, Newburyport, MA

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July 19, 2013

Braving the heat

Police officers find relief in kindness of passing motorists


“We’re comfortable,” Pollard said.

Across the river in Newburyport, officer Christopher McDonald was watching a work crew map out a section of Jefferson Street where National Grid will be installing a new gas main.

Unlike his Salisbury brethren, McDonald is wearing his normal polyester uniform with official police hat. Underneath his dark blue shirt was a white T-shirt that he said he wears because polyester can become uncomfortable as a day goes by. Thankfully, McDonald is able to retreat to the relative coolness of the many shade trees that line the quiet residential street tucked in between Merrimac and High streets.

McDonald said the kindness practiced over in Salisbury is also evident in Newburyport where motorists and some homeworkers will hand him ice water.

Asked if he’d prefer working in extreme heat or well-below freezing cold, McDonald said: “I’d take a day like this. The cold is painful. The heat you can deal with it: water, shade.”

McDonald said he knew it would be a scorcher when he signed up to work yesterday’s detail but added with three young children into ice hockey, the extra money comes in handy.

“It does hurt when they’re on their way to the beach and I’m here,” McDonald confessed.

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