Police Chief Mark Segalla and Fire Chief Greg Burns reported to the Board of Selectmen on October 10 on studies regarding staffing in their respective departments. Chief Segalla reported that the police department is down one officer from last year, four having retired with only three officers hired to replace them. He recommended five more officers be added to get the staffing levels of the police force up to the average levels of surrounding communities, one of whom would be another School Resource Officer. Segalla also reported that many of the towns queried for the study have many more civilian employees than Reading. When asked, he responded that Reading sometimes uses officers to do work such as processing of licenses that civilians do in other communities.
Chief Burns reported that Reading has fewer supervisors than other similar communities. Since 1987 there has been a ten percent population growth in Reading, while calls have increased forty percent in that same time period. New developments in town over the last fifteen years now make up about ten percent of the calls the department responds to and this will likely increase as new developments on Lincoln Street, Haven Street, and Gould Street come on line. Burns made no specific recommendations regarding staffing increases.
The selectmen appointed Rachel Hitch as a full member, and Tony DiRezzo as an associate member, to the Community Planning and Development Commission. They also decided to split the community access sticker into two parts, one for use at the compost and one for parking at the commuter rail station. Prices for the new stickers will be determined at a later date. Additionally, they heard a presentation about the upcoming JAMS for Jake concert to be held at Simmonds Field on October 29.
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The meeting adjourned just after 11:30pm.