EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

March 12, 2013

Editorial: Bartlett sets high standard for police

Congratulations, and thanks, are in order for Lt. Mary Bartlett of the Lawrence Police Department, who has spent her career helping the victims of the worst crimes imaginable.

Bartlett is a detective lieutenant in department’s domestic and sexual assault unit.

Chief John Romero has been impressed with Bartlett from the moment he joined the department. Romero said officers who work with sexual abuse cases often burn out in just a few years. Bartlett has been doing the job for 24 years.

Friday, Bartlett has honored with the Woman of the Year award from Delamano Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating domestic violence.

“She sees the worst of the worst, but no one has more compassion than Mary Bartlett,” Romero said.

Bartlett’s story is that of a local girl who made good. She was born in Methuen, graduated from St. Mary High School and attended Lowell State College. She worked as a bookkeeper at Lawrence District Court and in 1989 was appointed a reserve officer with the Lawrence police. She became a full-time police officer the following year. Bartlett was promoted to detective sergeant in 1999 and detective lieutenant in 2002. She was named the Greater Lawrence Exchange Club Police Officer of the Year in 1996 and in 1999 received a commendation from the New York City Police Department for assisting in solving a murder there.

“My father told me you can do basically what you set your mind to,” she said on receiving the award.

Bartlett received her award from Romero and three seventh-graders from Esperanza Academy, an all-girls middle school in Lawrence.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” she later told reporter Yadira Betances. “I’m very grateful to serve the people of Lawrence.”

Bartlett’s dedication and commitment to the people of Lawrence is the ideal we seek in a police officer.

“I wanted to help people and be of service,” she said. “This job means the world to me because it’s very rewarding. We focus on the victims who are survivors. We also keep an open mind, because it’s equally important to clear people who are innocent.”

What more can we ask of those who serve as police officers?

We offer our congratulations to Bartlett and our thanks for a job well done.

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