West Springfield police balk at use of reserves to patrol Bear Hole Reservoir www.privateofficer.com
Earlier this week, Mayor Gregory C. Neffinger said interim Police Chief Ronald P. Campurciani has asked the Police Department’s captains to work out a system for the patrols with the unions for local police.
About two weeks ago locals 365 and 365S of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, which represent patrolmen and superior officers, respectively, filed a grievance against the city. They grieved the city having reserve police officers patrol at the reservoir rather than pay full-time officers to do the work on overtime, something they argued violated their contracts.
Neffinger said the department’s captains are hammering out a plan that would make patrolling the reservoir part of officers’ regular work schedules. However, reserve police will continue to patrol the reservoir weekends, which they do for no pay as part of being trained, according to the mayor.
Robert F. Dickson, national representative for the two local police unions, said he was notified by the city Monday of those developments.
The union representative said he is satisfied with how the matter is being resolved and that if there is backsliding the union will file another grievance.
Neffinger had closed the reservoir to the public for two weeks partially to crack down on people illegally using all-terrain vehicles there, creating ruts in trails and causing erosion into Paucatuck Brook. The brook feeds into the reservoir, which is a backup source of city drinking water.
The closure was also to allow for clean up of illegally dumped materials at the resource.