Police receive award, do community service

By Sam Butterfield

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The Amherst Police Department has won an Award of Excellence in the silver category for municipal departments participating in the annual Massachusetts Law Enforcement Challenge.

The award, which the department will receive November 17 at a ceremony in Worcester along with 16 other departments from across the state, recognizes departments for their efforts to reduce motor vehicle related fatalities, injuries and economic loss in communities by combining traffic enforcement with public education and information.

The department was judged on six separate categories, including policy and guidelines, officer training, incentives and recognition, public education and information, enforcement activity and effectiveness of effort. The award is based on Amherst’s 2008 data and accomplishments.

In 2008, Amherst cited 3,411 people for speeding, 123 for operating under the influence, and investigated 796 crashes with 108 resulting in personal injury.

The department attributes its accolades to “our officers’ proactive enforcement efforts,” according to a statement from Lieutenant Ronald Young.

In other police news, the department will continue its Community Enhancement through Community Service Program this year, with offenders convicted of minor infractions like open container and noise violations sentenced to doing community service work in Amherst.
Since 2007, the department says various cleanup work has been completed, such as work on Kendrick Park and improvements to Jessie’s House playground.

Program coordinator Detective Dave Foster is looking for suggestions for more work and can be reached at (413) 259-3166 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Sam Butterfield can be reached at [email protected]