To The Daily Sun,
Last Thursday, Sept. 21, the Bristol Select Board met and discussed, among other projects, the building of the proposed new town office. A representative of the architectural firm was present with a series of drawings depicting how the current building would be converted into a new police station and the adjoining vacant lot would accommodate a new 7,000-square-foot, two-story town office building.
The real motivation for this expansion is that the Police Department has outgrown its current space. The 2016 adopted budget funds 11 full-time positions. At numerous town meetings I have challenged the size of the department, citing national standards recommending two officers per 1,000 population. Bristol has a population of 3,054 which would suggest the taxpayers support a force of six officers.
Several weeks ago our police chief was placed on administrative leave. The reason, of course, is ultra "Top Secret." Not counting the chief, we currently have six active full-time officers on the Bristol Police force, just as it should be. I don't feel any less safe now than when we had 11 members on the department.
Our neighboring towns – Bridgewater, Alexandria, Danbury and Hill – all get along with one or two full-time officers, plus some part-timers. Combined, these towns have a population that exceeds Bristol's. If we maintained the current-sized department there would be plenty of room in the existing town office building and the taxpayers wouldn't be burdened with a multimillion-dollar expansion.
- Written by Mike Mortensen
- Category: Letters
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