Tent Request

Tent Request Requirements


Please read the following requirements, then complete the requested information below.

When not being used for official functions, the Sheriff does make available to any Cape Cod non-profit organization or governmental agency the Community Service tents. Currently, the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office has three 20’ x 40’ white vinyl tents and two 40’ x 40’ white vinyl tents. All applicants must be able to verify that they are a non-profit or a governmental agency. The tents can not be borrowed for private use such as weddings and private receptions. If you have the resources to afford a tent rental, please do not ask to borrow our tents.

Procedures for applying to use the tents :

Go to tent request form at the bottom of this page or, you may call Major Dave Neal at 508-563-4305 and a “Tent Request Form” can be mailed or faxed to you.

  • Fill out the information and return to Maj. Neal by E-mail or by fax at 508-563-4574 or by mailing to ADS Dave Neal – Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office – 6000 Sheriff’s Place – Bourne, MA. 02532.
  • Once you have sent the Request back, be sure to confirm with Maj. Neal that he has received the Request by calling him at 508-563-4305.
  • Community Relations will determine if the tent is available for the dates you want to reserve and will contact the applicant.
  • Once your application is approved, we urge you to contact the Building Department of your town hall to determine if you will need a tent permit.
  • The applicant should contact Maj. Neal one week prior to the date of your event to go over the logistics for set up and take down.


  • We urge you to call Community Relations as far in advance of your event as possible to check on availability.
  • Tent set up and take down can occur on any day of the week – as early as 7:30 in the morning.
  • No tent set up or take down can commence after 3:00 p.m without prior appproval.

Cancellation due to Weather :

  • Tents will not be set up if we determine that bad weather could cause damage.
  • If bad weather sets in after tent setup we will retrieve them as soon as possible.


Tent Set Up and Take Down :

  • It takes approximately 1 and ½ hours to set up a tent (once we are on site) depending on the weather and how many inmates are in the Community Service Crew – slightly less time for the take down.
  • The tent set-up date is determined by the Community Service schedule, the availability of the inmate crews, the weather and security considerations.
  • We will endeavor to set up the tent(s) on a mutually agreed upon date and time. We usually try to set up your tent the day before your event. Sometimes the set up date and time is moved several times.
  • Someone from your organization must be present during the set up and take down of the tent(s).
  • If the set up or take down of the tent(s) occurs in the early morning we ask that you provide coffee and donuts for the Community Service crew.
  • If the set up or take down of the tent(s) occurs during lunch time or dinner time (approx. 5:00pm), you must provide meals for the inmates and the supervising officer. The crew eats at 11:30 a.m. The crews are motivated by the food they receive “on the outside.”
  • A bathroom must be available for the inmates in close proximity to the work site.
  • During set up and take down children should not be present.
  • The area for set up of the tent(s) must be clear and level.
  • Tents will not be set up near overhanging utility wires or low hanging branches.


Tent Location

  • Before you submit your tent application, make sure the requested tent (20’ x 40’ or the 40’ x 40’) is going to fit your location. Keep in mind that the tent straps and/or stakes extend out an additional five feet in each direction.
  • It is the responsibility of the requesting organization to make sure that the tent will be set up in an area easily accessible by truck and trailer.
  • Please be aware that the tents are held down by large spikes - 30 inches for the smaller tents and 42 inches for the large tents. They must be driven in whether the tent is set up on grass or on pavement or any other surface.

Care of the Tents

  • While using our tents we ask that you monitor them.
  • Check to make sure the stakes are not pulling out of the ground (in windy or wet weather).
  • Make sure the straps are tight.
  • If you notice any of these problems with the tent you must notify Community Service immediately at 508-563-4305 or 508-326-7964.
  • If you hang or tape anything on the tent poles, be sure to remove before take-down.
  • Do not put tape on the vinyl tent cover.

Dig Safe :

  • At least 10 days prior to your event you must call “Dig Safe” at 8-1-1 to check for underground utilities. It's the law! Any underground utilities must be marked before we can set up the tent.
  • You are also responsible for checking for underground sprinkler systems.

Tent Permit

  • The tent permit is YOUR responsibility. The BCSO will not be involved in the permit application process. PLEASE DO NOT ASK US TO DO SO.
  • Town permit applications may require information about Workmen’s Compensation for the crew setting up the tent; the answer is “The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office is self-insured.”
  • If your permit application requests a “Certificate of Flame Resistance.” call Community Service at 508-563-4305 and we will provide one to you.

Back Up Plan

  • The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office is not in the Tent Business. We voluntarily provide this service to help the Cape’s non-profit organizations and to help the taxpayers of Barnstable County. Once in a great while, for lack of qualified inmates or for security or other reasons, we may be unable to keep our commitment to provide the requested tent. For this reason we suggest that you have a back up plan for your event.


  • After take down of the tent a thank you note to the Sheriff would be greatly appreciated. Please send to Sheriff James M. Cummings – Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office – 6000 Sheriff’s Place – Bourne, MA. 02532

Sheriff’s Office Sign

  • After set up of the tent the crew will attach a community service sign to the frame. Do not remove this sign!

Media/Press Release

  • Once in a while, the Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer (PIO) may be on site to take authorized pictures of the crews in action. The PIO may also interview the inmates during this time.

To access the Tent Request Form (click here)