Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· MassCops Angel
121,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bridgewaters joint task force shares brains and bodies to clean towns of drug, theft and prostitution rings

By Jessica Scarpati
Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 03:40 AM

Tim Correria/The Enterprise
Bridgewater officer Bob Bailey, left, and East Bridgewater Detective Paul O'Brien, both members of the W.E.B. joint task force, work at the West Bridgewater police station Sunday afternoon.

Tim Correria/The Enterprise
East Bridgewater Detective Paul O'Brien, left, and Bridgewater officer Bob Bailey, center, work with West Bridgewater police officer Tim Nixon on Sunday.

A decade or so ago, plotting a raid on those who burglarized a West Bridgewater business and turned its goods for a profit would have fallen on two people: the pair of detectives assigned to investigate crimes in this suburban town of 6,600 people.
Instead, authorities said, 12 investigators from West Bridgewater, East Bridgewater and Bridgewater joined Pembroke police to bust into Benjamin M. Stone's home on Sept. 19, collect the stolen items and arrest two more men accused by police of being his suppliers.
Since 1999, detectives from the three neighboring towns have worked together daily through the W.E.B. Major Crimes and Drug Task Force - sharing costs, equipment and resources to combat some of the most serious crimes within their borders.
"We go from having two detectives to having eight at a phone call," said West Bridgewater police Detective Sgt. Victor Flaherty, the unit's commander for the past four years.
A recent surge of breaks have kept police busy in the three towns.
Some 40 people in the area reported their homes, sheds or cars were burglarized since July 8.
Among the breaks, 25 were been clustered around Oak, High and Wall streets in Bridgewater, police said.
Another 15 were reported in East Bridgewater and West Bridgewater, prompting the three police departments to coordinate investigation efforts.
Meanwhile, the string of house breaks continued Friday. A suspect broke into a Walnut Street home in West Bridgewater, kicking in the door while a 12-year-old was home alone, police said. Police were looking for the suspect Friday night. Additional details were not immediately available.
The W.E.B. unit was behind a recent bust in Pembroke, which led to the arrest of Stone, 28, at his home days after $8,000 of landscaping equipment and power tools were stolen from South Shore Tractor & Farm Supply on Manley Street in West Bridgewater.
Police allege that Stone bought the stolen items and tried to sell them on Craigslist, a free online classified ad Web site, and was the go-to guy in the region for unloading stolen goods for fast cash.
He faces one count of receiving stolen property.
During the 2 a.m. raid, police said two men in a pickup truck arrived with more stolen goods to sell.
John Pennio Jr., 24, of Brockton, and John Sullivan IV, 30, who is registered at addresses in Bridgewater and Middleboro, were arrested that same night and each charged with two counts of receiving stolen property.
Police have said they believe the trio is at least partly behind the recent spree of home and business burglaries in the three towns.
Cases like these, police say, are an example of how sharing brains and bodies has helped the three towns clean themselves of drug, theft and prostitution rings.
"We could not individually pool the resources that we would need or put together the manpower ... for some investigations," said Bridgewater police Lt. Christopher Delmonte said.
Because of the towns' proximity, the collaboration just makes sense, he added. "There are no jurisdictional borders for crime," Delmonte said.
The unit does not activate only for special assignments. They do surveillance, assist busts and share information every day, police said.
"Although they may not work the same shift and they don't go out on patrol together, they're in constant communication," Delmonte said.
Half of the unit's funding comes from a federal grant. The three towns collectively match the other half.
Although federal money has diminished, the task force has asked their towns to continue funding them.
Departments save on overtime and equipment costs through the deal, said Flaherty, the unit's commander.
Delmonte, the Bridgewater lieutenant, also leads the Satucket Regional Tactical Team, which was part of the Pembroke raid.
Trained in SWAT tactics - including sniper shooting and hostage negotiations - to handle the riskiest emergency situations, the team is made up of 14 officers from Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Middleboro.
Like the W.E.B., the Satucket tactical team also shares costs and resources.
"We realized, like the W.E.B., we needed to pool our resources," Delmonte said. "It gives the individual departments the ability to call upon a coordinated group in a crisis incident."
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.