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The Berkshire Athenaeum, the Pittsfield library long known for offering refuge to homeless people around the city, has changed its loitering policy after a fire destroyed a window and burned a sidewalk in front of the building.
It's painfully ironic that smaller Berkshire towns seem to be lapping the county's most populous city — which has the most diverse citizenry and the largest police department — when it comes to seizing what Williamstown's interim police chief calls a "low hanging fruit" of simple transparency and accountability measures.
Homeless people living at Springside Park sprung into action this weekend to contain a fire, as small propane tanks exploded at a nearby encampment, seeking to protect the place they call home while firefighters were en route.
If Pittsfield's police unions are going to continue to hold up this transparency game-changer, they owe the public answers to a critical question: Why?
For months, leaders within the Pittsfield Police Department have repeated the same message: Officers aren't opposed to body cameras. Now, concerns from the local police unions have halted a body camera pilot program. The unions won't say what those concerns are.
Pittsfield Police Captain Gary Traversa told the City Council that it was “not for me to discuss” what about the technology, training or other elements surrounding the department’s exploration of body cameras had triggered concerns from the unions.
After months of community pressure, the Pittsfield Police Department is on the brink of deploying a body camera pilot program with eight officers. Chief Michael Wynn says the department has overcome legal questions about use of body cameras, come to agreements with police unions and is now testing devices.
The Pittsfield Police Department and city faith communities will celebrate National Faith & Blue Weekend, a community-police officer engagement initiative, on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Police are investigating a shooting Monday afternoon on the 200 block of Springside Avenue in the city.
The March for Miguel in downtown Pittsfield saw supporters gather to remember Miguel Estrella and call for change in his name on the six-month anniversary of his death.