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Plymouth Police Department

Plymouth Police in the News

Plymouth Police Department received the designation of Accredited Police Department

The department started the review of its standards and policies few years ago.

The Plymouth Police Department received the designation of Accredited Police Department by a unanimous vote of the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission at the semi-annual meeting. We are now one of 90 Municipal and University Police Departments out of nearly 400 in the Commonwealth that has received this designation.

The department started the review of its standards and policies two years ago and has been working ever since to update procedures on critical areas of police management, operations and technical support

Achieving certification requires an on-site review of 159 standards set by the commission in areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. A team of commission-appointed assessors visited the department for the assessment in April.

Chief Michael Botieri appointed Lt. Dana Flynn to serve as the department’s accreditation manager two years ago. Botieri cited Flynn for his work on the certification process and thanked everyone in the department for their support and cooperation in earning certification.

“It shows we’re staying on the cutting edge of law enforcement professionalism in our procedures, rules and standards of operation,” Botieri said.

The process of accreditation continues with the review of more than 100 more standards set by the commission. The certification has been granted for a period of three years. Botieri said he expects the department to earn full accreditation from the commission next year.

 

RECENT NEWS

The following are links to items about the activities of the Plymouth Police Department that have appeared on a variety of news sources.

Links to News articles about the Plymouth Police Department. If you would like to see articles from past years click here.

May 2021

Search for 8 year old has happy ending

PLYMOUTH – Police searched by land and air after an 8-year-old boy went missing from his grandmother’s house Monday night.

The search centered around Lafayette Court at the southern end of Standish Avenue and including nine officers plus two K-9 teams from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department and a State Police helicopter crew.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the boy was reported missing at 8:30 p.m., but had likely wandered off earlier and been gone for a while before his family became concerned and called for help.

Manuel said police expanded the search toward West Plymouth at one point in hopes that the boy may have been trying to make his way back to his parents’ home there.

The grandparents police at 3 a.m. Tuesday that the boy had returned to their home. The boy told police he had seen officers searching for him and was afraid to come out.

Manuel said there was nothing suspicious about the boy’s disappearance and he did not require any medical attention after returning home.

 

Suicidal man found after running off from BID

PLYMOUTH – Police used a K-9 team and helicopter to track down a suicidal patient who ran off from BID-Plymouth hospital Tuesday.

Police said the 24-year-old Hanover man “eloped” while he was being transferred from the hospital to another treatment facility shortly before 1 p.m. Capt. Kevin Manuel said the man freed himself from a stretcher and ran off after his restraints were loosened.

The man eluded hospital security and police for two hours after fleeing into nearby woods. Police called in the K-9 team and a State Police helicopter for assistance after becoming concern that the man was becoming a threat to himself and others by running in and out of traffic on Plimoth Plantation Highway and Route 3.

An officer apprehended the man shortly after 3 p.m. with the help of a K-9 team from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department after spotting the man cross Route 3 near the county jail. The man was taken back to the hospital for evaluation and then held overnight for arraignment in Plymouth District Court on a charge of  disorderly conduct

 

April  2021

Suspect in Plymouth supermarket robbery attempt cleared by video

PLYMOUTH – Video surveillance footage has cleared a Marshfield man accused of an attempted robbery at a local supermarket.

Another man has been charged in connection with the incident in the frozen foods aisle at Stop and Shop instead.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said police have asked prosecutors to dismiss an attempted armed robbery charge against Michael Rembisz, 39, of 9 Surrey Road, Marshfield. Manuel said Rembisz was not involved in the incident and was not even in Plymouth at the time.

Police accused were called to the store on March 22 after a woman reported that a man approached her and threatened to stab her unless she gave him all of her money. Police said the man fled when the woman started screaming.

Manuel said police made their original arrest based on identification by a store clerk, but an attorney has since provided police with a video showing that Rembisz was not in Plymouth when the robbery occurred.

 

Annual overdose study Plymouth in 2020

PLYMOUTH – The number of drug overdoses in town increased during the pandemic year of 2020, but the number of resulting fatalities actually declined.

According to statistic compiled by Plymouth County Outreach, Plymouth had 20 fatal overdoses in 2020, down from 23 in 2019. During that same time span, there were 137 non-fatal overdoses in town, 14 more than the year before.

Plymouth bucked the countywide trend, which saw fatal overdoses increase from 134 to 158 – an 18 percent increase. Overall in Plymouth County, the number of overdoses declined, with non-fatal incidents dropping from 1,151 to 1,063.

The information was released as part of Plymouth County Outreach’s annual report for 2020. PCO is a collaboration of law enforcement and healthcare professionals that seeks to decrease substance use by eliminating stigma and helping users get into recovery.The data include some interesting detail about the types of incidents that police and other first responders are encountering throughout the county.

Nearly 90 percent of all overdoses last year involved known or suspected opiates. That included 96 percent or 152 of the 158 fatal overdoses.

Narcan was administered by police, firefighters, paramedics and even friends and relatives of victims at least 830 times. Of those, 93 percent of the overdose victims survived.

Men overdosed at twice the rate as women, and more than half of all overdoses involved men and women between the ages of 20 and 39.  The overwhelming majority of overdose victims – 84 percent – identified as white and 12 percent were homeless. Children were present at 49 overdoses.

Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri said he is encouraged by the decline in fatalities and the increase in referrals for help.

“Forty people came forward looking for help and where did they go? To the police department,” Chief Michael Botieri said of the jump in the number of local residents who identified as at risk.

Botieri acknowledged that the number of overdoses locally is up slightly from last year, but the long-term rate is down markedly. In 2017, there were more than 200 overdoses in Plymouth. “I think it would be even better in Plymouth because we pay so much attention to it, if not for the pandemic. That really affected our ability to have face-to-face contact with people,” Botieri said.

He referred to the PCO model for contacting people who have overdosed within the first day or two of their release from the hospital. Plain-clothes officers along with recovery specialists track down each victim at home and try to get them into a recovery program.

When the pandemic hit last march, recovery specialists continued to reach out by telephone, but the face-to-face model shut down. PCO started making visits again last summer, but the contact was all at a distance – usually masked up and on a front lawn – to abide by health protocols. The program did not resume in-home visits with victims until earlier this year, Botieri said.

 

Two assaults in one hour at BID-Plymouth hospital emergency room

PLYMOUTH – Police responded to two assaults on staff members at BID-Plymouth hospital within one hour Saturday night.

Just before 10 p.m., a female patient elbowed an employee of the hospital in the face after creating a disturbance in the emergency department.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 53-year-old woman had been yelling and screaming before the assault. She will be charged with assault and battery on a healthcare provider and disturbing the peace.

At 10:42 p.m., a male patient assaulted two hospital employees. Manuel said the 55-year-old local man smashed a $5,000 EKG machine and then hit two employees who tried to subdue him.

The man will be charged with disturbing the peace, malicious destruction of property and two counts of assault and battery on a healthcare provider.

PLYMOUTH – Plymouth County Outreach will host a spring drug take-back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Saturday, April 24, at Plymouth police headquarters at 20 Long Pond Road.

The event is being held as part of National Drug Take-Back Day and will allow residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and discard any unwanted or expired prescription medications. The Plymouth Fire Department will also be accepting sharps for disposal during the event. Liquids medications will not be accepted

During the event, Deterra drug deactivation kits will be available for residents to take home free of charge. Deterra is a drug deactivation system that allows people to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription medication in their own home.

Plymouth County Outreach will have Narcan available for attendees, free of cost, at the event. PCO recovery coaches will also be present for anyone looking for more information/resources on substance use services.

 

Two assaults in one hour at BID-Plymouth hospital emergency room

PLYMOUTH – Police responded to two assaults on staff members at BID-Plymouth hospital within one hour Saturday night.

Just before 10 p.m., a female patient elbowed an employee of the hospital in the face after creating a disturbance in the emergency department.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 53-year-old woman had been yelling and screaming before the assault. She will be charged with assault and battery on a healthcare provider and disturbing the peace.

At 10:42 p.m., a male patient assaulted two hospital employees. Manuel said the 55-year-old local man smashed a $5,000 EKG machine and then hit two employees who tried to subdue him.

The man will be charged with disturbing the peace, malicious destruction of property and two counts of assault and battery on a healthcare provider.

 

Plymouth teen’s YouTube defense backfires

PLYMOUTH – A local teen’s defense for leaving the scene of minor accident backfired on her Tuesday.

The 18-year-old local was stopped by police for allegedly driving off after backing into another vehicle while leaving a parking lot on Long Pond Road just after 7 p.m. No injuries or major damage were reported.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the woman told police she did not know she had hit a vehicle because she was distracted by a YouTube video. She was cited on charges of leaving the scene of an accident after property damage and using an electronic device while driving.

 

March  2021

Botieri to retire as Plymouth police chief

PLYMOUTH – Police Chief Michael Botieri will retire by fall.

The town’s long-time chief told Town Manager Melissa Arrighi this week that he plans to retire in the next couple of months and will be “gone by the end of summer.”

Botieri, 61, is in his 36th year with the police department. He has been chief of the department since 2008. He was a captain in the department for 12 years before then. He was hired as an officer in September 1985.

The department’s eighth permanent chief, Botieri announced his decision in a weekly cable television show with Arrighi.

In an interview, he said he plans to move into a position that will expand on his work with Plymouth County Outreach, a group he helped organize to combat the scourge of drug use.

The program has won national recognition since its inception in Plymouth County for its success in helping people with substance use disorder by knocking down barriers between law enforcement and public health.

Botieri said he will be working with an agency that provides training for similar work throughout the country.

He said the position will open in the next few months and he will transition to the new post at that time. But Botieri and his wife, Cheryl, plan to remain Plymouth residents and look forward to spending more time with their two new grandchildren as well.

Botieri said he is extremely proud to have overseen the growth and development of the local police force into a full-service department with a complement of specialized units.

 

NH man facing gun charges after dispute with towing contractor in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Police arrested a New Hampshire man on firearms charges early Tuesday after investigating a complaint from a towing contractor in the Plymouth Industrial Park.

Joshua Vafides, 30, of 22 Fordway Extension, Windham, New Hampshire, was arrested at 1:17 a.m. on charges of carrying a loaded firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card, improper storage of a firearm and possession of a large capacity firearm (feeding device).

Capt. Kevin Manuel said officers saw a gun in the back seat of Vafides’ car while investigating a dispute involving a towing contractor on Resnik Road.

Manuel said Vafides and a passenger, Nathan Rebello, 29, of 416 Old Barnstable Road, Falmouth, experienced car trouble while driving from New Hampshire to Falmouth. Manuel said they purchased beer while waiting for help and were intoxicated when a tow company arrived to help.

Manuel said the firearm that officers saw in the back of the vehicle was a loaded 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun. Manuel said Vafides was not licensed to carry the weapon. Police also found a large capacity magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a different gun.

 

February  2021

Plymouth woman accused of drug trafficking

PLYMOUTH – Police arrested a local woman on a drug trafficking charge Sunday after investigating a stolen vehicle at the Pilgrim Sands Motel.

Melissa Iandoli, 30, of 2 Clyfton St., Apt. 2, was charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, trafficking in cocaine and two counts of simple possession of a Class B drug as a subsequent offense.

Capt. Dana Flynn said an officer found Iandoli in the driver’s seat of a stolen vehicle at the motel Sunday afternoon. During a search, police found more than 200 grams of cocaine in a vitamin jar in the vehicle. Police also found a crack pipe with a small amount of cocaine residue.

Distraught man fires flare gun at Plymouth police

PLYMOUTH – Police defused a standoff with a man threatening to kill officers with a flare gun Sunday night near White Horse Beach.

Capt. Dana Flynn said Richard Kunz, 61, of 15 Albert Road, called police at 10:48 p.m. and said he had a shotgun and was going to kill himself or have officers do it for him.

Six-car crash in West Plymouth

A North Plymouth man suffered head injuries in a six-car crash in West Plymouth Wednesday evening.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 51-year-old man was driving west on Samoset Street when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic as it approached the traffic lights at Caver and Seven Hills roads shortly after 5 p.m. The vehicle struck another vehicle head-on, starting a chain-reaction crash that involved three other vehicles. The 51-year-man then backed his crashed vehicle into another vehicle, Manuel said. The 51-year-old man was the only person reported injured. He was taken to South Shore Hospital for treatment of minor head injuries. He will be charged with negligent driving.

Dunkin’s robbed in Plymouth

Police are investigating a robbery at the Dunkin’s coffee shop on Commerce Way.

Just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, a man who had been waiting in line at the Dunkin’s in the Verc Mobil station handed a note demanding money to the clerk. The man was wearing a scarf over his face. The note stated he was armed.

The man fled on foot after the clerk gave him an unspecified amount of cash. No weapon was shown and no injuries were reported.

Distraught man fires flare gun at Plymouth police

Police defused a standoff with a man threatening to kill officers with a flare gun Sunday night near White Horse Beach.

Capt. Dana Flynn said Richard Kunz, 61, of 15 Albert Road, called police at 10:48 p.m. and said he had a shotgun and was going to kill himself or have officers do it for him.

When police arrived at Albert Road, a side street off the southern end of Rocky Hill Road, they found Kunz in the road and armed with a flare gun. Flynn said Kunz threatened to kill officers and fired the flare gun over their heads two times. Flynn said two officers managed to outflank Kunz and tackled him to the ground as he retreated toward his home. Kunz was arrested on five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of disturbing the peace.

Flynn said the eight local officers were involved in the brief, but dangerous standoff. Flynn said the officers did a great job and showed great restraint in de-escalating the situation.

January  2021

Plymouth not overly impacted by police reform bill; questions remain

PLYMOUTH – A new state law creates a mandatory certification process for police officers and increases accountability and transparency in law enforcement.

But most of the changes regarding the use of force in the new police reform bill are already standard practice among the 128 officers of the Plymouth Police Department, according to Chief Michael Botieri.

Local police already ensure that officers are up to date on their training standards, Botieri said of the reform bill, which was signed into law New Year’s Eve.

Boteiri said his department also already prohibits the use of chokeholds and requires the use of de-escalation tactics before turning to physical force. Plymouth police are also trained to intervene in situations if they see another officer using unnecessary physical force and are also already required to report excessive force up the chain of command.

The provisions were part of a compromise bill that, in some ways, is still taking shape and may be just a starting point in police reform.

A key component is the creation of a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, which brings Massachusetts into line with the majority of states in the country that have laws for certifying and decertifying police officers.

Police chiefs across the state have endorsed the creation of the Commission, which would require all law enforcement officers to be certified every three years, like most other professions in the state.

But unlike most other states, the Massachusetts POST Commission, which will create standards for policing, will primarily be comprised of civilians. The commission will consist of nine members; three of them will be law enforcement officers.

Questions about the makeup of the commission were among reasons that state Rep. Mathew Muratore, R-Plymouth, said he voted against the bill.

Muratore said he is glad a reform bill passed but could not support having only three law enforcement officers on the commission. He said he understands that the law was largely created to protect people in communities that have had problems with police accountability in the past. He said that is not the case in Plymouth and that voters in his district overwhelming urged him to vote against the bill.

State Sen. Susan Moran, D-Falmouth, said she supported the reform after consulting with experts – police chiefs – and is pleased with the final result of reform that law enforcement can buy into.

“I’ve always looked to boots on the ground when making changes, the people who know it best, and that’s what I did with the chiefs I called. I think the end product is a very good start and I’m looking forward to the feedback of chiefs and officers moving forward,” Moran said.

Representatives of the local police department’s ranking officers and patrolmen’s unions could not be reached for comment on the bill, but the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, which represents 4,300 law enforcement officers in the state, opposed much of it.

The group said it will change the police profession in the state forever and will result is collateral damage that could have a negative impact on many communities.

Botieri said it will be several months, likely until July, before the state can even establish the Commission that is at the heart of the new law. At some point, officials will also have to determine how special officers, constables, reserve officers and sheriff’s deputies will be certified under the process.

He speculated that the state might have to create a bridge academy to get all law enforcement to the same level of certification.

Material from the State House News Service was included in this story.

 

New Plymouth police officers

PLYMOUTH – Five new officers joined the Plymouth Police Department last week.

Officers Andrew Palmer, Connor Rossi, Cameron Fleming, Donald Berger and Dylan Oxsen graduated from the Plymouth Police Academy Dec. 30.

 

 

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