Police to patrol former Belchertown State School

Buildings have been targeted by vandals, arsonists

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – Vandalism and even arson fires have become a problem at the former Belchertown State School, and now, the town’s police department is taking action to prevent these incidents. Police Chief Christopher Pronovost announced that they will be conducting “targeted patrols” of the property, and will be charging anyone found there with criminal trespassing.

They will also be setting up surveillance cameras. Pronovost says that this is being done in order to deter possible trespassers, or identify any suspects that they see.

Further, the chief says that any vehicles parked in the posted “No Parking” areas around the property will be towed at the owner’s expense.

“We are hopeful that by educating the public and providing this warning, people will think twice before entering onto any of the grounds and risk being injured or subject to arrest,” Pronovost said in a news release sent to 22News.

The Belchertown State School was established in 1922 to treat individuals with mental challenges. After lawsuits and complaints about the treatment of patients there, it closed in 1992.

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