Meeting Minutes for Advisory Police Services Oversight Committee, 2022-09-12


Sept. 12, 2022, 7 pm
Leverett Town Hall
Zoom link used for remote participants

Attending: Dan Keller, Thomas Richardson, Anna Wetherby (minutes [the minotaur]), Jed Proujansky, Patricia Duffy, Shannon Gamble, committee members; Scott Minckler, Meghan Gallo, police officers

Meeting called to order at 6:00 PM

Jed moves to approve minutes from August 15, 2022, Patricia seconds - minutes approved unanimously

Staffing update for the police department:

  • Currently, Leverett has three full-time officers and four part-time (reserve) officers
  • Scott advertised for new part-time over a month ago and only had one resume come in
    • Very tough getting people to work part-time.
    • A part-time officer's wage is around $19.80 per hour


  • Scott proposes adding 4th full-time officer for FY24 at the step1 Employment level:
    • The total anticipated cost is around $70,000
    • $21.91 per hour (approx $45,700 yearly)
    • $20.000 for an additional benefits package
      • a separate line item in the town budget
      • Leverett's contract specifies that working in Wendell increases the hourly wage
        by $2 an hour. These additional rates add approx. extra 4k annually.
  • The new officer would cover weekends, Wendell shifts two days a week, and have swing shifts for
    coverage of other full-time officers when vacation/PTO is used.
  • There is an officer qualified and interested in the full-time position.

Financial Considerations:

  • Leverett's budget per year for part-time officers is $10,310, Wendell’s $8,000 (approx. 50 shifts covered by this budget amount)
    • If part-time staff is eliminated, overtime costs will be accrued.
    • The current allocated money for part-time officers would be split to cover part of the
      salary of the new full-time officer and overtime expenses.
    • Additional funds of approx. $36,000 would be shared by the two towns
    • The health care expenses are budgeted separately - the sharing of this cost will need to
      be carefully addressed.
    • Suggested that select boards consult with Michael of Collins center to review the details
      and create a financial strategy for the towns

Decision Process:

  • The town of Leverett will vote on the decision to add a full-time officer:
  • Scott will submit the budget for the police department to the Leverett Finance Committee during
    the winter budget season.
  • The finance committee will make their recommendation to the selectboard
  • The selectboard will put the item to vote at Leverett’s Annual Town Meeting in June 2023
  • If passed, the new officer would be hired starting July 2023

Committee Response:

  • The committee clarifies that the additional officer at full time is not due to the rise in crime but due to the new regulations of policing. If there is no coverage, calls fall to state police [who are also understaffed]
  • A suggestion that Wendell and Leverett's select boards reach out to surrounding towns to see what the interest is in joining the Leverett/Wendell policing agreement
    • This action has been taken, but follow-up conversations may need to happen again
  • Financial benefits of adding the additional full-time officer
    • Reduce the level of comp-time
  • The increase in the budget for adding another full-time officer is necessary to provide reliable service to the two towns
  • Committee feels the points made by Scott cover the needs and costs of adding another full-time officer

Next steps:

  • Need to inform the communities that this is being discussed - add to the agendas of the Leverett and Wendell selectboard, publish in town newsletters - minutes will be posted on Leverett connects and Wendell listserv
  • Committee will make the recommendations to be presented at the respective selectboard meetings - selectboard representatives will present the proposal, fin com members and community members of the committee will also lend support at selectboard meetings
  • Questions of the public can be addressed in a public forum with members of the committee
    • Committee members reviews minutes from Sept. 12
    • Committee will announce the existence of the committee to the two towns - reasons for the committee and exciting upcoming events
    • Making minutes of this meeting available to the public
    • Announce the committee, the proposal, and the forum in Fall town newsletters, through Leverett Connects, and the Wendell listserv
    • Solicit questions from the public for the forum through the postings on the listservs
    • Public meeting of the committee to address the format of the public forum
    • Hold a public forum - make sure Scott is available
      • Hold two meetings? One for Wendell and one for Leverett?
  • Next meeting to approve minutes - via Zoom: September 20th, 6 pm

Jed moves to adjourn, Dan seconds - passes unanimously
Meeting adjourned at 7:31