Southbridge, Mass. Police Station to Build Fence Around Station

One Massachusetts police chief is taking a stand for his officers, who at times feel like sitting ducks in a wide open lot behind the station.

"It's my job to keep our people safe and it's my job to keep our equipment safe," said Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson. "Over the last year or so with things that have happened in law enforcement and against law enforcement ... with the changing times and everything that's happened, it's absolutely necessary."

Woodson just got unanimous approval from the town council to use $60,000, originally budgeted to repave the lot, to tighten up security around his department instead -- putting up a 6-8-foot security fence to protect his officers and their vehicles from vandalism.

"In June of 2015, we had a gentleman who was mentally unstable, came into use our lobby with a gas can, made some threats, ran around the front of the building to the back lot, doused one of our police vehicles with gas and lit it on fire," said Chief Woodson.

Most residents we spoke with think the fence is a good idea to protect the officers that protect them every day.

"You have today, where a police officer can get shot just doing a routine traffic stop, so there's nothing wrong with having precautions," said Southbridge resident Craig Derrell.

"I just don't blame them because they can't have their eyes over here and their eyes over there and their eyes over here all at the same time," said business owner Karen Lloyd.

But some were concerned what kind of statement that sends to the community.

"They're not able to protect themselves, then who's really protecting us?" asked Southbridge resident Michael Chernisky.

"I don't think it's going overboard for us because we have a history of serious vandalism," Woodson explained.

Woodson says the invitation for bids has already gone out and they hope to have the fence up before the winter.

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