Andover Firefighters And Police In Dispute Over ‘Boot’ Donations

ANDOVER (CBS) – Firefighters and police often work side-by-side, but in Andover, they’re on different sides of an emotional issue.

It’s all about a fire department charity fundraiser.

Andover firefighters are out passing the boot on Main Street, seeking donations from drivers to fight muscular dystrophy.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

It’s an annual tradition in the community, but this year, it almost didn’t happen. Andover police say it interferes with traffic and is unsafe, so they tried to convince town selectmen to deny permission.

Police said last year firefighters did not follow requirements to remain on the sidewalk. The firemen said this year they would stay on traffic islands surrounded by safety cones. The selectmen approved it unanimously after a personal appeal from Dena Miller, the mother of eight-year-old Joseph, who suffers from muscular dystrophy.

Firefighters have been passing the boot in downtown Andover for the past five years, and hope to raise $10,000 dollars this year.

So the boot drive goes on despite objections from police. Firefighters hope this year’s extra safety measures will make for smooth sailing for next year’s campaign.

  • eddwal50

    porr poo poo couln’t get assigned to control traffic while firefighters solicited donations

  • jaygee

    Difficult to understand why the gendarmes would be worried about firemen walking thru traffic stopped for red lights when panhandlers do it every day of the week. Once the light changes, they’re on their own anyway.

  • blackbear1

    You people know nothing about the interactions between Police and Fire Depts. Trust me, it is fractious at best. It is also true that firefighters do not and will not follow orders, directions nor be held to any accountable sdtandard. In todays’ times they fight fewer and fewer fires, so therefore have find or create ways to justify themselves. Try to get elected to a town/city board and negotiate a contract with them! I work in Public Safety and see this firsthand. They are costing my town a fortune and people think they are wonderfull because they get cats out of trees. Forget the stereo types about what you don’t really know about cops. Firefighters are those that could not make it as cops.

  • Andover resident

    Sounds like you could not get on a fire department and are jealous. Andover Fire responded to around 8,000 calls last year. The Andover Police and Fire Departments get along great and they are all great people..

  • Andover resident

    Cats in trees? isn’t that a stereotype?

  • tired

    as someone who gets caught in the traffic caused by such collections, I am on the side of the cops! I’ve been stuck in traffic 3 miles back from a light because of these collections. If the drivers would have the sense to move when the light goes green I wouldn’t have a problem. If the firefighters would have the sense to say next time when the light goes green I wouldn’t have a problem. It is dangerous for all involved. the selectmen made a major mistake.

    on that note I only give to organizations that don’t beg. If I donate to the mda I do it on my terms and not through anyone.

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