NEWBURYPORT — City Marshal Mark Murray is pleased to share that School Resource Officer (SRO) Megan Tierney recently traveled abroad to shadow, learn from and discuss various aspects of police work with members of the Kent County Police Department in England.
The trip was funded by the Rotary Club Foundation International, and sponsored by the Wakefield Rotary Club. Four local SROs were selected to attend the trip.
Officer Tierney has been an SRO for four years at Newburyport Public Schools, and she was joined on the trip by Sgt. Daniel Perenick of the Winchester Police Department, Detective Dawne Armistead of the Winthrop Police Department and Detective Paul Lucci of the North Reading Police Department.
The SROs on the trip visited London and the county of Kent, England from May 10-26. While in Kent, the officers had the opportunity to visit the various departments within the Kent Police Department, including the sexual offender management unit, firearms division, juvenile justice coordinators and raptor team, who are charged with handling drug trafficking cases. They also spent time with the Kent County Cadet program, a group of youth in the area who aspire to work in law enforcement one day.
“This was an unparalleled experience,” Officer Tierney said. “It was incredible to be able to see another country’s way of police work through the eyes of its officers, and we also had the opportunity to share our insights from our way of doing things as well.”
After learning that school resource officer-like positions in Kent county have been eliminated due to budgetary restrictions, Tierney and her peers shared their experiences as SROs with members of the Kent Police Department.
“It was powerful to talk to the Kent officers we visited about the impact myself and the other American officers on the trip are able to have in schools, working with young people,” Officer Tierney said. “We get to know students as they grow up, and that allows us to instill a positive, friendly relationship with our residents right from the get-go. It’s very unfortunate they were forced to cut those positions due to budgetary restrictions.”
Officer Tierney also gave a presentation to members of the Kent Police Department on the Domestic Violence High Risk Team approach. Domestic Violence High Risk Team is a collaborative group of law enforcement and outreach workers along with district attorney representatives who work to provide safety, support and resources to victim families of Domestic Violence.The approach was developed by the Greater Newburyport High Risk Domestic Violence Team and the Jeanne Geiger Center, and since it was implemented in the Newburyport area in 2002, there have been no fatalities related to domestic violence.
As a result of Officer Tierney’s presentation, the Kent Police Department is looking into implementing a similar approach in their county as well.
Detective Lucci and Amy Luckiewicz, vocational training trip leader, also gave a presentation on the vaping epidemic in the United States and the introduction of THC and CBD products to the market. Sgt. Perenick also gave a presentation on the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council’s (N.E.M.L.E.C.) STARS program, which was developed to help educators and police assess the safety of their schools and evaluate potential threats.
“This was a great opportunity for Officer Tierney and the other Massachusetts SRO’s that attended this trip,” City Marshal Murray said. “Rarely do we ever have a chance to witness another country’s policing and exchange ideas. Thank you to the Wakefield Rotary Club for making this eye-opening trip possible.”