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Police chief provides policy updates; Undergoes Taser test.

Byline: Susan Spencer

MILLBURY -- Police Chief Kenny A. Howell told selectmen Nov. 12 that since he took command last January, the Police Department has accomplished about 50 percent of the tasks identified in the 2002 management report.

He gave an update in what selectmen agreed would be a quarterly appearance at board meetings.

Among the highlights, Chief Howell said that the department has issued 11 policies, including: use of force, use of force reporting, Tasers/electronic weapons, testifying in court, elder abuse, Baby Safe Haven, ride-along program and post-traumatic stress procedures.

He said the police officers would have Tasers starting Nov. 15. The department purchased six Tasers and officers received eight hours of training.

"I got tased, so everyone enjoyed that,'' Chief Howell said. "It's a very painful experience ... You will feel the pain, for five seconds.''

He emphasized another new practice: "So long as I am here, there will be walking beats.''

Chief Howell said officers are required to go downtown and walk a beat, day shift and night shift. Although some officers were initially reluctant, he said they have come to realize it's a good thing and they would soon expand walking beats to other areas of town.

"It's something that people notice, too, chief,'' said Selectman E. Bernard Plante, board chairman.

Another change is limiting distribution of chest badges to two per officer, with duplication of badges not allowed. The rule was made to prevent extra badges from circulating and potentially allowing someone to impersonate a police officer.

Chief Howell said that Sgt.s Donald Desorcy, Stephen McFaul and Brian Lewos have been meeting with him weekly to report on progress in their respective command areas.

Also at the meeting, selectmen gave the go-ahead to the Bicentennial Committee to move ahead with a granite monument to leave a lasting memorial to the town's celebratory year. The monument would be situated on the front lawn of the Town Hall, next to the Asa Waters Mansion.

Further, committee Co-chairmen Bill Kane and Roger Desrosiers told selectmen that the Friends of Asa Waters Mansion said that the historic Town Hall gates, which would be restored, could be placed in front of the monument.
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Title Annotation:Weeklies
Author:Spencer, Susan
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Nov 15, 2013
Words:363
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