12 Union St. Attleboro, MA 02703-2911 - Non-Emergency Phone 508-222-1212 - www.attleboropolice.org

The Attleboro Police P.O.P. Team in Action

Press Release

 For Immediate Release


Contact:          Detective Sergeant Arthur Brillon                  Telephone: 774-203-1881

Date:               July 25, 2014

After repeated complaints from residents in the area of Merritt Place, the Attleboro Police Department POP Team responded.  POP which stands for Problem Oriented Policing was defined by Herman Goldstein in 2001 as “An approach to policing in which discrete pieces of police business are subject to microscopic examination (drawing on the especially honed skills of crime analysts and the accumulated experience of operating field personnel) in hopes that what is freshly learned about each problem will lead to discovering a new and more effective strategy for dealing with it. Problem-oriented policing places a high value on new responses that are preventive in nature, that are not dependent on the use of the criminal justice system, and that engage other public agencies, the community and the private sector when their involvement has the potential for significantly contributing to the reduction of the problem. Problem-oriented policing carries a commitment to implementing the new strategy, rigorously evaluating its effectiveness, and, subsequently, reporting the results in ways that will benefit other police agencies and that will ultimately contribute to building a body of knowledge that supports the further professionalization of the police.

The POP philosophy of Policing commonly uses a problem-solving method known as the SARA model.  The SARA model includes:

Scanning (Recognizing a Problem),

Analysis (of the causes of the Problem),

Response (Plan Development and Response) and

Assessment (Review)

With the advent of Attleboro Police Department’s POP Team, plainclothes officers responded to Merritt Place after repeated complaints and met with homeowners.  As part of the meetings with residents, they were asked to address such problems as abandoned vehicles, trash and other unsightly issues.

During these meetings, the POP Officers learned of one problem household located on Merritt Place.  The house was identified and the landlord was confronted.  The landlord, who was identified as Brian Madsen was given proper notice to address multiple problems which were consuming police resources.

After a reasonable period of time and after repeated calls requiring police to respond to #2 Merritt Place, Madsen was summoned to Attleboro District Court in August 2012 by Detective Matthew Cook for a charge of  “Keeping a Noisy & Disorderly House” in violation of Chapter 272 § Section 53 of the Massachusetts General Laws.  At that time, Detective Cook was assigned to the department’s POP Team.

The case culminated with a Jury trial on July 23rd at Attleboro District Court which was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Noah Ertel in which the jury convicted Madsen of the crime.  Assistant District Attorney Ertel was assisted by Henry Sousa, an Intern working with the District Attorney’s office.  During their research in preparation for the trial, the Prosecutors learned that the most recent decision on record involving this type of crime was decided in Commonwealth versus Kimball in 1856.  Along with Detective Cook, Officer Steven Graney testified on behalf of the Commonwealth.

At a departmental COMSTAT meeting this week, Chief Heagney complimented the POP Team as well as Assistant District Attorney Ertel for their diligence in bringing the case to a successful resolution.  It is hoped that this conviction will encourage the property owner as well as other landlords within the City of Attleboro to properly “police” their tenants.

Residents experiencing problems in a specific area of the City can contact the Attleboro Police Department POP Team at 508-222-1212 or the Anonymous Tip-Line at 774-203-1915.

Residents can learn more about Problem Oriented Policing by visiting popcenter.org.

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