in the neighboring town of Chester to reduce cost, WGGB reported.
Cara Letendre, the Blandford select-board chair, told WGGB the en masse exit caught the board unawares.
"Honestly, it was a surprise for us that the police chose to walk out," Letendre told the station.
Massachusetts State Police released a statement saying it will continue to continue to provide police protection to Blandford.
“For decades the Massachusetts State Police have maintained a strong presence in the town of Blandford, providing police services on a daily basis and responding to emergency and routine calls for service to supplement the local department’s capabilities. State Police also exclusively provide police services in the town on the overnight shift,” the statement read. “We have notified town officials that we maintain our commitment to the town and will assume any additional duties required in the wake of the resignations of local officers. The residents of Blandford may be assured that the State Police will continue to protect their community.”
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