EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 9, 2013

Letter: Officer's handling of call seemed normal

To the editor:

While I am not privy to the “behind the scenes” bickering, I am curious about why seemingly drastic measures are being taken against Officer Rick Welch concerning his handling of a call. To be sure it was tragic that a man was later found deceased. It does seem however that the officer did what had previously done with similar calls.

Realizing that no matter how old one’s children are, parents worry when a pattern of activity changes or they cannot be reached by phone. Even when someone is apparently “missing”, it is my understanding that they are not handled as missing for a number of hours after the report. Would it then not be a normal response to do exactly what the officer did and not immediately assume there was a life or death struggle involved?

Are we to assume that any police department receiving a call from a worried person whose relative is not answering the phone or is late for something, should issue an all-points bulletin? Then they would be a “babysitting department.”

Betty Ann Lee


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