NORTH ADAMS -- The police presence in the city has been stepped up following a bout of violence last month, and officials are saying the move has led to arrests and continues to send a message.
"We're putting the hammer down, so to speak," Mayor Richard Alcombright said Friday.
Residents traveling the streets at night or who own a scanner probably already know: The cavalry has been called in. Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office and State Police make up the extra force on the streets in recent weeks.
North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio and the mayor confirmed Friday that the move came at their direct request.
"We've certainly increased the presence and visibility of law enforcement in the city," Cozzaglio said. "It's something we'll maintain until we feel comfortable that the recent activities have been subdued."
Alcombright said he and Cozzaglio sat down after a concentration of violence in mid-June. Two residents ended up in local hospitals with knife wounds -- one after a 25-person brawl outside the Artery Lounge on Union Street on June 15 -- and another resident suffered a severe beating and had to be transferred to Albany Medical Center after another altercation.
The officers' new tactics involve more than just visibility. Cozzaglio said authorities have executed warrant sweeps, resulting in an increase in arrests over the past two weeks.
Other arrests occurred during drug transactions.
Additionally, Alcombright said they've targeted "problem neighborhoods" and some other neighborhoods where "one home may be bringing the whole neighborhood down."
"We want the good people to know that action is being taken and the bad people to pack their bags," Alcombright said.
Some residents, Alcombright said, have come to him personally with their gratitude, but the mayor thanked the police on the ground doing their jobs.
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