NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Donna D. Holaday and City Marshal Mark Murray report that the City of Newburyport has contracted with a veteran criminal justice expert and academic to conduct an administrative review of the facts surrounding an alleged assault between civilians at a protest last week and the Newburyport Police Department’s response to that incident.
A Byfield woman was allegedly assaulted by a 63-year-old Newburyport man during a June 26 protest in Market Square. Police arrested the man, and he faces numerous charges.
Following the event, multiple protesters were quoted in the local newspaper voicing concerns regarding police response to the incident.
The City has hired John Dristiliaris, principal of John Dristiliaris Consulting, to conduct a review and produce a report of the incident. Dristiliaris, with more than 30 years of public safety/law enforcement and education experience, works with organizations to analyze and review critical incidents/events, goals, objectives, staffing needs and strategic plans to support organizational improvement, efficiency and future growth.
Dristiliaris is an adjunct professor of criminal justice, sociology and leadership at Southern New Hampshire University and at Becker College. He holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Franklin Pierce University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College.
“As a public safety agency, our priority is at all times to ensure the safety and security of everyone in our community, and following this incident, we joined the Mayor’s office to seek an expert who would be able to facilitate a comprehensive review of the facts surrounding what took place so that we can better understand the situation,” City Marshal Murray said. “We will share the findings with our community promptly, as transparency and a desire to continually self reflect and improve upon our services are core values behind our ultimate mission to protect and serve all who live, work and visit Newburyport.”
“We’re confident this report will provide a thorough review of the facts surrounding this incident and any recommendations that may support the Newburyport Police Department in their aim to provide the highest quality policing services to our City possible,” Mayor Holaday said. “I would like to thank Marshal Murray for his leadership. We both treat every public concern with the utmost gravity, and this report will provide the additional information our community deserves on this matter.”
The report will also include any recommendations by Dristilaris for the Newburyport Police Department where the organization may be able to improve upon its existing policies, procedures and/or training opportunities for staff.
Dristiliaris will prepare a report encompassing all of the facts regarding what took place and his recommendations for the department to be shared with the community later this July.