Shelburne Police Department gets makeover
The Shelburne Police Department has been taking steps to build a better relationship with the people they serve and boost morale within the department.
For decades, the department in the basement of the Shelburne Town Offices has felt dark and dingy.
Sgt. Josh Flore said 12 officers shared two computers and two telephones in a small room. Although the officers were not all on duty at once, it became difficult when they were working on the same case.
"You're fighting to try to find a place to work," Sgt. Flore said.
Officers are now pitching together to overhaul their work space.
"It brings moral up. You feel like you're not working in a dungeon," Sgt. Flore said.
The department said in order to serve the outside community better, it needs to take care of its smaller, internal community. Officers have turned their former work-out space into the new patrol room, where everyone gets their own work station.
The department also expanded the locker room, adding new lighting and flooring. Officers hauled in bigger, 400 pound lockers themselves, which can now store all of their gear.
In the dispatch center, they have new consoles. The touch screens make their jobs much easier.
"They have the ability to adjust the lighting down to what works for them," Sgt. Flore said.
Even the little things, like a new lighting system, matter when you work long, stressful hours. Things like new badges, new wall decals, paint to cover up chips, and a new cruiser bring the department a renewed pride.
"It's just not a bunch of cops sitting in a building. We're actually out doing things," Officer Cole Charbonneau said.
As they builds up their internal community, police are also expanding their digital outreach. Officer Charbonneau said creating an Instagram account has helped them show the human side of their work.
"You're going to see us out on the road, or you're going to see us on your phone or your computer," Officer Cole Charbonneau said.
Because at this department, success is not based on number of arrests made or cases solved. It's about taking care of officers and the relationships being built with everyday people.
"I'm a dad. There's other dads that work here. You know, that we're not just a uniform. we're not just a stuffed shirt," Sgt. Flore said.