Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 24, 2013

Gratitude and healing in wake of tragedy


The Andover Townsman

---- — Cheers to local police officers who went to Boston to help in the aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Officers from several local communities, including Andover, answered the call for backup as part of their involvement in the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), a consortium of law enforcement agencies in Essex and Middlesex counties.

Retired Andover police Lt. William MacKenzie, a proud father in his own right, has spread the news that his son, Andover police officer Brian MacKenzie, is among the area’s public safety workers who answered the call to assist the Boston and Watertown police departments in the search for the bombing suspects. He was deployed for four days with the NEMLEC SWAT and Regional Response Team.

Officers and dispatchers from North Andover, Haverhill and Lawrence were also sent to Boston to provide support. NEMLEC is comprised of 53 local police departments and sheriffs agencies. Its purpose is to provide law enforcement resources in a crisis that would be beyond the scope of any one community.

We’re grateful that local police were able to help Boston in its hour of need.

Andover as a community has also stepped forward over the last several days to offer its support and honor the memory of the victims of the bombings. From the neighborhood children who have held bake sales, opened lemonade stands and raided piggy banks to raise money for The One Fund for victims to the churches and organizations that have been holding prayer services and moments of silence, people have wanted to come together to help, to connect and show they care.

Tragedy often brings out the best in people — and communities. And there’s no better example than what’s been happening in Boston and all across the state — including in Andover — in the days following the Marathon.