The Somerset Police Department operates from a central police/fire building at 465 County Street. The present police/fire structure was built in 1965 and received renovations and a 9,000 square foot addition in 2004.
Currently there are 30 full-time sworn members on the Department. They are supported by full and part-time public safety dispatchers, a part-time records clerk and a building maintenance person. Assisting the officers and dispatchers are several reserve police officers.
The Department operates with marked patrol cars, two motorcycles, a Special Response vehicle, and unmarked 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 automatic defibrillators.
The Department is commanded by the Chief of Police and Captains, who are second in command. The Chief of Police reports to a Town Administrator concerning personnel and budget matters, and for 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 lieutenant, who assumes the role of watch commander, and a sergeant who
acts as the Patrol Supervisor.
In 2014, a K-9 Unit was formed 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, which can scan license plates as vehicles pass to check those vehicles for revoked registrations and warrants on the registered owners, among many other things.
Several officers are specially trained to operate the Department’s three mountain bicycles. The bikes are used on special assignments and 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 events. 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 Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer and School Resources Officer (SRO). DARE is primarily taught at the Middle School, but there is some instruction at the elementary school level. The SRO 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.
Two Somerset Police Officers are certified Child Safety Seat Technicians. These officers show parents, grandparents and guardians how to install a car safety seat properly. 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. Prisoners who will be held overnight or through the weekend are transported to the Bristol County Sheriff’s lockup 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 million dollars annually.. Vehicle maintenance is provided by mechanics at the Town’s Highway Department facility.