Michael R. Kent
Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Burlington Police Department Hosts Training by Support Group for Officers Injured in the Line of Duty
BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent reports that the Burlington Police Department hosted a successful training program for more than 125 law enforcement officials to handle situations where an officer is violently injured in the line of duty.
The Violently Injured Police Officers (VIPO) Organization provided the training at Lahey Hospital Hospital and Medical Center on April 27. Officers from 45 communities were in attendance.
“Facing a situation where an officer is injured or killed in the line of duty is something we hope we never have to encounter,” Chief Kent said. “Unfortunately, this is a reality for many departments and these sessions offered by VIPO are important to prepare us and to provide support in the event where we are placed in the worst case scenario.”
Three officers presented during the program, including:
- Retired Detective Oliveira of the Somerville Police Department who was shot multiple times while serving an arrest warrant in Somerville in November 2010.
- Retired Officer Robert Denapoli of the Woburn Police Department, who was shot several times while responding to a jewelry store robbery in 2011.
- Retired Officer Stephen Rice of the Shrewsbury Police Department who was shot by a homeowner who thought he was an intruder while responding to a burglar alarm.
“As someone who has personally experienced the loss and trauma that results from a violent encounter in the line of duty, I can attest to the importance of programs like VIPO,” Detective Mario Oliveira, a founder of the program, said. “Our goal is to educate officers, but more importantly to provide support to those officers and their families who have experienced such tragedies.”
Officers who attended the program learned about the physical and emotional trauma that follows surviving a violent encounter in the line of duty, as well as the long term effects they and their families might face. VIPO hopes to increase public awareness of their mission so the needs of officers who survive traumatic events can continue to be met, and their stories are not forgotten.
“This was a great training session put on by VIPO,” Lt. Glen Mills said. “I hope we can continue to hold more events like this in order to bring more awareness to this organization and the cause they represent.”
This training was provided for free to all attendees and was the result of a partnership between the Burlington Police Department, VIPO, Immigration Customs Enforcement in Burlington and Lahey Health.
VIPO, founded by Massachusetts police officers, is a support group for law enforcement officers who have sustained serious, permanent injuries during a violent encounter in the line of duty. The group was created by officers who realized the need for a forum in which injured officers could share their stories, resources, and better prepare police departments in the event that an officer is seriously hurt.