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A 'frequent fliers' fine?

Proposal aired for recouping some police costs

August 17, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Should owners of houses repeatedly visited by the police pay for the service?

That's an idea proposed last month by Sgt. Gerald Arvelo in a letter to Police Chief Daniel Charette obtained by the News. Arvelo argued more than three calls for service to the same address per year should be subject to "a $100 service fee for each additional response."

"It has been my observation that the vast majority of disturbance calls seem to be originating from the same handful of buildings and residences in our town," Arvelo wrote, in his letter dated July 3. After listing five specific addresses as examples, he claims "several neighbors" have expressed fear for themselves and their children and that the "disturbances are a result of constant partying, drug activity and firearms."

Town Councilors Steven Lazo and Al Vecchia said they had never heard of the proposal as of Monday evening and could not recall ever seeing such a letter. Vecchia's subcommittee, Protection of Persons and Property, reviews almost everything having to do with the police department.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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