The Somerset Police Department operates from a central police and fire building at 465 County Street. Built in 1965, the department was partially renovated and a 9,000 square foot addition was built in 2004.
Currently there are 30 full-time sworn members on the department, who are also assisted by 24 reserve police officers. All officers are supported by 15 public safety dispatchers, a part-time records clerk and a building maintenance employee creating a fully functional partnership.
The department operates with marked and unmarked patrol cars, two motorcycles and special operations vehicles. The front line cruisers are equipped with the latest in communications and emergency equipment, including a mobile data system that allows officers access to local, state and federal criminal and motor vehicle information databases. All patrol cars are equipped with emergency medical equipment, including automated external defibrillators.
The department is commanded by the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police reports to a Town Administrator concerning any personnel issues, and for budget or policy matters to a three person Board of Selectmen who are also Police Commissioners.
The Patrol, or Uniform Division, consists of supervisors, patrol officers and reserves. Each shift is comprised of a Sergeant who acts as the Patrol Supervisor. Day and evening shifts are also led by a Lieutenant who assumes the role of Watch Commander.
In 2014 Somerset established a K-9 Unit marking the beginning of a Special Operations Division to include other specialties as we expand. The Department has also added a license plate reader to the Patrol Division that can scan license plates as vehicles pass to check those vehicles for revoked registrations, warrants, and other violations on the registered owners.
Several officers are specially trained to operate the Department’s three mountain bicycles. The bikes are used on special assignments as well as regular patrol. During good weather, officers attach a bike to their patrol car and spend time patrolling their sector on the bike. The Department’s motorcycles are operated on patrol and used for special events such as parades, funerals and charitable functions. The motorcycles are operated by officers who have attended an intensive training course prior to their assignment to ride the motorcycles.
The Department has a School Resources Officer (SRO) who is primarily assigned to the High School but also visits all the Town’s schools to check on security and speak with the children about staying safe. The S.R.O. is certified in Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate (ALICE) which is the process of responding to an active shooter. The S.R.O. is also trained in Rapid deployment, Awareness, Intervention, Decisiveness, EMS, and Recovery (RAIDER).
Some Somerset Police Officers are certified Child Safety Seat Technicians. These officers show parents, grandparents and guardians how to properly install a car safety seat. The Department is very pro-active in child passenger and pedestrian safety and conducts educational and enforcement initiatives on a regular basis.
The Detective Division investigates major crimes and provides limited crime-scene forensics.
The station is equipped with three adult, one juvenile and one female holding cell. Detainees who will be held overnight or through the weekend are transported to the Bristol County Sheriff’s facility in New Bedford. Juvenile offenders requiring a secure facility are also transported elsewhere.
The Department’s Police and Communications general operating budget for dispatching and police services totals just above 2.5 million dollars annually. Vehicle maintenance is provided by mechanics at the Town’s Highway Department facility.