The Town of Williamstown lies in the Northwest corner of Massachusetts and has a population of 7,806, which includes approximately 2,000 Williams College Students. The town encompasses an area of 46.86 square miles with Route 2, 7 and 43 being the major travel routes through town. Williamstown is bordered by the following towns in Massachusetts: Adams, Clarksburg, Hancock, New Ashford, and North Adams, as well as Berlin and Petersburg, New York and Pownal, Vermont.
The enforcement of Williamstown laws started in 1804 with 2 constables hired to maintain law and order. The growing need for people to maintain the order meant more were hired, and by 1894 the town employed 10 constables. The first full time police officer for the town was Thomas Dunfrey, appointed in 1920. Williamstown named its first Chief of Police in 1928, George A Royal, who oversaw the 10 constables appointed by the selectboard. The first motorized vehicle (a motorcycle) was purchased for the department in 1924, with the first police car purchased in 1931. The first radio communication arrived in 1950. The first holding location for violators of law was built in 1861 on Water St and featured 2 cells. Later this was rebuilt in a different location and added an additional holding cell. The first police station was located near the top Water Street behind a general store and was a single room. The station moved temporarily to the Masonic Lodge on Waterman Place before moving to the back side of the (current) town hall when it was purchased by the town from a fraternity at Williams College.
The current staff of Williamstown Police features a Chief, 11 full-time officers, 4 full time dispatchers, several part-time dispatchers, and an accreditation manager. Williamstown ocassionally has 1-2 interns working with our officers and dispatchers as well. All staff (except interns) are fully trained to take 911 calls and dispatch for police, fire and ems services, and they participate in ongoing trainings in their fields several times each year.
Williamstown Police has had 7 official chiefs in its history, starting with George A Royal. Following George were John D Courtney, Joseph Zoito, John Michael Kennedy, Arthur Parker, Kyle Johnson, and current Chief Michael Ziemba.
In July 2019, we relocated from the back portion of Town Hall to our new state of the art station at 825 Simonds Rd. Our new location features covered parking for patrol vehicles, multiple interview rooms and offices, a self sufficient dispatch center, a training room that can accommodate an incident command center for emergencies, kitchen facilities, small workout area, holding cells, as well as evidence and report storage.