Five Year Strategic Plan

The Barre Police Department

Five-Year Plan

September 2022



The five-year plan is a written instrument that explains the goals and direction of the Barre Police Department in a manner that is clearly defined and measurable.

 Law enforcement is designed to meet ever-changing societal needs so that communities are well served, and order is maintained.  A municipal police department is an integral partner with its community and relies upon a good relationship to fulfill its mission.  Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement (1829) refers to cooperation as a cornerstone of successful policing.  Sir Robert Peel’s seventh principal states “the police are the public and the public are the police”.

In accordance with these fundamental principles, we believe that the people of the Town of Barre deserve a professional, well trained, and motivated police department. My team and I have identified several issues that once addressed will bring the Barre Police Department to the next level of professionalism and service.


Challenges and Solutions:


Issue:  Lack of standardization and compliance with statewide policies and established best practices.


Explanation of the problem:

With the recent establishment of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, the state is requiring all law enforcement agencies in the state be certified. POST will determine what criteria is required for an agency to be certified. While at the moment the exact criteria are yet to be established, agencies are being encouraged to review current policies and procedures to ensure they are updated per Massachusetts General Law and caselaw. Accreditation standards through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC), will meet or exceed those required to be certified by the POST Commission. Several changes may have to be made to written policies, facility improvements and some minor equipment may have to be purchased. The benefits of accreditation include:


o          Provides a norm for an agency to judge its performance.

o          Provides a basis to correct deficiencies before they become a public problem.

o          Requires agencies to commit policies and procedures to writing.

o          Promotes accountability among agency personnel.

o          Provides a means of independent evaluation of agency operations for quality assurance.

o          Enhances the reputation of the agency and promotes public confidence in the agency.




  • Apply and be accepted into the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) as a participating agency.

           -The Barre Police Department was accepted into MPAC on April 7th, 2022


  • Begin the self-assessment phase. This phase of the process involves a thorough examination of the agency, by the agency.  It is the most labor intensive and time-consuming phase of the process because the activities in this phase initially begin with a comprehensive review of the standards and include all of the activities associated with preparing for the agency’s on-site assessment.
          -As of September 2022, we are currently in the self-assessment phase.


  • Become an MPAC certified police agency. Certification consists of 159 standards which are all mandatory. Since the 159 standards are included in the 257 accreditation standards, certification is considered a significant milestone towards accreditation.


  • Obtain Accreditation through MPAC. Accreditation is the higher of the two awards and consists of 382 standards of which 257 are mandatory. Only a percentage of the optional standards must be met, and this is based on agency size.



Issue:  A continuing drug problem.


Explanation of the problem:  

The Town of Barre is suffering the same problem of addiction that has devastated the Commonwealth. We recognize that the targets of our enforcement efforts are not specifically those who have become trapped in addiction. For those individuals we support treatment remedies while also realizing that we must protect the community, and the addicted person, from reckless behavior associated with the illegal use of drugs. Those who deal in the illegal sale and transportation of drugs are another story. It is our belief that we must stop the suppliers and stem the flow of illegal drugs into Barre. In order to accomplish this goal our officers need the proper training and equipment.




  •  Maintaining a Detective position to focus on significant crimes and drug enforcement is critical part of the solution.   
            -We have had a Detective position filled since July 1st, 2021


  •  Provide narcotics enforcement, search warrant, and crime scene training to the detective and patrol officers.
          -Training is ongoing and continual, but the Detective has completed basic detective school, narcotics school, and patrol officers have recently (Aug 2022) completed Crime Scene Processing training and are scheduled for Street Level Narcotics training.


  • Have the detective (at a minimum) join and be involved with at least one (1) regional drug task force.


  • Execute at least two (2) drug related search warrants in town. Drug related search warrants are difficult and time-consuming to plan, develop probable cause, apply for, execute and complete returns.  


  • Enroll in and report to the Worcester County DA’s Officer Critical Incident Management System (CIMS) reporting fatal and non-fatal overdoses in order to offer victims and families resources for recovery.

             -We have been participating in CIMS since July 2022.


  • Ensure all police vehicles have NARCAN onboard to immediately treat suspected overdose victims.
            -Since April 29th, 2022, all Barre Police vehicles have been equipped with NARCAN.



Issue:  A perceived lack of police transparency and legitimacy caused by the absence of Body Worn Cameras (BWC)


Explanation of the problem:  

The Barre Police Department currently lacks any BWC’s. Our agency last fielded cruiser mounted cameras in 2009. BWC’s allow officers to automatically record observations and encounters in the field. Additionally, BWC’s enhance citizen perceptions of police transparency and legitimacy. Studies have found that officers equipped with BWC’s not only made more arrests and issued more citations than those not equipped, but that they also generated fewer citizen complaints and fewer use-of-force reports.  




  • Establish a BWC/Fleet Camera Policy.

           -A BWC Policy has been drafted and implemented


  • Research and apply for alternate funding sources (grants) to help with the financial burden of sourcing BWC/Fleet hardware.

           -A state grant which would cover the cost of BWC hardware was applied for on September 1st, 2022.

           -In November 2022 we were awarded a grant in the amount of $30,352.80 for BWC's.


  • Train personnel to utilize, maintain, and manage data collected from cameras.


  • Deploy cameras on patrol, investigations, search warrants, etc.


  • Include the annual recurring costs (licenses, data storage, warranties) associated with a BWC program into the department’s operating budget.

          -The recurring annual cost of $6948.00 has been added to our proposed FY2024 operating budget.


Issue:  High Stress/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Law Enforcement Professionals


Explanation of the problem:  

Law enforcement duties often expose employees to both routine acute stress and highly stressful situations that cannot be resolved through regular coping mechanisms. Unless adequately addressed, these situations may cause disabling emotional, psychological, and physical problems. Preparing for and providing support for daily stress and stress following a traumatic incident will assist in minimizing the chances that employees will experience negative physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions.




  • Establish a working relationship with valuable local resources where officers can learn to focus on mindfulness, meditation, and other techniques to reduce occupational stress.
            -We have a mindfulness workshop scheduled with the Insight Meditation Center for December 2022.

            -The mindfulness workshop at Insight was a success and provided officers with some tools for meditation and self reflection.


  • Ensure officers are provided support and offered resources to be adequately and appropriately debriefed after a significantly stressful event.


  • Create a gym/workout area at the public safety building to allow staff a space for physical activity and meditation.


           (2) Grants were applied for and awarded (total sum: $10,000.00) for the purchase of gym equipment. The first delivery of said equipment was on September 9th, 2022.


  • Look into officers being reimbursed for the cost of approved mindfulness, relaxation, and meditation apps.



 The strength of the Barre Police Department is found in the quality of its officers and the support we receive from the community.  Were either of these areas lacking, any corrective plan would be far more difficult to implement.  While there are a number of problems addressed herein, none of the solutions are beyond our reach.  The plan will be reviewed on an annual basis, and reported publicly, to ensure proper progress towards implementation.  Given the history of the cooperation that the Barre Police Department has received and the level of enthusiasm both internally and externally, we are confident that we will be able to achieve all of these improvements within the next five years. 





Chief James M. Sabourin #501