EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 19, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — 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 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.

Methuen police Chief Joseph Solomon told reporter Brian Messenger his department received the request for help Monday at 5:30 p.m., less than three hours after two bombs were detonated. Nine Methuen officers were assigned to Boston, where they assisted local and state police until 11 p.m. Monday. They returned to the city the next day for a 12-hour shift as part of an increased police presence in the wake of the bombings.

“They’re working a lot of hours in a short time,” said Solomon. “It’s a crisis situation. That’s what’s expected.”

Officers and dispatchers from Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence and North Andover 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. Thanks to all those involved.

CHEERS to a teacher at Northern Essex Community College whose efforts earned her national recognition.

The National Institute for Staff and Organization Development recognized Judith Chmielecki with its Award for Excellence for outstanding teachers in the country’s community colleges. Chmielecki teaches English as a Second Language at Northern Essex and has done so for more than 13 years. She was recently named coordinator for the ESL Learning Social Club at the college.

Chmielecki has been a board member of The Asian Center of Merrimack Valley Inc. and secretary of the executive Board of Directors for eight years. She is also involved in English as a Second Language curriculum development and in promoting services supporting immigrants.

Congratulations to Chmielecki on earning this national honor.

JEERS to a Haverhill woman, whose violation of the terms of her bail have landed her in jail.

Brooke Uttley, 23, is charged with motor vehicle homicide, operating to endanger and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury in connection with a Dec. 3, 2011, crash that killed Ashley Donahue, 20, of Bridgewater. Three other people were injured in the crash, which came after a night of partying, police said.

At her arraignment in April 2012, Uttley was released on conditions that included not drinking and undergoing random alcohol screenings.

Last week, a police officer spotted Uttley in a Framingham bar. Police say she was drinking a cranberry juice and vodka drink and that she had been seen drinking at the bar the previous week as well. She was arrested Saturday in Haverhill. Her bail was revoked and she was ordered held pending her trial, scheduled for June.

Uttley’s actions indicate she does not understand the seriousness of the charges against her. Her violation of her bail conditions was irresponsible. She belongs in jail until her trial.