“Effective Policing and Effective Training” were 2 of our goals for 2019. Our number one task every day is to provide safety and security to the citizens of our community. This includes our residents as well as the many tourists that visit Wakefield and Brookfield. We also recognized that with the changing patterns of crime, mental health issues, and drug use, we needed to adapt our training methods to keep our officers safe and to be thorough with our arrests.
We welcomed utilization of the WatchGuard Body Cameras for our officers. These cameras have proven to be helpful for the protection of our officers as well as in the prosecution of cases. In addition, these cameras enable us to provide transparency to our community members. Our Facebook page continues to be a useful form of contact for residents to reach out to us with questions and concerns. We have been able to utilize our page as an aid in locating owners of lost dogs and cats. It has also been a great way to share currents events and news regarding the police department. K-9 Handler Officer Matthew Martino completed an intense 8-week course at the Boston Police Canine Academy with K-9 Echo. This training provided a strong foundation for tracking as well as narcotic detection. Echo is now certified in tracking through the International Police Work Dog Association as well as narcotics detection by the United States Police Canine Association. Officer Brandon Jendrock was named Officer of the Year for 2019. Officer Jendrock has been a great asset to the department and continues to be proactive in the community. Sgt. Michael Fenton completed the last course in a trilogy offered by FBI- Leeda (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) These courses target Supervisor Leadership, Command Leadership, and Executive Leadership. We are extremely proud of Sgt. Fenton’s accomplishment in continuing his education as well as his dedication to his profession and to our department.
We welcomed ACO Wilbert “Buck” Ryan to our team. Buck was able to jump right in and get to work making sure that all dogs in Wakefield are registered and that the concerns of pet owners in the community are met. We had another successful year with the Gun Safety classes. 39 participants completed this training. We are thankful to Chief Ken Fifield (Ret.), Lino Avellani, and Mike Buonopane for taking time to teach these very important classes to the public. We continue to offer the SHIELD program to the Paul School. This was SRO Dave Landry’s first year presenting the program. With an already established rapport with students as SRO, it was a huge success. With funding from the Department of Highway Safety we have been able to conduct patrols to ensure safer driving and enforce traffic violations in Wakefield/Brookfield. With the radar trailer purchased last year, we were able to get accurate data to track locations where violations are occurring. We were also awarded grant money from the Bulletproof Vest Partnership to use towards partial reimbursement of vests for our officers. Through proactive policing, training for our officers, and increased engagement with the community, we continue to see positive results in prevention of crime and drug violations.
Chief John Ventura