Facebook: Friends of Egremont History

The town of Egremont, Massachusetts is recalling how the Civil War impacted the small Berkshire County town 150 years after it ended.

In recent months there have been a number of changes in police leadership within the small towns that dot western Massachusetts.

Whenever there is leadership change in an organization, there are going to be growing pains. However, those pains may be longer and more damaging when it pertains to small town police chiefs who are replaced because of alleged wrongdoing. Brian Buchner is the president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, or NACOLE.

Lee Police Department

The police chief in Lee, Massachusetts finds himself on the wrong side of the law. A federal grand jury has indicted Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis for extortion and money laundering involving owners of a local inn. In February 2012, Buffis allegedly forced the couple who owns the Laurel Inn to make donations to a toy fund in an agreement that the chief would drop prostitution-related charges against them.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

A detailed report documenting a top-to-bottom investigation of a police department in the Berkshires has been made public, and the town is now in the beginning stages of taking the report’s recommendations.

A full investigation of the Egremont Police Department was ordered by the town’s select board in early March, after seven of the small town’s unionized police officers came forward in February describing among many issues a “hostile work environment” with Police Chief Reena Bucknell.