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Andover Firefighters And Police In Dispute Over ‘Boot’ Donations

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A firefighter collects a donation in Andover.

A firefighter collects a donation in Andover.

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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.

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