Welcome to the official Amherst Police Department blog!

We hope to use this site as a way to share information with, and receive information from, our community members in the town of Amherst. If one of our posts is of interest to you, please add a comment. You can also visit our website at www.amherstpd.org for other valuable information.

Friday, December 14, 2007

One Down, One to Go

Yesterday's snowstorm called for increased staffing levels at the Amherst Police Department. A typical shift has four Officers on-duty, but that number was increased to 11 due to high levels of activity and accidents. By calling in off-duty staff and by reassigning members of the Detective Bureau, Sergeant Menard and his day-shift were calmly able to handle more than two-dozen accidents and disabled vehicles on the roadways. 'The Notch,' Bay Road, and Northampton Road (Route 9) were closed temporarily to allow State and Town Public Works crews time to address the rapidly accumulating snow.

The Communications Center, which is usually staffed by two Emergency Dispatchers, was increased to four Dispatchers on-duty to handle the amount of incoming business, emergency, and 911 calls, as well as the dispatching of both Police and Fire/EMS units to those in need. According to Dispatcher Mike Curtin, the Communications Center handled more than 10 times the normal call volume, and some of those calls to the Center could have been avoided. Many people called 911 to advise that they were stuck in traffic or to inquire about when the roads would re-open. These types of calls came in while Dispatchers were extremely busy coordinating a multi-agency response to the storm and to people needing serious help. We hope that in the future motorists will be a little more patient before calling and trust that the Amherst Public Works and Amherst Police Department are working vigorously to keep traffic moving safely.

The storm that is predicted for Saturday is expected to be even larger than this one. The community is encouraged to plan accordingly and to stay off the roads. Please!

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