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Pittsfield and North Adams police unions endorse Timothy Shugrue for district attorney

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Timothy Shugrue speaks this month with retired Pittsfield Police Department officer John Murphy at the annual Jimmy Ride and After Party in Hinsdale. Shugrue's campaign for district attorney was endorsed this week by police unions in North Adams and Pittsfield. 

PITTSFIELD — The police unions representing officers and supervisors in North Adams and Pittsfield said this week they’re endorsing the challenger in the Berkshire district attorney’s race, Timothy Shugrue, over what they see as a failure by the DA’s office to handle gun violence throughout the county.

“We refuse to sit back and let DA [Andrea] Harrington’s flawed policies allow criminals to continue to victimize the residents of Berkshire County,” the Massachusetts Coalition of Police Local 382, which represents North Adams police officers and supervisors, said in a statement.

“While there are a number of soft stances that DA Harrington has taken on a variety of subjects, such as drug possession, larceny, and breaking and entering that we do not agree with,” the statement said, “we can no longer sit back and let the empty claims of prioritizing gun crimes in our communities continue.”

In a statement, the Pittsfield police union — the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Locals 447 and 447S — joined their North Adams counterparts in critiquing the incumbent’s work on gun violence in announcing support for Shugrue.

Pittsfield Police have reported 17 shootings in the city since the start of the year, the most recent of which occurred on Saturday. In an interview with The Eagle’s editorial board this week, Harrington said “it’s all connected to the drug trade.”

Shugrue has said repeatedly throughout the campaign that he sees gun violence and illegal gun possession as key issues facing the county.

“Voters in Pittsfield see the increase in gun violence and demand answers,” Shugrue said in a statement released with the endorsements. “District Attorney Harrington has failed to prevent or respond to the recent surge and her policies are contributing to the problem.

A spokesman for Harrington’s campaign said the district attorney “prioritizes public safety.”

“Under her leadership the district attorney’s office has effectively addressed the risks posed by gun crime. She works in partnership with law enforcement on cases but, like most Americans and most of Berkshire County, she realizes that when it comes to issues of policy like racial justice and the opioid epidemic, they are on the wrong side of history,” the spokesman said.

“Plain and simple: Tim Shugrue opposed police reform legislation, which is clearly why some who fought common-sense criminal justice reform are backing his campaign,” the spokesman said.

The Pittsfield police union said when it looked at Shugrue’s campaign, it was encouraged by a candidate they say will “hold accountable perpetrators of gun violence and drug dealers that are especially plaguing the City of Pittsfield, many of whom are young repeat offenders.”

Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at mbritton@berkshireeagle.com or


Pittsfield Reporter

Meg Britton-Mehlisch is the Pittsfield reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, she previously worked at the Prior Lake American and its sister publications under the Southwest News Media umbrella in Savage, Minnesota.

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