Tuesday December 4, 2012

EGREMONT -- Two veteran police sergeants have joined the Egremont force as full-time patrol officers.

The two new officers are Richard Pilone and Hans Carlson, both of whom have recently relocated to the area. Police Chief Reena Bucknell said that Pilone, who most recently work in law enforcement in the state of Florida, comes to the department with 20 years of experience. Carlson, who worked in law enforcement in Hubbardston, joins the department with a combined 14 years of experience as a detective and sergeant, according to Bucknell.

The officers joined the department in October.

The four-person Egremont Police Department is now able to fill 99 percent of its shifts with full-time officers -- and the other percent filled with part-timers -- Bucknell said. She said it benefits Egremont because the officers will be able to work longer shifts and allow them a better familiarity of the community.

"They are full-time and academy-trained," Bucknell said.

The hires allow the department to fill a vacancy left by Officer Michael Stanton and rely less on part-time officers who had been used to fill another shift, Bucknell said.

Within a couple months, the Egre mont Police Department will be moving into a new, approximately 1,500-square-foot building at 170 Egremont Plain Road. Construction progress is also being made on the opening of a long-awaited police station, which Bucknell estimated to cost $450,000.

Construction crews are currently working on wiring and plumbing.

"It’s been over nine years in the planning, and there have been so many people that worked on the project to come to fruition," Bucknell said.

Bucknell said that the new building also includes a fill-sized basement.

Currently, the police department is in the same building as Town Hall, but it can be difficult when officers need privacy to talk to people. But the new building offers more space and confidentiality, Bucknell said.

"We will have an area to talk to people privately," Bucknell said.

With the new space, Bucknell said that she did not anticipate any new staffing needs in the near future.

"We are in an excellent position with excellent full-time officers," she said.