Entire Police Force Quits Due To Poor Working Conditions And Low Pay

Most police don't join the force to get rich; they join the police force to help people. But like people in any other profession, sometimes you have to weigh whether the risks you are taking are worth the rewards.

Members of the Blandford Police Department in Blandford, Massachusetts decided the risks were not worth it. The entire police force simultaneously resigned on Monday evening... all four of them.

Residents were alerted with a Facebook post.

"Attention Blandford residents: If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, please continue to call 911 as you normally would. The entire Blandford Police Department resigned this evening, effective immediately," the notice on the now defunct page read.

For the time being, county officials and neighboring police forces will be handling any situations that might arise in the sleepy town. The Blandford officers offered citizens and explanation for their actions.

The officers claim that the patrol cars have no air conditioning, and some summer days the temperatures rise into the 90's. Likewise, the patrol cruisers have no snow tires and no four-wheel drive, and sometimes the officers are expected to work during bad weather, even blizzards. Making matters worse, multiple cars were having break issues.

"They are asking us to do this with no radio coverage, no real backup if needed, and all for $14 or $15 an hour," read the statement.

In addition to the cars, the officers complain that all of the department's bulletproof vests are past expiration date, further putting officers in danger.

"We shouldn't have to fear our own equipment in the same manner that we fear criminals," former police chief Roberta Sarnacki said in the statement.

Cara Letendre, chair of the town's select board, said the officers have been given an opportunity to voice their grievances. "They were at a Select board meeting last Monday, I asked each of them if they had any concerns but they did not address any and were only concerned about the police chief position being posted," Letendre said to NBC.

Sarnacki, who was only the interim police chief, claims that when the board posted the position, she felt slighted. The other officers spoke highly of her, but her contract was slated to end on July 30. Sarnacki felt that the board was seeking to replace her by combining the Blandford force with the force in the nearby town of Chester.

"In a small town, it's difficult to run a police force with the tax base we have," Letendre said. "We looked at three possibilities: Keeping the same police department, relying more on state police or looking at regionalizing."

Similar problems have been plaguing police departments across the country. Departments are losing manpower as the number of recruits diminishes.

Part of this has to do with the fact that there is less respect for police, but another issue is that police work is a demanding job with high risk and low pay. Budget issues have affected departments in every way, including in diminishing salaries, so forces aren’t all as well equipped as they could be.

This isn't the first time an entire police force walked out. Two years ago, the seven members of the Bunker Hill, Indiana police force resigned together while accusing their leaders of 'illegal, unethical, and immoral things'.

Source: AOL
Photos: CBS Local Screenshot, Flickr/Michael

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