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|May 3 , 2010
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Suffolk County Juvenile Probation Officers Help Maintain Safety
During “National Skip Day”
Suffolk County Juvenile Probation Officers Frank Larmond (standing at bottom), Robert Nagle (middle), and Kevin McClerklin (top)
Suffolk County Juvenile Probation Officers helped stop a robbery in progress at an MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) station and in a separate incident assisted state and local police departments with maintaining order at Revere Beach on “National Skip Day,” an unofficial celebration of the season by local high school students who ditch classes for the beach on the first warm day of spring.
Probation and law enforcement agencies learned of the “Skip Day” in advance this year when students began advertising it on social networking sites. Probation and police officers were dispatched to prevent rowdy behavior and violence that resulted when teens traveled by train to the beach in previous years on the first warm day of spring, according to Suffolk County Juvenile Chief Probation Officer Steven Siciliano.
Juvenile Probation Officers Frank Larmond and Kevin McClerklin were at the JFK (John F. Kennedy) stop with fellow Juvenile Probation Officers, the MBTA Transit, and local police departments to help control a crowd of teenagers on their way to Castle Island Beach in South Boston when a teenage boy snatched an I-Phone out of the hands of an unsuspecting female standing on the platform. Probation and law enforcement officers were at the train stop as part of the StopWatch Program which places Probation Officers and representatives from other law enforcement agencies at MBTA stations to maintain safety and discourage unlawful and dangerous activity among teens riding the transit after-school.
Larmond, who recognized the juvenile probationer as he streaked by, grabbed him and he was placed under arrest by Transit Police. Coincidentally, the boy—who had a pending case for robbery and armed assault—had come into the court earlier in the day.
“I saw him run by and recognized him as someone who had come into the Probation Department earlier. I grabbed him and he was placed under arrest,” Larmond said.
McClerklin said his and the other Probation Officer’s familiarity with the court-involved children was helpful to their law enforcement partners. Also maintaining a presence that day were Juvenile Probation Officers Reinaldo Ford, Shirby Best, and Robert Nagle.
MBTA Lieutenant Mark Gillespie lauded Probation for their participation in StopWatch and their work on “Skip Day.”
“Probation Officers’ participation has made this effort so much more effective. There is no stone unturned. The information they provide gives us the opportunity to have an in-depth look at a situation. We are a better police department and MBTA transit system because of our partnership with the Suffolk Juvenile Probation Officers,” Gillespie said.
On the other side of Suffolk County on “Skip Day,” Juvenile Probation Officer Gerry Cole helped State Police and police from two local police stations—Revere and Winthrop—maintain order at Revere Beach, a major site for this year and last year’s “Skip Day.” Last year, teens’ rowdy and violent behavior both enraged and frightened local residents as well as created public safety issues.
From 2 to 10 p.m., Cole partnered with the Department of Youth Services AWOL Unit and Revere Police to help avert several fights as identified gang members “walked by and eyed each other down,” Cole said.
He assisted police with identifying a group of teen girls who assaulted rivals from another city. The aggressors where apprehended. Cole warned probationers at the beach to behave and to go home before their curfew. He shooed children identified as CHINS (Children In Need of Services) cases away from the beach—sending them home. “Go home. You don’t need to be here,” Cole admonished.
Cole assisted police with returning two lost children, five and six years olds, who had gotten separated from their parents amidst the crowd of teens.
“The public saw us probation and police working together. Many of the families thanked us for being a presence,” he said.