Sunday, April 21

Battle of the Budgets


Officer Pilone

In regard to your comment that we were lied to; I don’t think that we were lied to; as much as there are two different plans for the Egremont Police Dept. I was just looking over the two budgets that were submitted to the FC. It looks like your budget was $350,576.00 and Chief Bucknell's was 297,356.00. It seems to me that the Chiefs budget is only slightly over last year’s budget which is exactly what she stated. The documents will bear out this fact. Your plan on the other hand reflects quite a significant increase. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that; I’m just saying that the plans are different and the cost of these plans reflect that difference.

It’s clear that you and Chief Bucknell have vastly different visions for the town of Egremont. However, these options have to be discussed with the people at the town meeting. Neither plan has to be approved by the voters. If the town doesn’t agree with the plan for the police dept, the people can choose to not fund the dept. entirely. The police do not work for Charlie Flynn or the BoS; they work for the people of the town of Egremont. Perhaps you should consider how your plan might change in the event that it is rejected by the town. If your plan is voted down at the ATM it could mean that the EPD goes unfunded regardless of any promises by any selectman.

I’m in the process of going through all the numbers so I can discuss them with the readers before the two town meetings. Of course I will give my take on these numbers, but the numbers will be based on the documents presented by you and Chief Bucknell. I do however plan on sending the raw figures in PDF form to all the readers so they can draw their own conclusions. When the people do come out to vote on these issues they will be well informed on the details. These two town meetings will be held on May 7, 2013 starting at 6:00 pm. at the Mt. Everett High School.

When we spoke at the station last week you mentioned that the hiring of an interim chief to investigate Chief Bucknell was unnecessary. You said there were independent outside agencies that could do the investigation at no cost to the town. Because this matter will be voted on at the special town meeting before the annual town meeting I would ask you to share this information with the readers. I thought your suggestion made a lot more sense than the BoS’s plan to spend up to $30,000.00 to replace you and hire a third chief. This fiasco has cost the town so much already I think the town would be very interested in knowing how this situation could be dealt with at little or no cost to the town.

43 comments:

  1. In addition to budget question resolution, I want the "Egremont 200" watch list released as any public record should.

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  2. Anon
    All this will come out after the town meetings and election. If Pomeroy looked at it then we will be able to request the documents. I'm not too concerned about the list. All police and departments keep watch lists. It’s the nature of the job to keep watch. Aren’t the police the watchmen of the community? I presume I was on that list and I'm sure I am on this new admin's watch list. I have to wonder how many names were put on the list because the different town officials requested that certain citizens be watched. I can see one selectman asking Jeremy to keep an eye on that Zurrin character.

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  3. I would hope that Charlie Flynn is on that list. We've all seen how angry he gets. At your lynching I was expecting him to turn green and his clothes starting to burst open.

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  4. So let me get this straight. The town of Egremont is paying for one chief to be on leave, another officer in charge, a sergeant and now an acting chief to oversee one full time officer. seems a little excesive

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  5. Did you know that you could apply to the Department of Public Safety and request a commanding officer of the state police to come in and do the same thing at NOOO cost!

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  6. OK. Here's the "real" data as requested:

    1. Reena lied to the BoS and FC about how this newly acquired officer would affect the budget. She would work an unreasonable amount of hours just to not utilize the part-time officers, incur overtime, etc. I will not air the dirty laundry here associated with that decision, but it goes without saying that I (or any other Chief) will not continue that trend because it is unreasonable and against several union policies. Her numbers reflected this issue.

    2. If the town wants 24/7 coverage, the numbers will have to remain. I did not increase anything with the exception of vehicle expenses due to the fact that we will be patrolling more. The salaries were only increased by the blanket 2% the town agreed upon. The collective bargaining agreement currently in negotiations could result in a drastic increase regardless.

    3. Even though I’m the Acting Chief, I’m only receiving Patrolman salary. I have not asked for one cent extra. Reena is still being paid full salary and benefits.

    4. My vision for the town and the PD is to bring us out of the dark ages and increase the level of professionalism and morale. Don't get me wrong, I’m not looking to militarize Egremont by any stretch of the imagination. I want Egremont to remain the sleepy little town it is. The problem lies with the fact that the PD is grossly undertrained and not prepared to handle any serious threat. The management study report pointed this out. If you think threats are not out there and not possibly in or driving through our town, you are living a false dream. Simon's Rock, Newtown, and Boston/Watertown should be a reminder to everyone.

    Once again, I’ll gladly sit down with anyone at any time and open my books. I plan on discussing this ad naseum until the town meeting. I welcome everyone to take me up on this offer.

    Sincerely,

    Jeremy Pilone
    Acting Chief of Police

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  7. Part II

    On the management study issues:

    We have contacted MSP and the Attorney General’s office to conduct further investigation into the issues discussed in the management study. They will do this at no charge and can be impartial. I will not comment on any decision made by the BoS, but I will say that paying me, Reena, and a third party to be Chief (or whatever the title is) is not in the budget. A decision has to be made regardless.

    On the “militarization”, rifles, Tasers, etc. issues:

    These are needed items to ensure the department is prepared to handle any serious issue that may arise in this sleepy little town. Rifles and Tasers are used by just about every agency in Berkshire County and abroad as options. By no means would ANY officer receive such a weapon without proper training and supervision. The “grenade launcher” is not an actual grenade launcher. It is used to fire non-lethal rounds (such as bean bags, rubber balls, etc.) at individuals as opposed to utilizing deadly force in unique situations. The Humvee was actually proposed to me by MSP. I did not request the information. MSP suggested we receive one due to the abundance of surplus and the possible uses here in the Berkshires. I do not plan on putting gun turrets and the like on the vehicle as wildly suggested. It would be a “special response” vehicle and used accordingly by authorized personnel, not for routine patrols.

    I strongly suggest that if anyone has any questions on my intentions, qualifications, etc., direct them to me and I will make sure you walk away completely informed. Relying on a blog to get your information and make important decisions is irresponsible.

    Sincerely,

    Jeremy Pilone
    Acting Chief of Police

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  8. Acting Chief Pilone,

    On 4/12 you told the Eagle that your officers would receive firearms training the following week from Sheffield Police concluding sometime prior to 4/19. Has this training occurred? You also stated that you would be attending the Academy to certify you in Massachusetts. This would have concluded on 4/19 as well. Has this occurred? Where have you gotten in updating the policies and procedures? Have you contacted another agency to use their P&P as a template, if so which department?

    You state here that the Humvee was proposed to you by MSP. I find this hard to believe as MSP prides itself as offering services such as the Stop Team and SERT to smaller communities such as Egremont. Can you tell us of any department in Berkshire County that currently is utilizes a Humvee. In the event that you would need a tactical response in Egremont are you saying that the Egremont Police would utilize its own officers in a tactical response rather than an outside agency such as the Berkshire County SRT Team or the Massachusetts State Police Stop Team? If so how often would the Egremont Officers be training in tactical response and where would the funding come from? How big of a tactical unit would Egremont be supporting? I find it hard to believe that you or anyone else would be able to take a Department of three full time officers and other part time officers, some of which are unfamiliar with the use of a Shotgun and turn them into a properly trained and able to be deployed tactical unit. Do you know of any other department in Western Massachusetts that does not utilize a regional tactical unit. The only one that I know of is the Springfield Police Department which employs some 500 officers. I am curious to know who from the MSP suggested this to you and if you feel they were in the right mind to do so. If you do not want to give out the troopers name please at the very least tell us what unit or barracks they come from to show some sort of truth to your story. Would you also be using your own hostage negotiator or something more regional? Where in your proposed budget is the funding to train and equip this tactical unit.

    Would you also be suggesting that you handle your own criminal investigations unit or would you be utilizing a regional detective unit?

    There have also been rumors that you want to outfit the department with patrol rifles and Tasers. While I am all for these tools, how many would you be asking for? Rumor has it you wanted to outfit each and every one of your officers with their own patrol rifle and Taser. If this is the case can you point to any other police department in the region that outfits each and every officer with their own rifle/Taser. I personally don't know of any

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  9. Continued from above

    I believe that the town of Egremont took some issue with Chief Bucknell taking a cruiser out of town as a personal cruiser. While I do believe police chiefs deserve a take home car this has been an issue given the Chiefs residence location and the cost of gas. Since taking over the ranks have you been taking part in a similar practice in taking the cruiser home? If not why have so many people reported seeing the Egremont SUV operating in the town of Dalton. With the current gas prices of 3.50+- a gallon I believe in one work week that could add up to over 70 dollars in gas. Is this your current practice?

    The town has continuously referred to you as Officer in Charge. However you have continuously referred to yourself as Acting Chief as well as outfitting your uniform with four stars which usually represents the status of Police Chief. Which one are you, Acting Chief or Officer in Charge? If in fact you are Acting Chief, who had the power to appoint you to that position and if that has occurred when were you named Acting Chief?

    The other new full time officer who appears to be your right hand man has been referring to himself as Sergeant. When did this occur, who appointed him to that position, what testing/promotional Massachusetts Certified Promotional process did you follow? Or did you just simply promote for the sake of promoting. If you did promote without proper procedure please explain your thinking. Do you think at a time of such great transition in the town of Egremont this was the brightest of ideas? What kind of compensation is you’re newly promoted Sergeant getting? Do you know what the recommended promotional payment is or the Massachusetts recommended percentage that a Sergeant should make over a patrolman? Was this position ever offered to Tyler Race, the longest running officer in Egremont. If not, why not? Was this promotion a result of a recommendation from the study or not. Do you feel that it is constructive for the town of Egremont to be PAYING Chief Bucknell to be on leave, you to be the Officer in Charge/ Acting Chief, the town to hire another Acting Chief, you’re newly appointed Sergeant to oversee another full time officer and some part timers. Does Egremont need this level of upper management policing for a town that has ONE Officer on at a time?

    It is time for Egremont to ask itself, do the ends justify the means. Does this town need to pay 300K+ a year for a police department? Did they need to build a new police facility of that magnitude when they won't even be housing prisoners? Or is it time for Egremont to begin looking at legit crime stats for Egremont. I'm talking legit, not something that is ballooned by someone who wants to justify their existence and see if they feel the need to stay open. Would it make more since to pay either Great Barrington or Sheffield to cover their town or even the Massachusetts State Police. How many crimes and motor vehicle accidents does the town of Egremont investigate. How many arrests does Egremont make? How many felonies occur in Egremont? Time to compare that to other towns and see what percentage higher Egremont is paying for its services.

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  10. Continued from above
    I don't personally know the Acting Chief/ Officer in Charge. He may be more than qualified and capable to be in that position. However Egremonters need to remember there is a tremendous difference in policing a large urban environment and a small rural town environment. People need to be handled much different than they do in a large city.

    I have met but do not know Chief Bucknell all that well. From what I have heard it is much more than 60 Officers that have left. Even at 60 that is a tremendous turnover for such a small department. There are obviously some serious issues there with the stockpiles of equipment found in that department not being utilized. I also found it amazing at the number of letters that Chief Bucknell did receive in support of her in the report. However I find it even more suspicious that not a single one of those letters came from current local police chief. That should tell you a lot about their perception of the job she has been doing.

    This is a typical problem often found in small towns. Select boards are never properly trained and often have just won a simple popularity contest and not been picked due to ability. If the select board had the ability they would have NEVER allowed this problem to get this bad and would have had a great deal of oversight on such a messed up department. They have failed to complete this.

    I also find the report done by the investigating attorneys to be half assed and incomplete. Many of these questions were left open handed and had no follow through. If they simply followed up on some of Chief Bucknell's responses they would have had more answers IE is she telling the truth or not. This goes for pillone as well. Follow the trail until there is no more trail left to follow. I also find it troubling that the town paid this firm 10K dollars to do this study when it seems at least 95% could have been completed by the personnel manager. Isn't that his position? Another copout by the select board which we see all too often in small towns. Pass the buck and pay a consultant.

    If Egremont TRULY and I mean TRULY wants to commit to its own department they will have to pay for a fulltime force to get service. You don't want a part time doctor working on you why would you want a part time officer servicing you. Yes even in a small town Officers make life and death as well as life changing decisions. The decision to make an arrest even if false can and will drastically change a person’s life and affect them greatly financially. They also need to spend time doing THOROUGH background checks on incoming officers. Check with past employers and co-workers. Then ask them who else would know the incoming officer. Check references and ask those references to say someone else that would know this party. Follow the trail until it can't be followed any further.. Recommend psychological testing. Check employee files. A simple Google search can often show a checkered past as one of your current officers whom you recently hired shows up on an internet search as having issues with a previous employer. Do your homework the amount of time you spend on a search will amount in the level of results. Also remember the more competitive your pay the more competitive your applicants. The more competitive your wages are the more you can ask of your employees. Remember, you can teach a monkey to write a ticket, but you can't teach someone to be compassionate, to possess common sense. Good luck Egremont, but remember you dug your own hole. You can either dig yourself deeper or take the time to dig yourself out.

    Sincerely,

    A Concerned Observer

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  11. Dear Concerned Observer,
    I will gladly answer the multitude of questions you posed. I would ask that you join me in the office at any time due to the length of time it would take to respond. I am normally in the office M-F between 0800-1600. The only exception is tomorrow because we are attending the service for the slain MIT officer in Boston. Hope to see you soon.

    Sincerely,

    Jeremy Pilone
    Acting Chief of Police

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  12. Let's be clear.

    1. Officer Pilone is NOT the Acting Chief of Police. He was appointed "Officer in Charge" in February. He self-appointed himself as Acting Chief and improperly wears the Chief's badge.

    2. Rather than answer the questions here he invites individuals to his office. It's an intimidating suggestion and ignores the many who are following here.

    3. According to the Pomeroy Report he hasn't even completed the requirements to serve in the department.

    4. He is still on probation, until November.

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  13. I don’t think that I shall be visiting you anytime soon as I would prefer not to become number 201 on Egremonts Most Wanted. It does appear that you are attempting to dodge my questions by telling me to come into the PD to see you direct. I for one know that I am not the only Egremont resident that would like you to clarify some of the issues that I have raised. I know that my previous letter was long winded so I will break my questions down into a simpler format for you to answer.
    1. On 4/12 you told the Eagle that your department would have firearms certification complete and you would be certified as a Massachusetts Police Officer by 4/19. Has this occurred?
    2. Where have you gotten with updating the departments P&P?
    3. I found it hard to believe that someone from MSP proposed that you acquire a Humvee, who recommended this to you?
    4. Is the Egremont Police Department going to be deploying their own tactical unit in the near future? If so how will it be funded?
    5. Do you know of any other police departments your size that deploy its own tactical unit?
    6. Is Egremont going to be conducting their own major criminal investigations or are you planning on utilizing regional services?
    7. How many tasers/patrol rifles are you looking to outfit the department with?
    8. If you are looking to outfit each and every officer with their own taser/patrol rifle can you name another department that has similar practices or are they primarily outfitted for cruisers?
    9. Are you currently utilizing a take home cruiser? If so were you aware of Egremont having issues with Chief Bucknell partaking in this practice?
    10. Is your position Officer in Charge or Acting Chief?
    11. Who has appointed you to this position?
    12. If you are currently Officer in Charge why are you wearing a Chiefs badge and four stars representing yourself as Chief of Police
    13. Have you promoted another Officer to Sergeant? If so who authorized this promotion, how was it handled and what kind of compensation was offered?
    14. If this position does exist was it ever offered to all full time officers?
    15. Do you feel that it is constructive for the town of Egremont to pay Chief Bucknell on leave, you as Officer in Charge, a Sergeant and now bring in a Acting Chief to supervise one additional full time employee?
    16. Do you believe that Egremont should look at outsourcing its police services or do you feel they need their own police department?
    17. Do you have any stats that show that Egremont need a 350K dollar a year Police Department with a brand new facility?
    18. Do you feel that the law firm that conducted the study on the police department did a thorough job?

    A concerned observer

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  14. Lol....Kevin isn't concerned with the watch list. Gee I wonder why that is? Could it be that he is possibly aligned with Miss Rena bucknell? This list which is tantamount to profiling and was a major concern in the Pomeroy report curiously mister zurrin is not worried about. had Jeremy come out with this list Mr zurrin and his minions would all be lined up with their attorneys at the Superior Court house with their lawsuit in hand. I happen to be a retired law enforcement officer who lives in Egremont and worked for 35 years on the job. I worked for several different departments in that time frame. At no point in my career on any of the departments did I ever see something that even resembled a watch list. it is blatantly obvious what your agenda is here Kevin. And it has nothing to do with bettering this town and has everything to do with grinding an axe against Jeremy pilone. I think you should read the Pomeroy report again and re focus your attention on one of the many issues miss Bucknell created instead of attacking someone who is trying to clean up the mess. Grow up Kevin. And I fully expect for this to be deleted

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  15. Trust me I am far from Reena. I know that she created this mess over years and years of abuse. The selectman also contributed by their inability to notice well over 60 officers running out of this building.

    While Pilone may have the best of intentions, you need to question the logic of a man who may have promoted himself and others. You have to question someone that does this without even having the legal ability to do so. City's and towns have appointing authorities. Its either the Mayor/Town Manager or a Selectboard. They are the only ones in the position to promote. If someone takes it upon themselves to make these decisions, what else are they capable of doing without proper guidance.

    Concerned observer

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    1. do you have proof that he promoted someone within the department? I know for a fact that nobody has been promoted into any position.do yourself a favor and do some research before you go posting things arbitrarily

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  16. Well than it may be time for him to speak to one of his officers about referring to themselves as Sergeant if they have not been promoted

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  17. I actually took him up on his open door offer. As an Egremont resident and ex-law enforcement officer, I was surprised to find a well spoken and intelligent person behind all of these rumors and innuendo. I will actually comment on some of our discussion:

    1. He does not need to attend the academy. He is on a waiver from MPTC that is offered to ANY police officer from another state. He has until July to take the compliance exam.

    2. There will be no Egremont SWAT team. The Hummer will be for responses such as search & rescue in floods, snow emergenices, etc. It was offered to him by the state police. He also wants tasers and rifles for every officer. I was originally skeptical about this, but as an ex-military man, I know the importance of knowing your weapon and they will undoubtedly last longer as opposed to swapping out every shift.

    3. He showed me his budget calculations and reasoning behind his proposal. I was sold as soon as I heard what chief bucknell was doing. I will be voting to fund the police department according to his proposal.

    4. He proposed a lieutenant position, not sergeant. Nobody has been promoted to date. An interview process would more than likely commence if the position is approved by the Selectmen.

    5. The policy book has been totally revamped and is ready for board review. The officers will receive copies and be trained once this occurs. He was misquoted in the Eagle. They will be going to firearms training with Sheffied Police in the coming "weeks". Everyone is receiving training in some form or another according to need and availability.

    6. I don't really care if he calls himself acting chief, general, or superintendent. The Selectmen appointed him to run the department and it is his right to call himself the acting chief if he is performing the role of the chief with all of the duties and responsibilities.

    Overall, the guy seems geniune and knows what he's talking about. I say we give him a shot and see where this goes. I do know that the police officers seem happy and i've never seen the cruiser around town as much as I have recently. Prior to that, I only saw them running radar on main st. by the fire station. We allowed chief bucknell to run the department into the ground for the last 15 years, so this guy deserves a chance. He has my support.

    An Educated Egremont Resident

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    1. I concur. I find Mr. Pilone to be genuine, well spoken and very articulate. I believe we should give him a chance and support our police force. I have enjoyed seeing the officers around town more and the ones I have spoken to all seem to be happy. In these times where the world and people are growing increasingly more violent, we must have a professional police force that can respond appropriately to a variety of potentially violent situations. To me, that means giving them the tools to do the job. A police officer with a taser certainly doesn't scare me. They already have a lethal force option on their belt. A taser is not a lethal weapon. And I don't break the law so I am really not concerned anyways. I'm older now, and need police protection. My wife and I will both be supporting our police force

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    2. 1. He may have until July, however he told the Eagle both would be done in a week. Was he misquoted on both or mispoke to mislead the public.

      2. Still not hearing who from MSP recommended this hummer. While I agree officers should be familiar with their weapons point to one local department where every officer has their own taser/rifle. I know of none. If you use that logic I thought more officers were killed in accidents than by firearms. Lets by each officer their own cruiser at 30K a piece. I know rifles and tasers are less expensive but that mentality is what balloons budgets.

      3. I don't doubt Chief Bucknell had some strange budget practices and was lying in some fashion. I'll agree with you there.

      4. He should speak to his partner and advise him to stop referring to himself as Sergeant if he has not been promoted. THat would be a clear integrity violation if you ask me.

      5. If an Officer is not current on firearms training do you feel safe with them working. As a tax payer and up for some serious liability I wouldn't.

      6Calling himself Chief when you have not been promoted to that position should be a gigantic concern. Is the town of Egremont opening themselves up to civil liability by having someone as Acting Chief when you still have that position technically filled just she is on leave. Your logic would suggest that it is OK for him to open the town up for this liability without issue. I also find it hard for ex military to not feel that someone should have to earn that title and be appointed to it. I'm sure you often saw privates who should have been in the role of Sergeant and may have acted that role. But you don't earn the stripes until you earn the stripes. I would strongly question someone actions that self promote without following the proper channels that have been established here in the Commonwealth, especially when that person is the one who led the charge to can the one person standing in his way.

      If the Officers seem happy, progress in the department continues, the budget lines great dont fix what isnt broke. But I would question anyone who immediately decks themselves out in gold, ups their own title, gives themselves in admin schedule and a take home car without any research

      Concerned observer

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  18. Mr. Zurrin,
    As a retired law enforcement official, and former police chief myself, the news regarding the "internal stirrings" of the Egremont Police Department has needless to say, peaked my interest. Setting aside personal loyalties, or whatever shibboleth that may exist in the community as a result of Ms. Bucknell's dismissal, has it ever dawned on you that perhaps she was remiss in her duties with regard to the progressive management of the department ?

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  19. Let's be clear.

    1. Chief Bucknell was not dismissed. She was improperly placed on paid Administrative Leave.

    2. After 3 readings of the Pomeroy Report, there is nothing actionable. There are managerial and organizational recommendations, which I am sure she would embrace upon her return.

    3. The vote of no confidence and orchestrated march into the Selectmen's meeting led to an improper open meeting discussion of personnel, with Chief Bucknell absent.

    4. Placing the Chief on administrative leave without any discussion of the charges with her was improper, heavy-handed and planned in advance by the Selectmen. The attendance of the police personnel in uniform was also orchestrated.

    5. That Officer Pilone is posing as Acting Chief is not only improper, but possibly illegal. And his actions questionable.

    6. Seniority would suggest that Officer Race be promoted before Officer Carlson (assuming we really need the levels).

    7. As the Pomeroy states, many part-time officers left to go on to be full-time officers elsewhere, and many were fired by the Selectboard.

    8. It is time for Chief Bucknell to return to work and for all to move on.

    9. I am anonymous to avoid the retaliation of a dysfunctional and vindictive Selectboard.

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    1. Everyone say hello to the fire chief...... You sir are truly a disgrace. Maybe the town should be questioning the $400000 fire truck that we all know is unnecessary and a waste of money instead of the $700 tasers. The fact that you get on here and rip the police force behind you keyboard is a joke. Why don't you just focus on running your own department and leave the policing to the professionals. Its a shame you can't focus on your own department and continue to be a thorn in the side of the police.

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    2. 1. I don't know if I would call the leave improper, I think the meetings leading up to it were improper. Failure to put her on leave would have been more improper.

      2. I'm sure would embrace upon her return. The stockpiles of equipment should scare any taxpayer away. That is obvious mismanagement and would even question the truthfulness of her statements at town meetings when requesting these articles that were obviously not needed and already in stock. A more thorough investigation would have sought to see why all these officers had left. Three are now chiefs and one a sergeant.

      3. Agreed that this violated open meeting and one could only say that the Officers in uniform were simply used as a intimidation tactic.

      4. Agreed.

      5. Agreed

      6.Agreed

      7. Most that went on to be full time officers left the EPD before getting jobs. I don't know of any that were fired by the selectboard. Maaybe a few.

      8.Disagree

      9. Agreed only change select board to police department.

      Concerned observer

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    3. Completely agree that most fire departments ask for way too much. Agree that you need tasers but strongly disagree that each officer needs their own taser.

      Concerned observer

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  20. Mr Zurrin,

    Can you explain to me what your understanding is with regard to a police department having comprehensive policies and procedures, rules and regulations and emergency operations protocols ?

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  21. I can but it's irrelevant. My point has always been that it is about the way the BoS is going about it. This BoS has opened this town to so many law suits it's ridiculous. I know from personal experience that if this BoS wants to get rid of dissenters they don't concern themselves rules or laws.

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  22. Mr. Zurrin,

    Could you please elaborate in specifics just exactly how the Town has exposed itself to a lawsuit by simply administering internal control while investigating complaints of nonfeasance, misfeasance, malfeasance and a seemingly overall wanton disregard for departmental management and oversight ?

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  23. Acting Chief/ Officer in Charge, why have you stopped giving us "the real deal as requested"

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  24. OK, here’s the real deal:

    1. I was misquoted (go figure). Firearms training will commence with Sheffield PD on their schedule. I am awaiting confirmation from MPTC to take the compliance exam.

    2. The policies & procedures are completed awaiting board approval.

    3. Captain Thomas Donoghue from MSP proposed the Humvee to me. He is in charge of overseeing the program in Mass.

    4. No tactical unit will be created in Egremont.

    5. N/A

    6. We will investigate anything up to death or a crime that occurs in several jurisdictions. MSP would need to be contacted for anything of that nature.

    7. As many as the budget allows.

    8. Unknown. Items issued to officers individually as opposed to community property are proven to last longer overall.

    9. Yes. I am on call 24/7 and would have to respond if needed. Chief Bucknell came into problems when she utilized the cruiser for personal use. I utilize it for portal-to-portal response and special events (meetings, trainings, etc.).

    10. I was appointed officer in charge with all of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the Chief of Police. I have been referred to as Chief, Acting Chief, Interim Chief, Officer, Patrolman, Officer In Charge, etc. It is a matter of semantics at this point.

    11. The Board of Selectmen.

    12. There is no other rank utilized internally. I am in charge of the department and I am outfitted accordingly.

    13. Nobody has been promoted.

    14. N/A

    15. I am receiving my normal patrolman salary along with the other officers in the agency. There is no Sgt. I do not feel it is a good financial decision to add anyone else while “further investigation” is in progress. If there is a promotion, it will probably be a result of an internal application/interview process.

    16. I feel the town residents would require (and demand) services outside of those normally offered by the State Police.

    17. (a). The budget I proposed was simply based on salaries with the proposed 2% town increase and an administrative position. The only other line item that increased was vehicle expenses. The reasoning behind that is the fact that I have officers patrolling more often.

    (b). I did not have anything to do with the new station or the decision to fund it. I do know the two small rooms we currently utilize are not suitable for our current needs.

    18. I could have done a better job with the study. The only thing they gave us was an independent, third party perspective.

    Sincerely,

    Jeremy Pilone
    Acting Chief of Police

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  25. I don't think the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police would call posing as a Chief just semantics. It is a position earned, not stolen.

    Let's see... we will have four vehicles for the station when there is only one officer on duty at a time. How generous, and ridiculous. If someone offered you a helicopter would you accept it too?

    You take a unit to drive to your home in Hinsdale, everyday. That must be one of the special events you mention.

    What services do you offer beyond the State Police. We have a volunteer fire department for those.

    If items issued to officers individually as opposed to community property are proven to last longer overall, let's get them all Humvees.

    Chief Bucknell knew the two rooms were too small for the department, that's why she asked for a new station for many years.

    You are the one who recommended the Pomeroy Group for the study. Don't complain now.


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  26. Acting Chief Pilone,
    I strongly suggest that you discontinue trying to engaged these people in any sort of meaningful dialogue at this point. It's apparent that this blog consists mainly of a bunch of individuals who are only interested in heaping calumny upon you and the department while they hide behind their computer screens. Indeed, it's clear that there's no one here, to include Mr. Zurrin, who is capable of providing an intelligent and thoughtful response to any of the issues or questions that have been raised here. Sadly, this is the kind of ad hominem intellect one often experiences that's typical of small minded "townies".

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  27. This coming from an anonymous individual hiding behind their computer screen making false statements with malicious intent about a group of people who are intelligently discussing the issues that affect their small town. But I guess I’m just one of those small minded townies.

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  28. Townie,
    I remain anonymous for your benefit, not mine. In any case, why don't you try answering the two questions that I raised. And, if you're successful with that, then you can explain what it is you think is false and malicious about any of the statements I've made.

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  29. Officer in Charge Pilone,

    I appreciate your response and clarifying all of these issues. Just one more question, if you were appointed by the select board as Officer in Charge, what gives you the right to call and outfit yourself as Acting Chief? Please tell us your reasoning and justification for this, as well as your other Officer referring to himself as Sergeant if he has not been appointed to that position.

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  30. Interesting. Officer Pilone considers us small-minded townies. Well it's good to know that now.

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  31. How often have you had to respond from your residence to Egremont. Or is this just an excuse for Egremonters to foot your commuting bill

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  32. its so blatantly obvious that the majority of these hateful comments are coming from reena and the fire chief. you both disgust me and don't belong in public safety or the public sector for that matter. you've had your chance and neither had the intellect or ability to succeed. I am so glad the town has finally stood up to both of you frauds. and come town meeting, we will stand beside them......and vote this waste of $ 400,000 down. I for one will be proposing a merger of the fire department with great Barrington. they are five minutes away, have all the equipment to put down any fire in egremont, and we won't have to pay the salaries or expenses associated with having a fire department in a town of 1500 people. if you go back over the past ten years and look at what was actually spent on the "volunteer" fire department, you will quickly learn that it has actually costed twice what the police department has. I say it's time to get rid of the waste known as the EFD, and decriminalize. enough is enough.

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  33. not decriminalize....regionalize

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  34. Anyone know the outcome of tomights interm chiefs position

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