The Martha’s Vineyard Police Chiefs Association hopes to offer on-Island training for part-time police officers beginning this winter, Aquinnah police chief Randhi Belain said this week.
Mr. Belain said a training program on the Island would benefit all the police departments who hire summer officers and also part-time officers throughout the year. A new state mandate has increased the required training hours for part-time officers from 120 to 240 hours. Ordinarily summer officers are trained between May and June at an off-Island class, but Mr. Belain said the new requirements make that far more difficult. “We have to rely on people who have already taken the class [to be summer and other part-time officers],” the chief said.
Mr. Belain noted that many Island police officers got their start as summer traffic officers, later training at the police academy. An on-Island training program would help keep policing jobs on the Island, he added. He said he plans to contact the guidance department at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to notify any interested students who are eligible for the training. Participants must be 18 years or older.
Details for the training program are still being worked out, but the association hopes it can begin in February. Vineyard police officers and certified instructors from off-Island will conduct the training, Mr. Belain said.
Anyone interested in the training program is asked to contact the chief of police in their town.