TOWNSEND -- Those who have made personal sacrifices in the interest of public safety and a safer community are now commemorated at the Townsend police station, thanks to the efforts of a Boy Scout.
Andrew Shepherd is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout, Scouting's highest rank. A year ago, Shepherd began planning and fundraising, ultimately collecting more than $17,000 as well as in-kind goods for the project. A statue surmounts a granite pedestal encircled by a cobblestone walkway. A nearby granite bench invites visitors.
"I wanted a challenge," Shepherd said during the unveiling Saturday.
At an dedication on Saturday, Police Chief Erving Marshall said the station has lacked a memorial since it was completed in 1990. Marshall detailed the town's efforts: Sixty individuals and entities donated. Twenty-eight volunteers spent a total of 283 hours at work.
Crews of Scouts were out working many weekends preparing the site for the base, said Todd Arsenault, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 81.
Eagle Scout projects require the candidate to lead and manage the other Scouts who help finish work.
By the time the project was nearly completed, Shepherd was fighting the clock. Eagle Scout projects must be finished before the candidate turns 18. His birthday was in April.
The planning, fundraising, and site work, including a cobblestone walkway and granite preparation, moved right along. Fundraising included a ham-and-bean supper at the Townsend Congregational Church in addition to contacting businesses and individuals. The rose granite was local, gathered from the Rusk Quarry in West Townsend.
A problem arose late. There was a chance the statue would not arrive in time.
"(Andrew) ordered the piece and waited and waited," said John Puglia, an adult active with the troop.
It arrived in the nick of time and was placed on the pedestal, hidden from view until the unveiling during National Police Week.
Glitches are to be expected. Part of working on an Eagle Scout project is the Scout's own evaluation of the work. "What changed in your project? Why, and how did you deal with it?" said Gail Albro, advancement chairman for the troop.
Marshall, a former Boy Scout, presented Shepherd with a gift from himself and the department. Inside a shadow box, the chief's own Boy Scout scarves and a Townsend Police patch surrounded a plaque thanking Shepherd for his generous donation and hard work.
The base of the statue includes a Townsend Police patch above the engraved dedication: "In recognition of those who have made personal sacrifices in the interest of public safety and a safer community."