The Great Barrington Police Department began a uniformed Bicycle Patrol Unit in the summer of 2012. The goal of the program is to localize police coverage and to bring the department closer in touch with the community. The primary areas of patrol are downtown Great Barrington and Housatonic. In addition to answering calls for service, the bicycle officer enforces traffic, pedestrian and parking laws.
The purpose of the bike patrol is to increase police coverage where traditional vehicles cannot access. These areas include the Skate Park and the River Walk.
The Great Barrington Police Department K-9 Unit was established in February of 2010. The current members of the K-9 Unit include Officer Tim Ullrich and K-9 Titan. Patrol consists of the following: Obedience, Tracking, Area Searches, Building Searches, Article Searches, Criminal Apprehension, and Handler Protection. K-9 Titan is also trained to detect and alert his handler to the presence of five different narcotics.
The K-9 Unit supplements the patrol force with its unique capabilities. K-9 Titan has assisted in the detection and seizure of illegal narcotics, the apprehension of criminal suspects, and in locating missing persons. The K-9 Unit also provides assistance to surrounding communities when requested.
Funding for the implementation of the K-9 Unit was obtained completely through donations by businesses and residents of Great Barrington. The Great Barrington Police Department would like to thank all who donated.
The Great Barrington Police K-9 Unit also conducts demonstrations for public and civic groups throughout the community. If you would like to contact the K-9 Unit, please call (413} 528-0306 extension 3.
The Great Barrington Police Department Comfort Dog Unit was established in August, 2020.
We are the first police agency in Berkshire County to deploy such a dog. Officer Kris Balestro is the handler of Comfort Dog, Beko.
The function of the Comfort Dog is to provide interaction during investigations involving children or adults to reduce anxiety and increase communication between the adult or child victim/ witness and investigators, to provide comfort for people during times of crisis and to provide aid and comfort to individuals, groups and communities impacted by violence, tragedy or traumatic events. The Comfort Dog is also a valuable tool in fostering dialog and communications between the police department and the community we serve. The Comfort Dog can effectively be used in the Departments Community Policing efforts and will include visits to local schools, the Town Library, Senior Center, hospital and nursing homes, athletic events and children’s programs. Our Comfort Dog will also provide therapeutic relief to our officers and police department staff. The possibilities to serve our fellow officers and community are endless.
Funding for the Comfort Dog is completely through donations. The Great Barrington Police Department would like to thank all who donated.
Drug Recognition Expert
Officer Chris Peebles was formally recognized as Drug Recognition Expert by the International Chiefs of Police on April 1, 2020.
Officer Peebles completed intensive training in the Drug Evaluation and Certification Program (DECP) to become certified as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). DRE’s are trained to recognize when an individual has been driving under the influence of drugs and determine which category of drugs is causing the impairment.
The DECP was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and approved by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The Massachusetts DECP was initiated in 1995. Upon completion of their initial training, officers are certified as DREs and become far more effective in identifying drug-impaired individuals.
Officer Peebles attended two weeks of classroom training and testing in Franklin, MA followed by a week in Phoenix, Arizona where he completed the certification phase of the training. While there, training consisted of testing incoming inmates from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department
Great Barrington Police Honor Guard serves as the ceremonial agent for the Department at public events, funeral honors for the department’s employee, and on duty related deaths of law enforcement officers throughout the region.
We are most proud of this most prestigious unit.
The following officers constitute the Great Barrington Police Department Honor Guard:
Officer Victor Zucco—- Officer Timothy Ullrich—- Sergeant Adam Carlotto