Lanesborough Police Chief Timothy Sorrell to retire in July

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LANESBOROUGH — After three decades of keeping the town safe, Police Chief Timothy Sorrell is retiring this summer.

Sorrell has submitted his letter of resignation to the Select Board, effective mid-July. The Lenox native and Marine veteran has spent his entire career in Lanesborough, the last five years as the chief. He currently earns an annual salary of $88,000, with three years plus remaining on his contract.

"I was apprehensive about [retirement,] but it'll be almost 33 years," he said Monday. "Part of the reason, I owe this to my family."

Sorrell, 54, and his wife, Donna Sorrell, have two sons — Adams police officer Nick Sorrell, 23, and Matt Sorrell, 17.

"The 33 years has taken its toll," he said "It's eating me up."

During his tenure, Sorrell has has often had to defend the need to be fully staff to serve a municipality of some 3,000 residents. Lanesborough has five full-time and nine part-time officers.

"We definitely could use another full-timer as our call volume is high," Sorrell said.

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The size of the department may seem large given the town's population, the chief has noted, but he and his officers are kept busy with Lanesborough located in the heart of the Route 7 corridor that includes the Berkshire Mall and Pontoosuc Lake.

Sorrell is just the town's fourth police chief since the department was created in the early 1960s. He was appointed by the Select Board in May 2015 to succeed F. Mark Bashara.

"I have spoken to people who are interested in the job and hope the selectmen make the right decision," he said.

Sorrell regrets he's retiring before seeing townspeople, hopefully, approve funding for a renovated or new police station.

The ongoing effort to find a long-term solution for housing the department was prompted by the departments considers an ineffective in-house attempt, led by former Selectman Robert Ericson, to upgrade the police station in a building that dates back to 1827.

Ericson stopped working after the town's insurer, the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, inspected the station and issued a cease-and-desist order last year. The insurer said the project lacked permits and the paperwork for it to continue. After the report was issued, Sorrell and his officers said they are willing to stay put until short-term improvements are made and voters determine the station's future.

Sorrell says he'll continue to give his input on the police station issue after retirement. When he finally hands in his gun and badge, he plans to relax, something he's had a hard time doing when off-duty. Maybe he'll enter the private security business and/or get involved in town government, he said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com.


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