Pittsfield Police ‘Get Out Of Their Cruisers’
If you're familiar with, or follow Officer Darren Derby on social media, you may notice he frequents, #getoutofyourcruiser. This is his way of encouraging other officers to engage more with the city of Pittsfield's residents, and perhaps more importantly, the youth.
I'm not saying Office Derby has anything to do with this; however, for the last month or so, according to iberkshires.com, Pittsfield Police have made a change to their daily routine. It's called "Park and Walk". Everyday, on duty officers, be it the day or midnight shift, are expected to park their cruiser and attempt a 15 minute walk in their selected patrol area known as a "beat", or in downtown Pittsfield.
"I like interacting with the public, from business owners to pedestrians. We get to talk to people and listen to their concerns," he said. "I think it's proven to be valuable, given the personnel constraints that we have. We're doing a work-around to make it work for the community." -Lt. Matt Kirchner
Back in the '90s, foot patrol in Pittsfield was seen regularly; however, due to budget cuts in 2007, this form of community policing was eliminated.
"Because we're not taking that resource from the entire shift, everybody can participate to the best of their ability. If they need to revert to their cruiser to address a situation, they can. Also, the nice part is we are able to operationalize this exercise with zero impact on the budget." -Chief Michael Wynn
After 10 years of operating as "acting chief", Michael Wynn was recently made official, as he was sworn in last Friday, December 1. He and Mayor Linda Tyer say building a new police station is a top priority.