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North Adams to Get 2 Additional Police Officers

Staff Reports

North Adams will soon have two additional full-time police officers, to be sworn in on Tuesday, April 13, at the City Council meeting.

According to an announcement issued by the office of Mayor Richard Alcombright, the move is "yet another step towards assuring that this new administration will continue to support law enforcement efforts with the end result being a safer community."

Other recent efforts to reduce crime include the development of a Neighborhood Crime Watch Program, which currently is underway with watch groups forming citywide.

Despite a "tight budget," Alcombright credited Commissioner of Public Safety E. John Morocco for his "creative methods that will allow this community to afford the new officers." According to the mayor's office, the city will use a state 911 grant to pay dispatchers' salaries, freeing up money in the budget for police salaries.

Commissioner Morocco stated that “while more police does not necessarily translate into an immediate reduction in crime, feet on the street are a very important to be certain that all shifts are properly staffed and that police can respond quickly and efficiently when multiple calls are being handled.”

Looking ahead, Alcombright said he hopes to implement methods of community policing, such as putting put police on bicycles and in neighborhoods this summer.

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Driver Won't Be Charged in Pedestrian Death

Berkshire News Network

Great Barrington Police have decided not to file any charges against a Stockbridge woman who hit and killed a pedestrian crawling across Route 7 last month. 

Police Chief William Walsh told the Berkshire News Network that preliminary results of the autopsy on the victim, 59-year-old Raymond McQuoid of Lee, revealed that the driver, 33-year-old Julia Berkman of Stockbridge, was not at fault when she hit McQuoid. 

Police said they believed McQuoid had been drinking before the incident and was walking northbound in the southbound lane around 9 that night when he decided for some reason to crawl across busy Route 7. The incident occurred about 500 yards north of the WSBS studios near an auto dealership at the base of Monument Mountain. 

McQuoid, a native of Leicester, resided in Stamford, Vt., for several years and served on the Select Board. He had been a truck driver for LB Corp. He left a wife, the former Danna Nichols, her three children and four grandchildren.

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Pittsfield Issues Motorized Vehicle Reminder

Staff Reports

The City of Pittsfield has issued a reminder that the use of motorized off-road vehicles is prohibited within city parks, conservation areas and school grounds.  According to the City, numerous residents have complained regarding this issue, and the City "intends to address the problem aggressively," with the Pittsfield Police Department "strictly enforcing this and other park rules and regulations."

 Fines for unauthorized use of off-road vehicles within the parks can be up to $200 per offense, and more if malicious damage occurs.  Residents are encouraged to contact the Pittsfield Police Department if they observe off-road vehicles operating on any city lands. For more information, call 413-499-9344.

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Pedestrian Injured in Williamstown

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A 66-year-old pedestrian was hit by a vehicle Monday morning while trying to cross Main Street.

Police said the man, whose name was not released, walked into the street without warning just east of Cole Avenue where the road curves. He was not in a sidewalk and was hit by a 1994 Oldsmobile driven by Michael Richardello of North Adams.

The man was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital by paramedics with Village Ambulance Service with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. 

The accident is under investigation but police say they have determined that Richardello was not at fault.

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North Adams Woman Killed in 91 Crash

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A 34-year-old city woman was killed, and three other people were injured Friday morning, March 26, in a two-car crash on Route 91 in Longmeadow.

Tracy Gomez was driving a 2000 Hyundai Sonata southbound shortly before 10 a.m. when she apparently tried to turn left from the far right lane to use the median turnaround at the .8 mile marker, according to state police from the Springfield barracks.

Her driver's side door was struck by a 1996 GMC Jimmy being operated by 69-year-old Karl Johnson Sr. of West Suffield, Conn., that was traveling in the left lane adjacent to the median, according a preliminary investigation by Trooper Christopher Keyes.

Gomez was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, 66-year-old Stephen Bowen of Springfield, was extricated from the vehicle and transported to Baystate Hospital in Springfield with serious injuries. The passenger of the Jimmy, 50-year-old Karl Johnson Jr. of West Suffield, and his father were taken to Baystate Hospital with serious injuries as well.

The accident was reported at 9:56 a.m. The left and middle travel lanes were closed for approximately two hours during the crash investigation.

The crash is under investigation by Troop B with the assistance of the Crime Scene Services Section, Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section and troopers from the Hampden County district attorney's office.

Troopers were additionally assisted at the scene by the Longmeadow Fire Department, AMR ambulance service, and MassHighway.

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