GREAT BARRINGTON — Since September, there has not been any parking enforcement downtown. But that changed last week.
Great Barrington Police Department has hired Oliver Brown as its new parking enforcement officer. Brown, a native of Dalton, has gotten to know many of the faces in the downtown as he’s resided in Great Barrington for more than one year. He’s also worked at Berkshire Food Coop as a cashier for nearly four years.
“I’ve lived in the Berkshires my whole life and I’m really excited to be a part of something I went to school for,” said Brown, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University in 2018.
The parking situation in Great Barrington is among several of the most discussed in town. Some days motorists can be seen lurched forward in the driver’s seat of the car, making laps through the downtown in search of a parking spot. Others, they’re able to swiftly maneuver into one of several open spots. Signs indicating various time limits at a particular location were established to free up public parking spots, however, keeping up with that enforcement in addition to the other duties of daily patrols proved to be a challenge, said Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh Jr. Roughly 10 years ago, the department established a position for a parking enforcement officer, he said.
The part-time position has been vacant since previous parking enforcement officer, Connor Storti, left the role in September, said Walsh. Storti is one of three police officers from the department attending the state police academy in Reading. Sharon Norris occupied the role prior to Storti.
“Parking enforcement is more than our daily patrol can handle,” said Walsh. “We’re happy to have Oliver come aboard.”
The department currently has a staff of 17 police officers, including Walsh, he said.
In his new role, Brown will be hitting the streets three days a week, including weekends for roughly 15 hours each week. As of Tuesday afternoon, since starting last week, Brown had issued five parking citations.
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