Former Pittsfield police officer pleads not guilty to improper firearm storage charge

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PITTSFIELD — A former city police officer accused of failing to properly lock up his service weapon, which led to his daughter injuring herself with it, was formally arraigned Thursday.

Miles Barber appeared before Judge John Agostini in Berkshire Superior Court and entered a not guilty plea to one count of improper storage of a large-capacity firearm near a minor.

Barber was originally scheduled to be arraigned on that charge Dec. 26, but that was moved to Thursday after financial issues with his previous attorney prevented him from having a lawyer present. Judge Daniel Ford was reluctant to move forward under those circumstances and set Thursday's date.

Barber, 56, was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court March 19 for a pretrial hearing.

He served with the department for 18 years and left in late October in the wake of an internal police investigation into the shooting. That investigation determined Barber violated three sections of the department's rules and regulations by leaving his service weapon unlocked and unsecured, including conduct unbecoming an officer and criminal conduct.

A separate criminal investigation was conducted through the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, which apparently led to the submission to a Berkshire grand jury and subsequent indictment. A public records request for the report generated from that investigation is pending.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.

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