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Orange signs on for police mutual aid

ORANGE — Selectmen signed on to an agreement for mutual aid among Franklin County police departments at their Wednesday meeting.

Outgoing Chief Robert Haigh Jr. recommended selectmen sign the agreement as it provides more assurance that arrests made by uniformed Orange officers outside town boundaries will hold up in court.

Under the new agreement, officers can make arrests in other participating Franklin County towns for “probable cause.”

If a uniformed officer is driving outside of town on police business and sees a speeding car, they may stop and make the arrest, but Haigh said chances are high the case will be thrown out when it gets to court.

According to Haigh, the agreement allows but doesn’t obligate on-duty Orange officers to make arrests when they travel outside of Orange.

Haigh added that Orange police and town officials can make their own policies directing their officers specifically on how to act outside town boundaries, but the agreement gives them the leeway to allow officers to take action when there is a threat to public safety.

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