Letter: Integrity Matters in District Attorney Race

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To the Editor:

Elections can be filled with all sorts of strategies and antics, and some we have simply come to accept. Lawn sign theft, whispered rumors and the like are common in every election and are impossible for campaigns to control. Some races even get nasty as the Berkshire County district attorney has, ironically, given that this office is supposed to reflect the best of what we have in honor and justice.

The DA in office right now should be showing us an example of an honorable man and honorable campaign. I hear he is a nice guy as are most of us among our friends and family. However, the real test of character is how you behave when you are challenged and how far you will go when you are desperate.

Candidates cannot control everything their supporters say and do, and they cannot control letters to the editor in the paper. On the other hand, a candidate is responsible for something he or she circulates. A candidate must be held responsible for allowing and promoting information about his rival that is blatantly not true and hurtful.

On Monday, Oct. 22, a malicious and untruthful letter was printed about attorney Andrea Harrington in the letter to the editor section that attacked both her and her supporters. Unfortunately, there are no "election police" to make sure that false information is not circulated. The write-in candidate's campaign posted this on his Facebook page with no regard for its lack of accuracy. This is a man in the business of truth, of determining someone's guilt or innocence, and yet he irresponsibly and perhaps deliberately allows another person's reputation to be maligned and sentences an innocent person and her followers to damaged reputations. The election will be over soon, but these libelous words will not go away.

I can only hope that this backfires and that this outrageous behavior is not rewarded. I have faith that the voters will see this for what it is ... people making up stories as a desperate last act from a sore loser. Please vote for positive energy, attorney Andrea Harrington, the only candidate on the ballot, on Nov. 6 by filling in the oval next to her name.

Melissa O'Dell
Pittsfield, Mass.



Tags: district attorney,   election 2018,   

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Pittsfield Police Advisory Board Learns High-Speed Pursuit Policy

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When two men came whipping into the city with police on their tail in March, residents didn't see Pittsfield Police officers hanging out the window trying to shoot out the tires. That only happens in movies.
In fact, residents didn't see Pittsfield Police on the suspect's tail at all. Chief Michael Wynn told his officers not to pursue because the policy of the department is that if a pursuit comes into the city from another jurisdiction, Pittsfield officers don't join unless they are asked to.
Residents didn't see a "parade" of vehicles on the suspect's tail either. That type of action is a thing of old. Now if a car chase happens, Pittsfield Police will have two or three vehicles following it -- the primary pursuit officer, a backup handling communication, and maybe a supervisor overseeing and calling the shots. 
Inside the dispatch center, a commander will be following the action in real-time and if at any point he feels the risk outweighs the reward, he'll stay stop and the officers will terminate.
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