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Walpole police seem to be doing fine without administrator…

January 13, 2012

In this week’s Walpole Times, there was a story about Walpole Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael leaving town for a few months to participate in training in Virginia. Good for him.

At the end of the article, the reporter noted “In Carmichael’s absence, Detective Sgt. James O’Connell will oversee the detective unit. The rest of Carmichael’s regular duties will be spread throughout the department.”

I say this will all due respect to Deputy Carmichael, who has good relations with the local press corps.

But I would respectfully suggest that if Deputy Carmichael’s duties are being “spread throughout” the department for three months, why not make this arrangement long-term, for more than three months, and save money by eliminating the Deputy position? Three months is a long time as it is, begging the question of whether Carmichael could be absent for 12 months and yet his duties could still be done by others.

This question must be asked.

The hard question must be asked of every town job: “Is this position absolutely necessary and will the town fall apart if it is removed from the budget?”

We can all disagree about the answer, but we should all agree that this question must be asked.

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