September 27, 2010 Minutes

Pittsfield Drug and Alcohol Meeting Minutes
6:30 pm at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop
September 27th, 2010

In attendance: Zach Powers, Officer John Webber, Sarah Sadowski, Chief Wharem, Dan Ward

Meeting called to order at 6:30 pm.

I. Rx Take Back Day
a. The Chief reported that National Take Back Day on September 25th was extremely successful, netting 8,435 expired or unused prescription pills. The Chief also reported receiving patches and liquid medication as well. The box is now open for public access.
b. Sarah will submit an application to advertize the box on the Chamber Sign and write a press release.

II. Select Board Awards Funds
a. Sarah reported on her presentation to the Select Board and their subsequent decision to award the remaining $1,427 from the Charitable Grant, as well as $2880 from the Warrant Article, to fund Coalition efforts.

III. Response from the Coffee Hour
a. The Chief reported on community feedback from coffee hour:
b. There is the possibility of closing all parks at the same time (9pm) to save money, especially with electricity. Community approved events will be exempt. The Police will then be able to have individuals who are there after close to leave, thereby preventing some of the congregating that some residents find objectionable. Next step is to put the ordinance as a Warrant Article.
c. The PD is also currently working on a video camera project at the tennis court and aimed at the bleachers. This will feed into a computer monitor at the school. According to the Chief, the cameras have incredibly high resolution; officers investigating any offenses will be able to zoom in without getting a pixilated image.
d. For the next coffee hour, getting more youth to participate is a priority.

IV. Consulting
a. Sarah reported that PDAC still has several hours left on the consulting contract with Jamie Batson. She shared some of Jamie’s suggestions and had booked a tentative conference call for 7 pm. The group decided to table the conference call, preferring to meet in person.
b. Dan will contact CADCA to follow up on our key question “How best to engage groups and maintain member interest?”
c. The group brainstormed some of the activities that we may present to Jamie for feedback:
i. Dan suggested a write in question box located near the school entrance where people could ask questions anonymously. PDAC could collect and respond via a forum or by presenting, e.g. at a Social Studies class. Sarah added that Manchester had a short lived column in the paper with resident questions answered by the Chief of Police. The Chief mentioned doing an article in the Sun to recap the coffee hour and all the activities the police have been involved with.
ii. Landlord involvement: the group had a lengthy discussion about how best to collaborate with local landlords. According to the Chief, 5-6 of the properties generate 80% of the work for the PD. This issue played a role in resident feedback at the forum.
1. Confirm Certificates of Occupancy?
2. In an ideal world: public bonds to buy certain buildings: Marshal Court example.
3. Taxes- residential income, not a business tax
4. A state-wide searchable database available to landlords to check tenant backgrounds, could be housed at the PD or at the Welfare Office (possibly around $1,500 a year)
5. Letters used to be generated to landlords after police calls to their property, Meghan Dale used to send out the letters but her hours have been scaled back from 16 to 8.

The next PDAC meeting will be Monday, October 11th at 7:00 pm at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop.

Respectfully submitted,
Sarah Sadowski