When the MarketStreet Lynnfield development is up and running late this year, Lynnfield Police hope to have an outreach center, an officer who's trained with a bicycle, and two new officers as part of their strategy to keep up with demand for service calls.
In a phone conversation with Patch.com this week, Police Chief David Breen talked about some of his department's priorities as the largest development in the town's history prepares to get up and running. He also talked about some of the things he has learned by studying comparable developments, such as Legacy Place in Dedham.
The Lynnfield Police Department has long expected to request two new officers this year with an eye on MarketStreet. On Monday, Town Administrator Bill Gustus noted at the end of the selectmen's meeting that the two future officers are expected to be Lynnfield residents hired from the civil service list. "We have the time and the talent available," said Gustus.
On Wednesday, Breen told Lynnfield Patch that he hopes to have the two future officers at a police academy program scheduled for May. That program would take six months, he reported. From there, the two future officers would receive an additional three months of field training in everything from weapons and equipment to EMT procedures. "It takes a while to get an officer on the road," said Breen.
Patrol Bicycle, Outreach Center Among Priorities For MarketStreet
Regarding the department's other plans for the MarketStreet era, Breen said that he plans to ask the town to approve a patrol bicycle that would be used in the development's parking lots for example. Breen estimated that an officer would require about 40 hours of training on the patrol bicycle.
Breen and Fire Chief Joseph Lingel are expected to give their respective budget presentations at the Feb. 11 selectmen's meeting.
Another big part of the department's MarketStreet strategy is an outreach center at the development. This would be particularly useful for processing shoplifting suspects and taking reports involving accidents, vehicle break-ins and hit and runs, said Breen. The chief noted that with the outreach center, suspects would not have to go to the station and officers would not have to go to MarketStreet every time a call came up. He added that the comparable Legacy Place development in Dedham has a police outreach center, which he toured last year. Breen recalled that he also toured a number of the stores at Legacy Place with Lynnfield Captain Karl Johnson and had checked out the layout of the place and spoken with some the managers there.
"We certainly will have a presence up at MarketStreet," said Breen, adding that his department will also closely monitor service calls to the development to see if any changes are needed to the strategy over time.
Comparisons With Legacy Place Only Go So Far, Says Breen
While MarketStreet Lynnfield and Legacy Place in Dedham have been compared more than once in the years-long local discussion, Breen maintained that the comparisons only go so far - and that it is actually extremely difficult to try to calculate exactly what police can expect from the new development. For example, he noted that Legacy Place was built in an area that already had commercial development nearby as well as fairly heavy traffic. In comparison, MarketStreet Lynnfield is being built on a former golf course and the nearby area is almost completely residential. That said, Breen also pointed out that his department has responded to plenty of vehicle break-ins at the adjoining Boston Sports Club over the years. Thieves simply know that many cars will be left unsupervised for a period of time, and people are prone to leaving their valuables in view, noted Breen.
Breen also said that Dedham had seen an upswing in traffic from Legacy Place, but he noted that in Lynnfield, not much traffic MarketStreet is expected to make its way into the center of town and nearby neighborhoods - many cars will instead be bound for Route 128 via Walnut Street and to a lesser extent, other nearby cities.
Routine Equipment Requested, Longer-Term Eye On A New Building
Looking ahead to the budget presentation, Breen said that the department's other requests for the coming year will not involve MarketStreet, but simply address wear and tear on existing and aging equipment. He reported that he also plans to ask selectmen to approve two new cruisers, some new patrol rifles and shotguns, a taser, a laser speed detector, and a mobile computer setup for another of the force's cruisers.
The chief also reiterated that in the longer term, his biggest priority is to see a new public safety complex built in town. He and Fire Chief Joseph Lingel first discussed the idea back in December during the town's annual budget summit.
For all of Lynnfield Patch's coverage of the upcoming MarketStreet Lynnfield development, visit this topic page.