Police Officers Stacey Cronin and James McCall
For James McCall and Stacy Cronin, being police officers and partners on the Fitchburg Police Force is way more than a job.

"I went to school with many of the people here," said McCall. "My kids go to school around here. The same person who needs help today, I'll see at the grocery store tomorrow. This is our community."

Recovery Act Impact: Fitchburg Police Department

  • Total: $1.1 million

  • COPS Hiring Recovery Program: $802K

  • Justice Assistance Grant: $120K

  • Department of Justice Grant: $182K

  • Hired/retained 7 officers

  • Hired crime analyst

  • Acquired new equipment

McCall grew up in Fitchburg; Cronin grew up in nearby Pepperill but went to Fitchburg State University and, except for a brief stint in Washington DC, she has been in this city since.

"I came back and never left," said Cronin.

Two years ago, in 2009, as the economy was headed towards a recession, the Fitchburg Police Department was facing budget cuts. It looked like more officers in this Department that was already down nearly 20 officers from its high of 72 in 2007 would have to go.

Fitchburg Police Officers
McCall was laid off, Cronin knew she was next. For McCall it was particularly tough. His wife and four children depend on him. He considered returning to his previous job as a prison guard but was not happy about it. McCall noted that the Fitchburg Police Department is extremely close knit. "I went to school with these guys, I play sports with them." Also, as McCall said, "I love being a police officer. I wanted to be a police officer since I was three years old."

Thankfully, the Fitchburg Police Department received three stimulus awards totaling $1.1 million. McCall was rehired and Cronin and 5 other officers were retained. "We got to keep our careers," said Cronin. "I always wanted to work in law enforcement. Now we are out there doing our jobs."

"For me, that meant everything," agreed McCall. "Now I can provide for my family."