Jennifer Tabakin, Town Manager
334 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Great Barrington Police Department
William Walsh Jr., Chief of Police
465 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA 01230
For Immediate Release
Monday, Feb. 1, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Great Barrington Reacts to Eagleton School Investigation, Arrests
GREAT BARRINGTON — Officials from the community, including Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin and Police Chief William Walsh, wish to issue statements today, seeking to update residents on this weekend’s events, including a police operation and search warrant at the Eagleton School and the arrests of five people.
The Great Barrington Police Department, working with the Massachusetts State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, served a search warrant Saturday at the Eagleton School, a private facility for boys and young men, ages 9 to 22, with cognitive, behavioral, and developmental disabilities.
As a result of the operation, five people were later arrested and now face a variety of charges in connection with multiple allegations of physical abuse at the school.
The investigation and weekend operation was conducted with the utmost care and caution as to minimize disruptions.
“Great Barrington cares about its children, and our community is home to a number of public and private schools that cater to students from a variety of backgrounds,” said Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin. “I am proud of our police department’s sensitivity to the issues and the needs of the children at Eagleton. They took a careful and cautious approach in their investigation and operations, meant to minimize any disruptions. Great Barrington appreciates the support of top-level officials from the State Police, the District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, and others who partnered with us during this investigation. We appreciate their careful attention to this matter.”
Great Barrington Selectboard Chair Sean Stanton stressed that the safety of children and all people living in our community is of the utmost importance.
“Our law enforcement is doing a professional and careful job and are proceeding with the process in a deliberate manner,” Selectman Stanton said. “Thankfully, we do not encounter situations like this often, and I am proud of the strong and professional response that shows our first responders are trained and prepared for any situation.”
Great Barrington Selectboard Vice Chair and Chair of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District Stephen Bannon said: “In the Berkshires, we pride ourselves on having wonderful, nurturing and excellent educational programs, camps and therapeutic programs. Eagleton School is an important resource in our area, providing programs for students who have a hard time finding an appropriate placement, and is it disturbing to hear these allegations. Given our caring community, we know how important it is to work through this process.”
The investigation remains open and ongoing.
“We continue to work with the school and community. Our number one priority is keeping our children safe and secure,” Police Chief William Walsh said.