Large police presence nets arrests, praise in Pittsfield

Monday July 23, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Dozens of local and state law enforcement personnel from five agencies blanketed Pittsfield over the weekend in an effort to curb crime, especially at night, according to city police.

Nearly 45 members of the Pittsfield Police Department, state police, Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, Berkshire County Drug Task Force and probation officers collaborated on Pittsfield's first-ever, "Operation One Team, One Mission," according to Sgt. Marc Strout of the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau.

Strout said police swept through city from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, stopping 65 vehicles during the eight-hour period that resulted in six arrests, five for outstanding warrants and one an alleged drunk driver. The woman, whose name wasn't immediately available, reportedly had been spotted traveling the wrong way on a pair of one-way streets.

In addition, police confiscated 41 false identification cards from a single gathering.

"It's a matter of saturation and also hitting known hot spots in the city," Strout said.

"But the coordinated effort was not just about the numbers," he added, "but the presence of having officers throughout the city.

In addition, authorities conducted 89 man-on-the-street interviews during the police sweep, in part to strike up a rapport with citizens and listen to any concerns they may have, according to police.

"We had a great response from the general public," Strout said. "Most people were glad to see us."

He noted such street-level police sweeps are common in southern states and he expects Pittsfield will conduct another one in the future.

To reach Dick Lindsay:,
or (413) 496-6233.


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