THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Pierced

Keeping the peace

Sleep New Salem is a model for us all.

By Charles P. Pierce
January 17, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

Dear Joe Camden: Congratulations. As police chief of New Salem, and according to this very newspaper, you are in charge of protecting what FBI data say is the most crime-free community in the Commonwealth. Nice work. I mean, one property crime and no violent crimes in two years? Never mind the other cities and towns in the state -- that’s below the standard set by several committees of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Heck, it’s below the standard set once upon a time by the Boston office of the FBI. I would caution you, however. Once, when I was living in a dormitory in college, the residence staff put up a notice that our floor had had no property damage during the previous semester. The notice wasn’t posted for 20 seconds before someone rode up on the elevator and put a coffee cup through a plate-glass window in the TV lounge. People get jealous is all I’m saying. It can’t be luck for you guys, either, since New Salem used up all its luck being a town on the shores of the Quabbin Reservoir rather than being one of the several towns that wound up at the bottom of it when the reservoir was created. No, I think the secret is in what one of your residents said -- that she’s frightened more of bears than of thieves. I have to think that thieves probably feel much the same way. Community policing is fine, but large civic-minded natural predators can be real crime stoppers.

Charles P. Pierce / cpierce@globe.com

Best Globe photos of 2009

Best Globe photos of 2009

There is beauty all around, as these memorable images by Boston Globe staff photographers can attest. Here, they share the stories behind their photos.
  • January 17, 2010 cover
  • january 17 globe magazine cover
Read more from this issue.