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Burlington Police Department Hosts Exercise to Prepare for Possible Active Shooter at Burlington Mall

Burlington police collaborated with other first responders to outline their plans for dealing with a potential active shooter incident at the Burlington Mall. (Courtesy Photo)
BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police Department hosted more than a dozen other public safety agencies Wednesday for a tabletop exercise designed to prepare for a potential active shooter incident at the Burlington Mall.


Burlington Police, along with the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council (NERAC), the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Burlington Fire Department and Burlington Mall collaborated on the exercise.


The planning session was funded by NERAC through a Department of Homeland Security grant that the council receives from EOPSS as a way to test the ability of the involved agencies to cohesively respond to an active shooter event at the mall involving multiple casualties.


In addition, the following agencies contributed to the planning effort:
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Lexington Police Department
  • Massachusetts State Police
  • Waltham Police Department
  • Wilmington Fire Department
  • Winchester Hospital
  • Winchester Police Department
  • Armstrong Ambulance
  • Bedford Police Department
  • Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council
  • Billerica Police Department
  • Burlington Department of Public Works
  • Concord Police Department
  • Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
  • Billerica EMS
Each agency worked together to outline their individual roles during every phase of a potential incident, including how the mall would be locked down, how the shooter would be contained and neutralized, and how victims would be treated. The agencies also outlined their strategies for keeping the public informed during an incident.


Wednesday’s exercise was the latest facet of a longstanding effort to prepare for significant incidents of any kind, and the Burlington Mall has been an engaged and cooperative partner with the Burlington police and its partner agencies for several years.


“Exercises like these make us well prepared to deal with extraordinarily dangerous situations,” Chief Kent said. “We are fortunate to be able to collaborate with our partner agencies and develop a unified plan that will best enable us to effectively respond to any kind of active shooter incident should it arise. However, it is important for people to know that there is no threat against the mall and that these exercises are meant as a way to help us be prepared to respond to any kind of hazard.”



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Burlington Police to Conduct Alcohol Compliance Checks of Local Establishments

BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent announces that the Burlington Police Department will be continuing to conduct alcohol compliance checks at local businesses throughout the remainder of the year.

“The purpose of these compliance checks is to educate license holders about the importance of complying with local and state laws pertaining to the sale of alcohol, and to remain vigilant in ensuring that no alcoholic beverages are sold to underage persons,” Chief Kent said. “We hope to find all licensees to be in compliance.”

Lawful alcohol compliance checks are vital in ensuring that establishments obey the laws pertaining to the sale of alcohol, especially with regard to underage drinking. Alcohol consumption by minors has a profound effect on the community and is related to motor vehicle crashes, crime, poor performance in school, and a number of other behaviors that could have an adverse impact on the quality of life in town.

Burlington Police intend to conduct compliance checks over the next several months and will continue to do so throughout the year to ensure the safety of youth in the community and that licensed establishments are in compliance with the law.

The Burlington Police Department would like to thank the community for their continued efforts and support.

Any questions pertaining to this information may be directed to Detective Sergeant Timothy McDonough at tmcdonough@bpd.org or 781-272-1212 ext. 4943.

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Burlington Police Department

Michael R. Kent, Chief of Police

45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803

Burlington Fire Department

Chief Steve Yetman

21 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 781-791-7627
Email: john@jgpr.net

Photos: Burlington Police and Fire Host Active Shooter Drill at Mall

The Burlington Police and Fire Departments hosted a number of agencies for an active shooter drill at the Burlington Mall late last month. (Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Papsedero)

BURLINGTON – Police Chief Michael Kent and Fire Chief Steve Yetman report that the Burlington Police and Fire Departments hosted a number of agencies late last month for a successful active shooter drill, which allowed police officers, firefighters, and medics to practice responding to and coordinating resources in the event of an unthinkable incident of violence.

Nearly 50 first responders participated in the training, which took place at the Burlington Mall on the evening of Sunday, April 30. The training, hosted in conjunction Simon Property Group and Allied Universal Security, also included police officers from Lexington, Belmont, Billerica, and Bedford, along with personnel from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT and RRT units. The Billerica Fire Department and Billerica EMS also participated.

“These training sessions, which we hold regularly with our Burlington and neighboring agencies, are an invaluable opportunity to use a real-life venue to practice how we would respond to a critical public safety incident,” Chief Kent said. “These exercises allow us to hone our skills and become more effective in responding to a crisis here or elsewhere, and I am grateful to everyone who participated as well as to our hosts, Simon Property Group, for once again partnering with Burlington Police and Fire for this drill.”

Burlington has a population of about 25,000 residents, but it is also home to a large and diverse commercial base. Tens of thousands of commuters come to work here each day. The Burlington Mall is a top shopping destination, and the town has six hotels and two more coming online later this year.

During the simulation, officers played the roles of active shooters, walking throughout the mall firing blank rounds. Officers used tactics and best practices to conduct a search and ultimately locate the shooter. The mall setting allowed officers to practice searching hallways, stairways, corridors, utility areas, and wide open areas like the food court.

The drill once again made use of the revolutionary Burlington Rescue Task Force (RTF), a combination of the Burlington Police and Fire Departments that teams armed officers with rescue medics who need to be delivered safely to critical areas and patients in need during a violent situation.

Participants in the drill were divided into four-member multi-jurisdictional teams. All units completed the training and engaged in a post-training debriefing, where organizers offered both praise and constructive criticism.

“The close working partnerships among police and fire departments in this part of the state make us all better prepared to respond to a critical incident,” Chief Yetman said. “These training operations are very important, as they hone our skills and give first responders from several different agencies a chance to work together, just in case the real thing ever happens.”


Photo Courtesy of Simon Property Group

Photo Courtesy of Simon Property Group


A Message from the Burlington Police and Fire Departments

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Burlington Schools Briefly Placed on Lockout Following Threats

BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent reports that Burlington schools were briefly placed in lockout mode following a report that a woman who made threats to harm people was in town from out of state.

At approximately 1:20 p.m., Burlington Police received a report from the Merrimack New Hampshire Police Department that a woman had made threats over social media to harm people with a firearm.

The Merrimack Police Department informed Burlington that a trace of the woman’s cell phone indicated that she was in Burlington.

Out of an abundance of caution, the schools were placed on lockout mode, meaning no one could go in or out of the building.

Parents were alerted to the matter through ConnectED, however, classes continued as normal and there was no disruption to class.

Lockout mode was lifted at 1:55 p.m., after Burlington Police were notified by Merrimack Police that a second ping of the cell phone indicated that the woman was never in Burlington and was actually in a North Shore community.

Subsequent traces of the woman’s cell phone indicated that she was in Manchester by the Sea, and then the Peabody area.

Chief Kent states that there is no danger to the Burlington community. 

Additional media inquiries should be directed to the Manchester by the Sea Police Department, which is coordinating the search.


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Burlington Police Department Finalizing State Accreditation Process

Burlington Police Department

Michael R. Kent, Chief of Police

45 Center St.
Burlington, MA 01803



Thursday, March. 9, 2017

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 781-791-7627
Email: john@jgpr.net

Burlington Police Department Finalizing State Accreditation Process

BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent is pleased to announce that a team of assessors from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, March 21 at 8:45 a.m. to begin examining various aspects of the Burlington Police Department’s policies and procedures, operations and facilities.

The assessment team must verify that the Burlington Police Department meets the Commission’s standards as one of the last steps in the voluntary process to gain state accreditation.

Accreditation is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards and best practices that have been established for modern law enforcement agencies.

The accreditation program consists of 253 mandatory standards as well as 122 optional standards. In order to achieve accreditation status, the department must meet all applicable mandatory standards as well as 60 percent of the optional standards.

Achieving Accreditation is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence. Anyone interested in learning more about this program is invited to call Chief Kent or the Department’s Accreditation Manager, Lt. Thomas Browne, at 781-272-1212.


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Department of Justice – Chelsea Man Arrested For Multiple Bank Robberies

Department of Justice

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz

District of Massachusetts



December 12, 2016                                                                                         Phone (617) 748-3356

www.justice.gov/usao/ma/news.html                                                        usama.media@usdoj.gov




BOSTON – A Chelsea man, dubbed the “Spelling Bee Bandit,” was arrested and charged today in connection with four bank robberies in the Greater Boston area.


Jason S. Englen, 34, was charged with the robberies of: TD Bank in Arlington on Oct. 31, 2016; TD Bank in Reading on Nov. 5, 2016; Salem Five in Burlington on Nov. 7, 2016; and TD Bank in Peabody on Nov. 13, 2016.  A probable cause and detention before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler will continue tomorrow.


According to court documents, on Oct. 31, 2016, a man entered a branch of TD Bank in Arlington, approached a teller and presented a note written on a deposit slip with the word “ROBERY” written on it.  The teller handed the man money from the drawer and he fled the bank.  Following the robbery, the man’s image was circulated on public websites seeking information about his identity.  Nearly identical incidents occurred on Nov. 5th at a branch of TD Bank in Reading, on Nov. 7th at a branch of Salem Five in Burlington, and on Nov. 13th at a branch of TD Bank in Peabody.  During each robbery, the man handed the teller a note with the word “ROBERY” or “ROBERT” demanding cash.  During the last robbery, the man told the teller he wanted $20 and $50 dollar bills.  Following each robbery, the man’s image was circulated on public websites seeking information about his identity.


Based on the similarity of the robberies and the physical description of the robber provided by the bank tellers, a bulletin was circulated seeking the public’s help in identifying the perpetrator.  As a result, law enforcement received information that the individual involved in the robberies was Englen.  Englen, who was already in state custody on unrelated charges, was arrested by federal authorities today.


The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and restitution.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge bases upon the US Sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.


United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins; Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan; Reading Police Chief Mark D. Segalla; Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent; and Peabody Police Chief Thomas Griffin, made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.