Towing policy called into question

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

With all the talk in Bridgton about buying local and keeping business local, why is a Windham-based towing company on Bridgton’s primary rotation list for accident-related towing?

That’s what Lake Region Towing owner Tim Cook would like to know.

Cook wrote an April 2 letter to the Bridgton Board of Selectmen asking them to look at the town’s police rotation policy. He said other police departments require all of the towing companies on their primary lists to be able to respond to an accident scene within 20 minutes or less. He didn’t name the Windham towing company, but asked why any company should be on a towing list if it could not “consistently” provide a 20-minute ETA.

“Keeping our officers tied up for extended periods is unnecessary,” Cook wrote. He added, “For over 35 years, our company has provided prompt, professional and trained service to the town of Bridgton. We also have Ron Smith and Direct Towing located within the town that (can) provide service.”

Cook said in the past it was always the three Bridgton-based companies that were on the Bridgton Police Department’s primary rotation list, and any other company was put on a secondary list, should the local companies be unavailable.

“Has this been changed because of the change in dispatch to Windham?” Cook asked, referring to the switch to using the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center for dispatching.

Police Chief Kevin Schofield came to Tuesday’s meeting poised to answer some of Cook’s concerns, which were listed as an early agenda item. Taft said.

However, Chairman Doug Taft said “I don’t know how much control we have,” and suggested that Schofield meet with Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz and come back to the board with any suggested revisions to the towing policy.

 

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