TYNGSBOROUGH — Chief Richard Howe is pleased to announce that the Tyngsborough Police Department launched marine patrols on Lake Mascuppic and the Merrimack River this summer thanks to assistance from the Lake Mascuppic Association, which generously donated a boat to the Department.
The Tyngsborough Police Department also joined the Merrimack River Task Force, a regional collaborative group organized by Massachusetts Environmental Police to create and maintain a safe environment on the river.
Members of the Lake Mascuppic Association, including President Ed Smith, approached Tyngsborough Police in 2020 with concerns about reckless boating on the lake.
Police and community members began discussing solutions. Members of the Lake Mascuppic Association purchased a 1997 Cobia boat at auction last winter and worked with police to refurbish the boat for use as a Marine Patrol Unit.
“This was a great example of what we mean when we talk about ‘community policing.’ Residents came to the Department and identified a quality-of-life issue, and we worked with our residents to solve that issue together,” Chief Howe said. “We are at our strongest when we collaborate with community members and partners. I am thankful for the extremely generous community support from the Lake Mascuppic Association that enabled us to implement this new initiative.”
Tyngsborough Police worked with Environmental Police and the Merrimack River Task Force to have Officers Matthew Koziol, Timothy Sullivan, and Jacob Ahern trained to conduct marine patrols.
Police then used the Marine Patrol Unit to enforce boating laws on Lake Mascuppic, Massapoag Pond, and the Merrimack River, every weekend this summer.
“To me, this was basically a community collaborative between the Association, residents, the police, and all the officials in town,” said Lake Mascuppic Association President Ed Smith. “We’ve noticed this year a lot less people going out and acting crazy. We’re seeing more respect on the water because people know police are out there now.”
The Merrimack River Task Force was organized by Environmental Police. The Task Force includes the Lowell Police Department, Chelmsford Police Department, Dracut Police Department, Methuen Police Department, Lawrence Police Department, and Andover Police Department. Task Force members patrolled the river throughout the summer.
During the Fourth of July weekend, the Task Force participated in “Operation Dry Water,” a multi-agency effort to prevent boating accidents during the holiday weekend.
Tyngsborough Police also worked closely with the Merrimack River Task Force to have five police boats on the river during Tyngsborough Block Party on Aug. 28, when the Town launched fireworks from a river barge. The event was the first time fireworks have been launched from the river in Tyngsborough.
The Marine Patrol worked to create a visible police presence to deter violations, and worked to educate the public instead of relying on citations. Those efforts led to increased boating laws and regulations, and a minimal number of citations.
“The program was a such a success we hope to have even more officers trained at the beginning of next boating season with help from the Massachusetts Environmental Police,” Deputy Chief Shaun Woods said. “We hope all Tyngsborough residents can safely enjoy our natural resources, and we are thankful for the community support and engagement as we continue do our work.”
To view common boating safety tips shared by Tyngsborough Police, click here.