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|December 10, 2003
Holland, Director of Communications
JUVENILE PROBATION OFFICERS HELP STOP CRIME
AT QUINCY CENTER MBTA STATION
Juvenile Court Assistant Chief Probation Officer Mark Prisco and Probation
Officer Denise Aguero were among the key members
of "Operation Stopwatch," a law enforcement team, which
converged at the Quincy Center train station recently to
present a show of force and to prevent teens from committing
crimes and causing trouble.
addition to Prisco and Aguero, the Operation Stopwatch team
consists of MBTA police, Quincy police, representatives from
the Department of Youth Services, and Quincy Public School's
director of Safety and Security. Operation Stopwatch, formed
at the beginning of the school year, evolved from a series
of community meetings where residents complained about criminal
and delinquent behavior allegedly being committed by Quincy
middle and high school students when they are released from
school in the afternoon. According to MBTA Police Sergeant
Detective Mark F. Gillespie, 21 students were arrested from
September 1 through November 27 for robbery, assault, larceny,
and distribution of drugs. The Operation Stopwatch team maintains
a presence at Quincy Center three times a month.
is a very busy T station. A lot of arrests originate from
here. There have been reports of drug transactions, sexual
activity in the wooded area behind the station and vandalism," said
Norfolk Juvenile Court Chief Probation Officer Thomas Mitchell. "We
have picked kids up who are in default of their probation
but that is not the primary reason we are here. We are here
to maintain a presence."
Officer Aguero said she is familiar with many of the young
people who pass through the station. "I think Operation Stopwatch
works. It is presence, partnership and continuity," Aguero
Sergeant Detective Gillespie described the Norfolk Juvenile
Probation Officers as the "most integral members" of Operation
personally know the kids, their home life and their past.
They help us take the anonymity out of it," Gillespie said.