Sunset this past Monday evening was marked by an invitation from the Dawoodi Bohra Community and other members of the Billerica Interfaith Association where Town Manager John Curran and Police Chief Roy Frost participated in enjoying an evening meal at sunset, known as an “iftar” marking a break in the day’s fast during Ramadan. The Dawoodi Bohra mosque in Billerica was officially inaugurated in 2004 and has been a wonderful addition to our community since that time. As a longstanding member of the Billerica Interfaith Association, our friends from the mosque have faithfully served this community, whether through its work at the Community Food Pantry, providing support during the annual Clean Up Green Up events, or the multitude of other community focused events, we can always count on our Dawoodi Bohra neighbors to provide a helping hand. Joining us at last nights event was our partners from the United States Attorney Office for the District of Massachusetts, including US Attorney Rachael Rollins and her staff, along with our Law Enforcement partners at the FBI.
Saturday, April 30, 2022, from 10 AM to 2 PM the Billerica Police Department and Billerica Substance Abuse Prevention Committee will participate in Take Back Day for Prescription Medications. The location is DPW at 250 Boston Road. Please dispose of unwanted or unneeded medications properly, flushing or throwing in the trash is not proper or safe disposal. If you cannot make Saturday, BPD provides a safe disposal bin in the PD lobby. More details from DEA at the link.
My name is Roy Frost and I am the new Police Chief in Billerica. On December 21, 2021 Town Manager John Curran appointed me to lead the Billerica Police Department. Over the past eight years I have served as Deputy Chief under former Chief, Dan Rosa. I live in Billerica with my wife and children who all attend Billerica public schools. I love this community and excited for the opportunity to serve the town in this new position.
As we are slowly coming out of the recent world-wide pandemic, I hope to personally meet as many residents and business owners as possible. I am a strong believer in the principals of Community Policing, specifically partnering with a cross section of the community to jointly identify problems and develop proactive ways to address them. As a longtime resident, parent, student and employee in the Town of Billerica, I have a strong sense of the need for fostering trust and cooperation with our neighbors. We only need to look at the national news to see that law enforcement is facing a crisis in the area of Trust and Legitimacy when it comes to being fair and impartial stewards of the law. Although the majority of the approximate 700,000 law enforcement officers in this country honorably serve the public every day, placing their lives on the line, we also recognize that there are many examples of these trusted public servants falling far short of their oath. Going back to the time of Sir Robert Peel in 1830, founder of the world renowned Metropolitan Police Service and considered by many to be father of British and American policing, modern policing learned early on the importance of his 7th principal of policing “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence”. As your Police Chief I am committed to leading the department with this principal in mind.
While I recognize that Billerica has consistently received high marks by outside evaluators as being a safe place to live in national comparison with other similarly sized communities, I am also keenly aware that each individuals’ perception of safety must be factored when considering community health and safety. Expanding on the work of former Chief Rosa, I will concentrate additional time and resources in the development of community partnerships throughout all sectors of Billerica. This will include increased engagement of young people, through collaboration with our Recreation Department and Boys and Girls Club as well as through PAL (Police Athletic League). Our Community Engagement officer, Lt Troy Opland, has recently organized a Ball Hockey Tournament during April School vacation. The tournament will consist of three division for youth as young as eight to high school age, who will be coached by volunteer Billerica Police officers. We are also developing Flag Football and Street Hockey options for the summer and fall months. In addition to our youth engagement, we are also planning events to interact with our seniors in collaboration with the Council on Aging, such as a breakfast event where officers will serve seniors while also providing scam avoidance education and awareness related to the ever-increasing financial targeting of our senior population. Additionally, we are planning events with our Faith Community to engage them on safety and security measures related to the physical security of congregants as well as vandalism detection and awareness related to hate and intolerance. Moreover, we have already started up our highly successful Coffee with a Cop program, having recently run another well-attended community collaboration at Panera Bread in North Billerica earlier this past March. We are planning to continue these, as well as more neighborhood-centered community meeting events, to collaborate and problem solve with our residents on the best ways to improve their quality of life.
I look forward to working with all of you in the community as I work towards successfully leading your police department. Please feel free to visit our website at www.billericapolice.org for a more detailed listing of our services. Also, please look for our newly released Community Survey to help us obtain accurate and relevant feedback from the community related to current perceptions, needs and wants of a representative cross-section of the community. Your input is vital to the safe and healthy growth of your town.
2022 Community Survey – https://police.billericaps.com/index.php/2022-community-survey/
Chief Roy W Frost
BILLERICA – The Massachusetts Volunteer Law Enforcement Officer Association (MA-VLEOA) and the Billerica Police Department would like to recognize the officers of the Billerica Police Department Auxiliary Unit for their years of service to their community as their unit faces an uncertain future.
The auxiliary unit in Billerica has been around for about 45 years, the last 30 of which were under direction of Emergency Management Director Bill Laurendeau and the Billerica Police Department.
The unit has about 20 members. New state regulations put in place by the Massachusetts Police Training Committee as part of police reform efforts have made it difficult or impossible for most of the unit’s members to continue serving in a police role, according to Police Chief Roy Frost and Director Laurendeau.
Director Laurendeau and Chief Frost said Billerica’s auxiliary officers have been invaluable over the years, assisting the town with everything from community events, to large-scale police search efforts for missing or endangered residents, such as Alzheimer’s patients, and even with things as small as shoveling and elderly resident’s driveway so a fuel truck can get in.
Unit members directed traffic at parades, at the annual Yankee Doodle Homecoming and road races, and provided significant assistance with COVID-19 clinics recently.
Chief Frost said the Auxiliary Unit was a tremendous help in 2012, when Billerica Police were investigating a home invasion and homicide in the Pinehurst neighborhood, and needed to search a large section of woods near the scene while looking for a firearm.
“It was full of poison ivy but they still went in and did the search as volunteers. There were about 10 auxiliary officers who spent an entire day going through a pretty large wooded parcel, and it was all free to the Town of Billerica,” Chief Frost said, noting that the investigation led to the conviction of six individuals who were involved in the incident.
Director Laurendeau said more than a dozen members of the Auxiliary Unit meet monthly to train for search and rescue. They also work and train with Billerica K-9 units and other search and rescue teams in the region to keep their skills sharp.
“They regularly go on their own time to training sessions both indoor and outdoor, so that when they arrive at a scene they’re not just bodies being there,” Laurendeau said. “If Billerica asks them to go out and do a grid search, they know what to do and what not to do.”
“They do it all on their own time,” said Chief Frost. “It’s just a service for the Town of Billerica that these guys provide at no cost whatsoever.”
Chief Frost said the Auxiliary Unit also has been a great training tool, enabling police to get to know an auxiliary officer, and for the auxiliary officer to get to know the department before seeking a full-time position.
“We’re having recruitment and retention issues across the state and country,” Frost said. “The Auxiliary Unit is an organic repository of qualified, motivated, tested people that we could recruit from.”
Chief Frost said numerous officers have been hired from the auxiliary ranks. Two officers who are bilingual — one speaks Mandarin and another speaks Spanish — joined the full-time force after serving as auxiliary officers and impressing commanders.
“These kinds of opportunities are invaluable for the police department not only because of the volunteerism, but as a recruitment tool,” Chief Frost said. “We’re really concerned about losing these types of programs, but we have to work within the parameters of the new state regulations.”
MA-VLEOA is fully supportive of additional training requirements for reserve officers that were implemented as a result of the Massachusetts police reform law, but is pushing for the state to make the hands-on training included in the requirements more widely available on nights and weekends to facilitate the needs of reserve officers who have other full-time careers. The organization is also concerned about requirements that reserve officers have at least 2,400 hours of experience with arrest powers by January 2027, because many of the state’s reserve officers do not work enough hours to meet the requirement. If Reserve Officers do not meet that experience requirement, they must attend a full-time police academy under the new regulations. Reserve and auxiliary officer units around the Commonwealth have begun to disband due to the new requirements, and unless changes are made to accommodate volunteer officers many more unit closures are expected, with taxpayers expected to feel a financial impact due to the loss of the volunteer services provided by these units.
“I definitely understand the intent of it and commend the state for putting together a basic level of certification for our day-in, day-out police officers, but there’s also this huge piece that kind of got left to the side — these volunteers who do auxiliary policing,” Chief Frost said. “I wish there was a way to address that in a safe way that also allows these individuals to serve their community.”
Chief Frost and Director Laurendeau said auxiliary officers in Billerica are extremely motivated and willing to undertake whatever training they need, but that they also have other full-time jobs that make it difficult if not impossible to attend the roughly 200 hours of Bridge Academy training that is now required, but in large part only available during weekdays.
“I think the consensus around the state is that everyone is in favor of additional training, but the 2,400 hours is almost impossible for some communities to be able to achieve,” Director Laurendeau said. “A lot of these guys really love the job and would be willing to make any sacrifice they can, but many of them are also young family guys and they just can’t take that much time off work and away from their families.”
Despite those challenges, the service that members of the Auxiliary Unit have provided to Billerica make both Chief Frost and Director Laurendeau hopeful that a solution can be found so that dedicated community members can still contribute.
“We’re not giving up on it,” Chief Frost said. “We’re hoping the Legislature will consider relaxing some of the hours requirements for certification of part-time officers and that they figure out a modified certification standard for people who work in this capacity.”
The Massachusetts Volunteer Law Enforcement Officer Association continues to call for the MPTC to make in-person training for reserve police officers available at more flexible times and locations, so that officers with full-time careers can schedule the training they are required to receive, and for the MPTC and other stakeholders to reconsider the number and type of required hours of experience needed to be trained and certified as a reserve officer.
“Auxiliary and Reserve Police Officers all over the Commonwealth have provided competent and dedicated volunteer service for decades, and the Billerica Auxiliary Unit is a great example of that,” said President Spigel. “We agree that all law enforcement officers must be rigorously trained for the duties that they are asked to perform, and we hope the MPTC and other stakeholders will work with us to find a way forward for these dedicated public servants and all others like them.”
To learn more about the Massachusetts Volunteer Law Enforcement Officer Association, click here.
Three divisions consisting of: U10, U13, and High School
Up to 6 teams in each division – Each team will be coached by a Billerica Police Officer!
U10 Division Teams – 8 players + Goalie (4v4)
U13 & HS Divisions Teams – 6 players + Goalie (3v3)
Helmets (with full cage or eye protection), sticks, and gloves are required
No slap shots, no checking
Each team is guaranteed a 2-game minimum
Two 12-minute periods, change ups every 3 minutes
Trophies to Championship teams
SATURDAY, APRIL 23
Games will run 8am – 5pm
Teams will be divided ahead of time and schedule provided
SUNDAY, APRIL 24
Games will run 9am – 11am
Championship Games – Schedule will depend on Saturday’s results
*Each division champion will play against BPD officers!*
To register for this FREE tournament please visit the Billerica Recreation Department website HERE.