City and Sheriff's Department Strike Deal to Restore 24/7 GPD Coverage
Mayor Roxann Wedegartner is pleased to announce an agreement between the City and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to provide staffing to restore 24-hour police coverage by the Greenfield Police Department. Specific details of the arrangement are being worked out between Chief Robert Haigh Jr. and Sheriff Chris Donelan but generally, Sheriff’s deputies will be patrolling the City along with Greenfield police officers so that each shift is covered with an adequate number of officers.
“Chief Haigh’s and my focus in the last few months has always been on having 24/7 police coverage for the City of Greenfield. How to do it with a reduced budget was the question. The ability to hire two new certified officers under the federal Community Oriented Policing Services grant along with Sheriff Donelan’s assistance has produced this temporary solution. We’re grateful for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assistance,” said Mayor Wedegartner. “I also want to thank the Massachusetts State Police for their support during this time. It came at the right time and is greatly appreciated.”
According to Sheriff Donelan, the recent hiring of new officers in Greenfield through the COPS grant is what makes this collaboration possible. “I had no ability to cover an entire shift for the police department because of my own staffing issues,” Donelan said. “This grant puts Greenfield officers on all three shifts and simply relies on my deputies to add that last needed officer on each shift and fill gaps in the schedule.” Donelan stressed that this is a temporary solution. “Greenfield needs and deserves a fully funded, fully staffed police Department,” he said. “We are willing and able to help out the city, but my primary focus is the work we do at the House of Correction and we cannot lose sight of that.
“Collaboration, internally and externally, with our partners in law enforcement is crucial at these times. I’m very grateful for the support the Sheriff is giving us, and hope that we can be back to full staffing as soon as possible. While I appreciate all that is being done by other agencies, it is the responsibility of Greenfield and the Greenfield Police Department to provide the primary safety for our citizens,” said Chief Haigh. “I wish to thank Deputy Chief William Gordon and our sworn and civilian staff for all their hard work and support during this stressful time,” he added. Chief Haigh also expressed his appreciation for the citizens of Greenfield and their support of the department.
State police have been responding to calls in Greenfield between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. since March 2 due to budget and staffing constraints. Thanks to the $375,000 COPS grant, the City will eventually be able to add two additional officers for a total of four new hires.