East Bridgewater Police Sergeant Helps Local Student with Prom Proposal

East Bridgewater Police Department
Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone:  781-428-3299
Email: ben@jgpr.net

East Bridgewater Police Sergeant Helps Local Student with Prom Proposal

EAST BRIDGEWATER — An East Bridgewater Police sergeant made a special traffic stop last week in order to help a local student ask his girlfriend to prom.

Last week, East Bridgewater Police Sgt. Michael McLaughlin was approached by senior Jake Topham, who asked him if he could help with his prom proposal to his girlfriend Eva Rohnstrom. Topham, an East Bridgewater resident, is a student at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton. Rohnstrom attends West Bridgewater High School.

When Sgt. McLaughlin heard Topham’s idea, he agreed to help and the two devised a plan together.

On Friday, Feb. 9, Topham went to pick up Rohnstrom at her work in West Bridgewater. As part of the ruse, he said he had to make a stop at his father’s house before dropping her off at home.

Topham turned his pickup truck onto Laurel Street in East Bridgewater where Sgt. McLaughlin was waiting in his cruiser.

Sgt. McLaughlin activated his lights and pulled Topham over to the side of the road. Wearing a GoPro camera affixed to his chest, Sgt. McLaughlin recorded a video of the prank.

“Apparently there was some kind of incident in West Bridgewater and they want this truck for some reason,” Sgt. McLaughlin said in the video to the teens.

Keeping a straight face, Topham got out of his truck along with Rohnstrom, and Sgt. McLaughlin asked that they both get into the back of his cruiser.

Rohnstrom got in first and Sgt. McLaughlin closed the cruiser door behind her. On the other side of the vehicle, he handed Topham a paper sign that read, “I’ll pay for this ticket if you come to prom with me.”

Sgt. McLaughlin opened the cruiser door and Topham showed his girlfriend the sign.

“I hate you so much!” Rohnstrom yelled. “How did you even do that?”

“I’ve got friends of friends,” Topham said with a smirk. Topham played lacrosse with  Sgt. McLaughlin’s son.

After letting her out of the cruiser, Rohnstrom agreed to go to prom with Topham as he gave her a hug.

“It was fun. The kids got a kick out of it,” Sgt. McLaughlin said. “While this isn’t something that we normally do, I was very happy to help.”

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East Bridgewater Police Chief Offers State of the Department, Accomplishments and Future Goals

East Bridgewater Police Department
Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone:  781-428-3299
Email: ben@jgpr.net

East Bridgewater Police Chief Offers State of the Department, Accomplishments and Future Goals

EAST BRIDGEWATER – Chief Scott Allen would like to make available to residents a video and slideshow presentation highlighting last year’s accomplishments at the East Bridgewater Police Department and looking ahead to the upcoming FY ’19 budget he will be presenting to the town.

Chief Allen recently sat down with former police chief John Cowan to discuss how things have been going since he was appointed to be the head of the police department 18 months ago. In the interview, taped by East Bridgewater Community Access Television, Chief Allen speaks in-depth about the improvements, challenges met and initiatives at the department since he took over the role.

He also recently presented a slideshow presentation to the town’s Finance Committee regarding the FY ’19 budget.

TO WATCH THE STATE OF THE DEPARTMENT VIDEO CLICK HERE

TO VIEW THE BUDGET SLIDESHOW PRESENTATION CLICK HERE

RESPONSIBLE FISCAL POLICY

In 2017, the East Bridgewater Police Department used the FY ’18 budget to make major strides in enhancing the service they provide to the town by focusing their efforts on community policing, accreditation, continuing their partnership with the school system and improving the department’s organizational structure with the hiring of a new deputy chief.

  • In January, Paul O’Brien was sworn in as the East Bridgewater Police Department’s first deputy chief in a ceremony at Town Hall. The position is new to the department and was created last year, providing a much-needed second-in-command role for the East Bridgewater Police.
  • In November, the East Bridgewater Police Department received the results of a community survey where the responses were overwhelmingly positive. 97 percent of those surveyed wrote they are confident in the abilities of the department to serve the community and 94 percent agrees that they are satisfied with the way the department responds to emergencies.
  • The department took steps toward developing a strategic plan and also provided officers with training vital to the process of having the department accredited by the state.
  • At the police station, a complete overhaul was done of the evidence vault, storage and management system, with the guidance of an outside, independent agency.
  • Several community policing efforts were either initiated or continued including, Coffee with a Cop, Student Police Academy, Seniors Police Academy, Public Safety Days, child safety seat installations and holiday turkey drives.
  • At the schools, the Kid in Need program was started where school officials are notified when police respond to a call at a home where a child might need assistance or support.

KEEPING THINGS GOING

In the FY ’18 budget, funding was approved last year to hire a full-time police officer, bringing the staff level up to 21 officers, not including the chief and deputy chief. That officer was meant to work in a hybrid role, as a backup school resource officer, community police officer and other roles as needed within the department.

Chief Allen has delayed the hiring of the new officer due to concerns of sustaining that position in the FY ’19 budget. As part of a joint-effort at last year’s Town Meeting between the police and fire departments and Department of Public Works, a percentage of their budgets was allocated to the public school system in order to assist it with a budget shortfall. The police department’s budget was reduced by $17,600, which has delayed making the new hire.

In this year’s proposed FY ’19 budget, Chief Allen will be seeking funding to hire and pay the salary of that new officer.

“This is the biggest item for us in the new budget in terms of importance,” Chief Allen said. “Hiring this new officer will help us to continue and enhance a lot of the great community policing initiatives we have begun and will also serve to strengthen the work we have been doing within the school system.”

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Coalition of Plymouth County Police Departments Awarded Grant for Jail Diversion Program

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: ben@jgpr.net

Coalition of Plymouth County Police Departments Awarded Grant for Jail Diversion Program

BRIDGEWATER — Chiefs from six Plymouth County police departments, which are working in a regional collaboration to pool their resources, have been awarded a grant by the state Department of Mental Health to improve the way law enforcement serves those suffering from mental illness.

Over the next three years, $45,000 (each year) will be given to the coalition of police departments to pay the salary of a medical clinician who will be embedded with police to assist those suffering from mental illness by diverting them from the courts/criminal justice system.

The grant was awarded as part of the state’s Regional Jail Diversion Program to the police departments in Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Whitman, Middleborough and the Bridgewater State University Police.

The grant was awarded this week after a proposal was submitted by the Bridgewater Police Department on behalf of the partnering police agencies.

“As part of the program, a clinician will ride along with police officers in our communities and respond with them to calls where a person is dealing with a mental health issue,” Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte said. “More and more often we are seeing crimes committed by those with mental health or substance abuse issues. Putting them in jail and in the court system in many cases doesn’t get these individuals the help that they need. My thanks to Officer Scott Hile for his hours of work over the past two years leading to this grant award.”

The program will support people with mental health difficulties by offering individuals support and opportunities to get them the help they need, while also aiming to reduce arrests and criminal charges they may otherwise face.

Some of the goals of the program are to:

  • Increase collaboration between local law enforcement and behavioral health providers
  • Increase the number of law enforcement and other first responders training in behavioral health topics
  • Increase the quality and consistency of behavioral health training delivered to law enforcement
  • Support law enforcement to develop policies and procedures that increase safety and effectiveness when responding to citizens with behavioral health challenges
  • Increase the likelihood of diversion from arrest for citizens with behavioral health challenges when safe and appropriate to do so

The coalition and clinician will work closely with the High Point Treatment Center to help those individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders, which often are closely linked.

“While the main focus of this program is to assist those with mental health problems, it also goes hand-in-hand with the efforts our departments have been undertaking in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” East Bridgewater Police Chief Scott Allen said. “We’ve found that many people with substance abuse problems have their addictions rooted in mental health issues. The clinician hired by our coalition will be another great tool for the many substance abuse outreach programs in our region and our health partners like the High Point Treatment Center.”

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East Bridgewater Department of Public Works Awarded $497,000 Grant for Pond Street Bridge Project

East Bridgewater Department of Public Works
John B. Haines, Director
100 Willow Ave.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333

For Immediate Release

Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: ben@jgpr.net

East Bridgewater Department of Public Works Awarded $497,000 Grant for Pond Street Bridge Project

EAST BRIDGEWATER — East Bridgewater Department of Public Works Director John B. Haines is pleased to announced that the Town of East Bridgewater was awarded a grant for $497,000 to replace an aging bridge on Pond Street.

The East Bridgewater DPW applied for the grant, which was awarded on Jan. 19 by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, as part of the state’s Municipal Small Bridge Program.

“I’m happy to say we were one of only a dozen communities that were selected to receive the grant,” Director Haines said. “This will cover the entire cost of replacing the small bridge on Pond Street that crosses the outlet to Robbins Pond.”

The bridge is located near 502 Pond St., between Sawmill Cove and Ousamequin Pines. The money will be used cover the cost of purchasing permits, hiring an engineer to create design plans and bidding and hiring a contractor to complete the project.

Currently there are two metal arches side-by-side that allow water to cross under the Pond Street bridge. The proposed plan is to replace those metal arches with two concrete boxes. Improvements to the road shoulders, water main and road will also be made.

Because plans are still in the preliminary stages, a timetable has not been set for when the project will begin.

In 2014, East Bridgewater had 17 bridges and culverts assessed by an engineering firm to determine the condition of each structure and rank them in order of priority for repair or replacement. Last year, the Town voted to fund maintenance work on three of the structures that were in most need of attention and that work has been completed.

In 2016, the state allocated $50 million over five years to help cities and towns repair small bridges that do not qualify for federal funding.

The East Bridgewater DPW applied for funding last year, but did not receive a grant. The application was renewed this year, and the grant was awarded to the Town.

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