Edgartown selectmen buy a fire truck, renew police chief contract

Edgartown-Police-Badge
File photo by Ralph Stewart

Edgartown selectmen expressed confidence in town police Chief Tony Bettencourt and renewed his contract for another three years at their regular meeting Monday. On August 8, 2010, selectmen appointed Mr. Bettencourt to head the department where he began his career as a patrolman in the town where he was born.

“You can’t get away from us for another three years,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck said. Town administrator Pam Dolby told The Times there are no changes in the terms of the contract.

Chief Bettencourt took the Monday night opportunity to tell selectmen about some funding the police department will received from the Dukes County Health Council’s Youth Task Force (YTF) coalition. “They had some left over money, and they’re giving it to police to work on underage drinking,” he said.

Since 2004, the YTF has received more than $1.4 million in state, federal, and private grant funding to implement evidence-based practices to address the high rates of underage drinking and drug abuse in the high school population.

The police department will also use a federal port security grant to train police officers on the water this winter. “We’ve been working hard on this grant,” the chief said., “We’ve worked on it for three years, and we’ll finally get some funding this year.”

In January, the Edgartown police and fire departments used a gift of $116,764 from private donors to equip a new 25-foot aluminum hull rescue and response boat. The boat is capable of speeds of 50 knots or better, allowing a quick response to emergencies on the water.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to continue to build on the program,” Chief Bettencourt said. “I think $18,000 will go a long way this winter.”

In other news, Edgartown selectmen accepted two bids, one of $236,983 from Pennsylvania-based KME Kovatch for a new 2,000-gallon pumper truck for the town fire department, to be used on Chappaquiddick, the other a bid from Paul J. Roland Company Inc. for $540,000, to repair the exterior of the town hall.