Department History

According to town reports, in 1867, the earliest term for law enforcement was known as, Constable. Along with the Constable was also a tile of Keeper ofPolice Lock-up. These positions appear to have been made by the election of the residents in Town. In 1903 the term Special Police came into effect in addition to a term of Game Warden which appeared in 1923.

The Town Report for 1928 lists three constables who were, Ralph Parkhurst, Elmer Russel, and Leon Waltz. The Constables had an annual appropriation of approximately $425.93. dollars. During that year, $436.40 was actually spent. In 1944, the annual appropriation increased to $800 and then increased again in 1946 to $1000.

According to Article 11 from the Town meeting on March 8, 1947, the first Police Chief position was enacted when Frank S. Braman was appointed. On December 31, 1947, Chief Frank S Braman submitted a report of the activity of the Police department from March 11, 1947, to December 31, 1947. This was the first known activity report which listed 31 arrests, 7 break and entering crimes, 5 larcenies, 247 motor vehicle violations, and 31 motor vehicle accidents.

In 1949 the Town report listed Ralph W. Parkhurst as the Chief of Police with an annual appropriation of $4,300. It wasn't until 1950 that the Police Department purchased their first cruiser. until this time Chiefs used their own vehicle.

After the leave of Chief Parkhurst, Chief Eino Moisio was appointed who served many years and then retired in the early 1970's. Upon his retirement, Chief James Platt was appointed.

In 1974 Ronald P. Laplante was appointed as Police Chief. Chief Laplante headed the department for over 24 years until his retirement in 1998. As of this time, Chief Laplante is the longest-tenured Police Chief for the town of Ashburnham.

John E Murray Jr. was then appointed as Chief who then retired in December 2002. Chief Roy Bourque was appointed Chief from June 2003 until February 2005.

In July 2005, Chief Loring Barrett was appointed as Chief of the Ashburnham Police Department.

At this time, the Ashburnham Police Department is now staffed by a Chief, 1 Lieutenant, 3 Sergeants, 2 Detectives, 7 Patrolman, 2 Reserve Patrolman, 1 Full Time Head Dispatcher, 3 Full-time Dispatchers and 2 Reserve Dispatchers.

The Police Department was located in the Town Hall from the 1950s until the early 1980s. The Police Department then moved into the vacant Veterans Memorial School building. The Police Department stayed there until October 7, 2008, when it moved into a newly constructed 7.5 million dollar, Public Safety Complex that now houses the Police-Dispatch-Fire Departments which is located at 99 Central Street.

The cruiser fleet now consists of five fully marked units and three unmarked units.

Submitted by Retired Sgt. Robert Brennan (edited to current status)