Leverett, Wendell close to long-term agreement on police services

  • Leverett Police Chief Scott Minckler outside the Wendell Police Station, which will serve as a substation where officers can park their cruisers, use a restroom, go inside to get warm, and use a computer. Leverett and Wendell are working on a long-term inter-municipal agreement for policing services. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Leverett Police Chief Scott Minckler inside the garage bay of the Wendell Police Station, which will serve as a substation where officers can park their cruisers, use a restroom, go inside to get warm, and use a computer. Leverett and Wendell are working on a long-term inter-municipal agreement for policing services. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Leverett Police Chief Scott Minckler inside the empty Wendell Police Station, which will serve as a substation where officers can park their cruisers, use a restroom, go inside to get warm, and use a computer. Leverett and Wendell are working on a long-term inter-municipal agreement for policing services. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 8/25/2021 12:13:35 PM

WENDELL — The town is hammering out the final details of a long-term inter-municipal agreement with Leverett for that town to provide its policing services.

The towns have operated with short-term agreements since last October but began discussing the arrangement about two years ago.

The Police Succession Committee and Wendell Select Board met virtually Monday night to further discuss edits and additions to the draft agreement. Michael Edwards, of the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management, hired with grant money from Wendell to help draft the agreement, said he hopes Leverett will soon secure a lease to the former Wendell Police Station at 4 Center St. so renovations can begin.

Leverett Police Chief Scott Minckler later said the plan is for the building to serve as a substation where officers can park their cruisers, use a restroom, go inside to get warm, and use a computer. The chief also said the site can be used to issue or renew licenses to carry firearms, book suspects and fill out paperwork.

The building was recently emptied to accommodate renovations, Minckler said. Evidence and miscellaneous items turned in as lost property were secured and transferred in October.

Minckler said insulation will be added and water and sewer lines will be installed. He said the building never had running water, requiring officers to use restrooms at the adjacent Wendell Town Hall.

This agreement with Leverett will be finalized so “we can just continue to march and provide the best service we can to the town of Wendell,” Minckler said.

When Police Chief Edward Chase retired after 43 years on the force, Wendell officials figured it would be more cost-efficient to partner with Leverett for police services.

Edwards, based at the University of Massachusetts Boston, mentioned a section about the substation had been added to the draft agreement since the previous Police Succession Committee and Wendell Select Board meeting. The idea is for the agreement to be valid for three years.

Minckler told the Recorder the agreement is nearly completed, “except for the finance side of it — the formula to figure out a budget every year.”

At the meeting, he reminded everyone that Wendell voters opted at annual Town Meeting in June to raise and appropriate $12,000 for extra police patrols. He explained this money will be reserved and used in case of emergency.

Minckler said in an interview that he got the Select Board’s blessing to trade in Wendell police firearms for the type Leverett’s officers carry. He also said a rifle was purchased for a cruiser that didn’t have one. All firearms will belong to Wendell if this inter-municipal agreement ever dissolves.

Leverett Select Board Chairwoman Julie Shively said a public information session in Leverett will be planned for October to fill in both towns’ residents on the agreement.




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