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Town’s entire police force quits, citing equipment, safety

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BLANDFORD, Mass.  — The entire four-member police department of a small western Massachusetts town has resigned, citing poor equipment and unsafe working conditions.

Interim Police Chief Roberta Sarnacki and three officers submitted their resignations in a letter to Blandford officials on Monday, effective immediately.

The officers said the town’s police cruisers are in such bad shape they often have to answer calls in their personal vehicles. They said their police radios don’t work in some parts of the town and their poorly fitting bulletproof vests are beyond expiration dates.

State police said Tuesday all 911 calls from Blandford for police assistance are being routed to troopers in Russell.

The officers on the force said they regret leaving the town without coverage, but have no other choice because their own safety has been put at risk.

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