First off, thank you for visiting our website. If you haven't already, check out our Facebook page and Twitter by clicking on the respective logo's at the top right hand corner of the page. The purpose of the Freetown Police Association is give back to the community we serve. The majority of us have grown up in Freetown, Lakeville, Berkley and other surrounding communities, live in Freetown and/or have worked in this community multiple decades. Being police officers in Freetown means more to us than just "being cops" since we are a part of the community and call it home, just like you. Our goal is to offer the best public safety services we can, whether that be during a medical emergency, car accident, traffic enforcement, breaking and entering, or just a regular "call for service;" and yeah, making arrests when needed. In order to do that, we hope to better connect with our community to help answer some questions you may have as we push to expand the Police Department to offer a higher level of law enforcement and public service to our residents, business owners and visitors.
We compiled a list of the most common questions we are asked on a regular basis. If you have one that hasn't been answered, please go to the "Contact" button in the navigation bar at the top of the page and submit your question. All questions will remain anonymous (unless you want us to mention your name) and we will do the best we can to give you the best answer we can! Check back regularly to see if your question has been answered!
What is the population of the Town of Freetown?
As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the population was 8,472. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 8,870 residents; showing a 4.7% increase. Keep in mind, that number is only for residents and does not include the numerous businesses and visitors in the town each day; not to mention the number of people that travel on Route 140 or Route 24 on a daily basis. That number is anticipated to continue to climb as the number of residential neighborhoods and businesses continue to be developed.
What is the land-size of the Town of Freetown?
The town is 38.3 square miles in total. 36.6 square miles are land and 1.7 square miles is water. Also included within the town is approximately 5,200 acres of the Freetown-Fall River State Forest.
How long does it take to CROSS THE TOWN?
As answered above, the town is very large and there are no major routes connecting East Freetown to Assonet, only two-lane back roads. That being said, during the day time when traffic is at it's peak around town, it can take upwards of ten to fifteen minutes to cross the town, depending where you are coming from and where you are going, even with blue lights and a siren. Needless to say, that makes backing up fellow officers difficult.
How many OFFICERS MAKE UP THE " RANK-AND-FILE?"
The department is comprised of administrative, investigative, specialty assignments and patrol officers. Currently, the breakdown of the police department is:
Chief of Police - 1
Lieutentant (for both Patrol and Adminstrative functions) - 1
Patrol Sergeants - 5 (one of which handles additional administrative functions)
Detective - 1
Patrol Officers (full time) - 10
Total Full-time Employees - 18
Reserve Officers - 9
Unpaid Auxiliary Officers - 2
Constables - 6
Total Employees - 35
What shifts do the officers work and how many are on-duty?
12:00 AM (midnight) to 8:00 AM - 2 to 3 officers (including patrol sergeants), depending on staffing.
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM - 2 to 3 officers on patrol (including patrol sergeants), Chief of Police, Lieutenant, Detective.
4:00 PM to 12:00 AM - 2 to 4 officers on patrol (including patrol sergeants and K-9), depending on staffing.
According to our current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the town must "make every effort" to fill patrol vacancies to "adequate staffing levels." The term "adequate" has been left up to interpretation as an "Administrative Right." Currently, our adminstration considers two officers to be adequate staffing levels. We, as the officer's who work those patrol shifts, feel strong differently about that level. As the town continues to expand, develop and grow, we have become increasingly busier, especially on the evening shift. We feel that running two officers on a shift is far from "adequate," is highly unsafe, and jeopardaizes not only the safety of our officers, but of both the residents and visitors of our town.
How many officers are assigned to Detective?
Currently, only one officer is assigned to the Detective position and is required to handle all investigations, both previous and on-going, by himself. Additionally, he is tasked with responding to off-duty call outs, such as breaking and enterings, unattended deaths, serious motor vehicle accidents, robberies and home invasions, just to name a few.
Are there any other specialty assignments?
Yes. Certain officers hold assignments such as Field Training Officer, Armorer, Firearms Instructors, Taser Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor and Emergency Medical Technician; which conduct these assignments as part of their regular patrol duties.
As stated above, we only have one officer assigned to Detective, one officer as a K-9 handler and one officer as a Collision Analaysis and Reconstructionist.
Additional speciality assignments on the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Counsel (S.E.M.L.E.C.) specialty teams include Detective Kelley on the Detective Task Force and Patrolman Long and K-9 Koda on the Regional K-9 Team. Currently, we do not have any officers on the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team, Search and Rescue (S.A.R) Team, Dive Team or Crisis Intervention and Peer Support Team.
What are the annual statistics for the police department?
Each year, we respond to approximately 12,000 - 16,000 calls for service or officer initiated investigations. The breakdown of the 2015-2016 fiscal year was as follows:
Call Numbers - 14,868
Offenses Reported FY 15-16
Forcible Rape 4
Forcible Sodomy 1
Forcible Fondling 1
Aggravated (weapon) Assault 22
Simple Assault 32
Burglary/Breaking & Entering 60
Theft from Building 33
Theft from Motor Vehicle 27
All Other Larceny 54
Motor Vehicle Theft 15
False Pretenses/Swindle 10
Stolen Property Offenses 3
Vandalism/Malicious Damage 79
Drug Violations 4
Statutory Rape 8
Obscene Material 1
Weapons Violations 3
Bad Checks 5
Disorderly Conduct 11
Driving Under the Influence 12
Liquor Law Violations 5
Town By-Law Offenses 429
All Other Offenses 119
Case Activity FY 15-16
Total Offenses 1030
Total Felonies 301
Total Arrests (On View) 46
Total Arrests (Warrants) 69
Total Summons Arrests 168
Total Arrests 283
Total Protective Custody 7
Total Juvenile Arrests 6
Total Restraining Orders 54
Other Violations FY 15-16
Motor Vehicle Citations 1,612
Municipal By-Law Violations 26
Parking Tickets 76
Non-Criminal Activity Requiring Written Police Report FY 15-16
Alcohol/Substance Abuser Warrant 1
Animal Complaint 5
Assist Fire or EMS 7
Assist Other Agency 25
Assist Citizen 34
Driver Competency 3
Discharge Firearm 5
Domestic Disturbance 67
Industrial Accident 17
Impaired/Influence of Drugs 1
Lost Property 20
Mutual Aid 41
Mental Health Issues 17
Mental Health Warrant 21
Missing Person 6
Drug Overdose 3
Drug Overdose Heroin 7
Drug Overdose Pharmaceutical 1
Police Information 40
Property Held For Safekeeping 24
Sudden Death Overdose 2
Sudden Death 5
T owed Vehicle 19
Not Specified 0
Collisions FY 15-16
Motor Vehicle Accidents Report Taken – Town Roads 170
What is an arrest process like?
An arrest is quite time consuming. Once the arrestee is transported back to the station, they are searched, booked, fingerprinted and photographed. This process takes anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour depending on the charges (such as an OUI which take take well over an hour), and how cooperative the arrestee is. Per department policy, and for safety and liability purposes, two officers, one of which is usually a supervisor, are required during booking. We try to get into the habit of having a different booking officer than the arresting officer, however, that is not always feasible. Once the arrestee is placed into a holding cell, the arresting officer completes their arrest report, which can take anywhere from ten minutes to two hours depending on the charges and nature of the arrest (which determines the length of the report). If the arrestee cannot make bail or requires a 6-hour hold for domestic violence incidents, they are transported to the Bristol County House of Correction on Ash Street in New Bedford; or, for an arrest during the a week-day, they are transported directly to the Fall River District Court for arraignment. Otherwise, they are held in the police station until they are bailed by a Clerk Magistrate. This can take up to four hours or longer.
Since we do not have any lock-up attendents or booking officers, this process is completed entirely by officers on the shift; and, therefore, taking patrols off the road. For large incidents it is not uncommon to have both patrol officers and the sergeant in the station during the booking process leaving the town without police officers on patrol.
How old is the police station?
The police station was built in 1977. The station no longer holds up to the current demand of the police department and provides inadequate space that hinders day-to-day operations.
How many cells are in the station?
There are only two holding cells. We have retro-fitted the interview room to be used as an additional holding room, if needed, in cases of juvenile offenders, when we have more than two arrestees or multiple arrestees of different genders. State law prohibits juvenile offenders from being placed in a traditional lock-up and requires them to be separated by "sight and sound" from other offenders. Additionally, we cannot hold male and female offenders in the same lock-up area. In cases of multiple offenders from different genders, we usually place the males in the holding cells and the females in the interview room make-shift holding cell. Although, it is not uncommon to secure arrestees in the prisoner transport sections of the police cruisers and rotate them through the booking process if there are multiple, mixed gendered, offenders, as the current space and conditions of the police station do not allow for more than one arrest to be processed at a time.
Are there locker room and gym facilities at the station?
There is a single locker room-bathroom combo (which is currently out of service) that both male and female officers share. Don't worry, there's a dead bolt on the inside of the door...
The officers room is known as the "multi-purpose room" as it is also used for report writing, a break room, a meal table, an evidence processing room, a kitchen, the Freetown Police Association Headquarters, storage, and the electrical panel room; so, no, we definitely do not have any gym facilities in the station.
How come I see police cruisers on both sides of the station?
Since we are limited on space, patrolman park their cruisers in the front lot (Chace Road side) while Supervisors park their cruisers in the back lot (Memorial Drive side). Additionally, the door to the booking room and holding cells is located on the front parking lot side and that is where arrestees are brought. We do not have a sally-port or any means of securing ourselves before allowing arrestees to exit our cruisers so you will usually see multiple officers in the parking lot during prisoner transport. Also, as we do not have any carwashes in town, we clean, vacuum, wash and wax our own cruisers, which is also done in the front lot. We also do not have any secured entrances to the police station so we use the front door just like everyone else!