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News Briefs: Lake Mansfield trail work; Mass Pike bridge deck repair; GBPD joins use-of-force database

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By Monday, Apr 15, 2019 News

Lake Mansfield trails to be improved

Great Barrington — The trails in the Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest will be improved this spring through a collaboration between the town of Great Barrington and the Great Barrington Land Conservancy.

A crushed stone surface will be added to the trail between Christian Hill Road and the Bridge Boardwalk, and the Loop Trail will be completed with the addition of an accessible trail bed, providing a level, root-free and gently-graded walking trail to allow all users to enjoy the tranquility of this town forest.

Peter Jensen of Peter S. Jensen & Associates of Washington, Vermont, will be on site from Tuesday, April 16, through Friday, April 19, to complete the work. Community volunteers and a crew from Greenagers will assist with the trail work. The trails will be closed to the public on those days.

Jensen has completed trails across the country and around the world. He is well-known locally for creating the trail at Housatonic River Walk in downtown Great Barrington. GBLC commissioned Jensen to design and build the Lake Mansfield trails in 2008.

The new trails will be celebrated at the Lake Mansfield Clean-Up and Family Day on Sunday, May 5.

The Lake Mansfield trail improvements were funded by donors to GBLC’s Lake Mansfield Alliance and the town’s Community Preservation Act program.

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MassDOT schedules bridge deck repair operations on I-90 in West Stockbridge, Blandford, Russell

Boston —The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division District 1 has announced that travel will be possible on Interstate 90 this week; however, there will be crews doing bridge repair operations at specific locations in West Stockbridge, Blandford and Russell beginning Monday, April 15, and continuing through to Friday, April 19.

The locations and schedules for lanes closures for the respective bridge work are:

West Stockbridge

Deck repair work will take place at mile marker 4.5 eastbound and westbound to prepare for bridge painting operations. There will be intermittent lane closures Monday, April 15, through Thursday, April 18, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday, April 19, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Blandford

Deck repair work will take place at mile marker 30.1 westbound. There will be intermittent lane closures Monday, April 15, through Friday, April 19, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Russell

Deck repair work will take place at mile marker 32.9 westbound. There will be intermittent lane closures Monday, April 15, through Friday, April 19, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Drivers who are traveling through the affected areas should expect delays, reduce speed and use caution. All scheduled work is weather dependent and/or may be impacted due to an emergency situation. For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are also encouraged to:

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real–time conditions.
  • Visit mass511.com, a website that provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions;
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitterto receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions; and
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile appand view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

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Great Barrington Police Department joins nationwide use-of-force data initiative

Great Barrington — Chief William Walsh reports that the Great Barrington Police Department has joined a nationwide database to catalog the use of force by law enforcement officers.

Through its participation in the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Data Collection program, the GBPD will contribute to the database in order to help promote more informed conversations regarding police use of force.

The GBPD joins hundreds of police departments nationwide in reaffirming their commitment to better data, which can be used to develop policies and procedures and build a stronger understanding of when, why and how officers use force when detaining suspects.

The FBI collects a variety of critical data, including identifying when a person is seriously injured or dies as a result of police use of force, as well as when a firearm is used, even if nobody is injured. Serious injury is defined as an instance in which a person’s injuries pose substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, protracted and obvious damage to a person’s body or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of a person’s body.

The GBPD has had no incidents that fall within these parameters, but is committed to reporting them should they occur in the future.

“This is a comprehensive data program that we’re eager to be involved with, as it will help us better understand the circumstances our peers in other towns and cities nationwide are facing when force is used,” Chief Walsh said. “Becoming forceful — and especially discharging our weapons — is always our last resort as police officers, and we are hopeful that this project will contribute toward a better understanding of what we can do to deescalate situations and enhance both public and officer safety.”

The FBI’s Use-Of-Force data initiative will collect over two dozen data points that will ultimately help to create a broader understanding of the circumstances surrounding use of force on a national scale.

The National Use-of-Force Data Collection is supported by the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board, the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, Association of State Uniform Crime Reporting Programs, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.


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