BOSTON — The Executive Board of the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement (MAWLE) is pleased to share the success of its third MAWLE & Me Summer Camp.
MAWLE hosted the 2022 camp from Aug. 15-19 at the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association Hall for approximately 20 middle school-aged girls from the Boston area. This is the third time the camp has been held.
The weeklong camp was coordinated by Boston Police Sgt. Amyleigh Devito, Officer Lauren Woods, Officer Cynthia Brewington, Officer Sarah Palermo and Kerry Ryan of the Boston Police Bureau of Community Engagement. President Lt. Marie Cleary, Vice President Chief Erin Carcia, Treasurer Trooper Christine Verdolino and Past President Deidre Noyes also assisted throughout the camp by taking photos and organizing arts and crafts.
Throughout the week, camp participants had the opportunity to meet women from different agencies and roles in criminal justice, and learned about the field through demonstrations, discussions, a service project and field trips.
On Monday, the campers received a visit from Golden Opportunities for Independence (GOFI) comfort dogs and a state police K-9, including Cooper from Northeastern University, Willow from the Johnson Middle School in Walpole, Lucy from the Hanson Police Department, Harper from the Randolph Police Department, Derby from the Salem Police Department, Roger from Babson College, and Massachusetts State Police Trooper Christina Cavagnaro and K-9 Thor.
The campers also learned about crime scene response and fingerprint and evidence collection from Boston Police, and Park Rangers from the Department of Conservation & Recreation visited with one of the horses from the Mounted Unit.
On Tuesday, the girls started the day with a K-Energy Fitness dance session. Then, they learned lifesaving skills and how to stay calm in stressful situations from Boston EMS’ Lee Alexander and Jaclyn Greenwood. In the afternoon, campers and counselors created cards and care packages for women from across the state who have been deployed. They closed out their day with a visit from Boston Police Cadets and their ice cream truck.
Wednesday, campers cruised Boston Harbor with the State Police Marine Unit. Then they visited the Boston Municipal Court courthouse to learn about court procedures and probation from Chief Justice Roberto Ronquillo and Chief of Probation John Turner, and had lunch at Sullivan’s Castle Island. On Thursday, the campers and counselors visited the animals at Kimball Farms in Westford.
Closing out the week on Friday, Boston Police Station C-11 welcomed the campers, where they saw the booking area and the station’s remembrance wall for BPD officers killed in the line of duty. They also took time to remember State Police Trooper Tamar Bucci who died in the line of duty in March.
Campers also heard from women law enforcement leaders from around the region through a panel discussion, including BPD Bureau of Professional Development Superintendent Nora Baston, BPD Family Justice Center Capt. Detective Therese Kozmiski, Endicott College Police Chief Kerry Ramsdell, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department Superintendent Danielle Frane, BPD Crimes Against Children Unit Sgt. Detective Pamelia Harris, BPD B2 Community Service Office Sgt. Bernadette Sullivan, BPD Officer Shayna Lyons, BPD Bureau of Community Engagement/GROW Officer Jamila Gales, BPD Domestic Violence Unit Detective Stephanie O’Sullivan, BPD Civil Rights Unit Detective Lakenya Webster, BPD Bomb Squad Sgt. Christine Carr, BPD Cadets Leonela Nunez and Gabriella Bashline, as well as an FBI Special Agent and ATF Special Agent.
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department team also brought their mobile command post and drones on Friday, and served lunch and snow-cones for the campers.
The camp’s coordinators and the MAWLE Executive Board would like to thank everyone who helped to provide this opportunity to the campers by supporting, hosting or presenting. Many volunteers from across the state brought energy and a passion for their work, and provided the camp participants with the opportunity to ask questions and a safe space for mentorship and learning about different areas of law enforcement and criminal justice.
“Having the support and partnership with MAWLE to connect with our youth provides consistent positive mentors, new opportunities and friendships that change the narrative of policing and develop an outlook of what our youth see as possibilities for their futures. I am proud to be a member of MAWLE and part of a camp that makes a difference,” said Officer Woods.
Added Officer Brewington, “Being a member of MAWLE provides us an opportunity to connect with girls throughout the state. Spending the week volunteering for MAWLE & Me opened the door to connections and relationships for mentoring that can last a lifetime.”
MAWLE would also like to thank the camp’s sponsors: the City of Boston Credit Union, whose representatives also gave a presentation to the campers about savings and financial choices, and the State Police Association of Massachusetts Benevolent Fund, which supported the camp in honor of Trooper Bucci.
Other supporters included BPD Officer Denise Watson who sponsored campers, the Spot on Dot which made campers’ T-shirts, Family Affair Restaurant & Catering, Sullivan’s Castle Island South Boston, Eastern Bus, K-Energy Fitness, Mary-dith Tuitt from Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, and the Veterans Center and everyone who has donated to MAWLE’s care package project.