SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 20, 2013

North Shore officers part of manhunt

BY TOM DALTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — Police officers from several North Shore departments took part in the manhunt yesterday for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing and the fatal shooting of an MIT police officer.

The North Shore officers went to Watertown to join the house-to-house search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old who allegedly carried out the bombing and police killing with his older brother, who was killed Thursday night in a shootout with police. After the bloody shootout, a heavily-armed Tsarnaev fled and was pursued by a massive police force.

The North Shore officers are part of swat teams and rapid response teams from the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, a consortium of more than 50 departments from Essex and Middlesex counties.

The officers have received advanced tactical training and are called out in police emergencies and for crowd control.

Yesterday, they were part of an unprecedented manhunt.

“They have done some of the house-to-house searches,” said Salem Police Chief Paul Tucker, the NEMLEC vice president, who was at the regional force’s command post in Watertown. “They’re literally clearing block by block.”

Virtually every North Shore police department has officers in NEMLEC.

“We have five officers who are assigned to NEMLEC,” Peabody Deputy Chief Scott Carriere said yesterday. “My understanding is one of our (hostage) negotiators was very close to the first suspect when he was killed.”

Carriere identified the officer as Detective Eric Ricci.

The NEMLEC teams worked 12-hour shifts, he said.

North Shore departments have also supplied K-9 officers and civilian dispatchers.

On Thursday, a large contingent of Peabody officers went to Boston to help provide security for President Obama’s visit.

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.