Abington to conduct review of police department

Abington to conduct review of police department

ABINGTON, Mass. — The Town of Abington will hire an independent investigator to look into how the police department is managed and operated.

“The residents, the police department itself, the town as a whole, they need answers,” Selectman Kevin DiMarzio told Boston 25 News.

Residents voted at Monday night’s annual town meeting to approve a Planning Board article for “$30,000 for a Police Department Management and Operations Analysis.”

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“It's finally moving forward,” DiMarzio said. “It feels like these things have been talked about for years in town and no one has an answer.”

DiMarzio said town leaders are looking for answers amid high turnover in the department. In addition, Sergeant Alex Kokoros took his own life in October.

Kokoros' mother told The Brockton Enterprise last month the Abington Police Department turned her son's dream job into a nightmare. She doesn't blame the department alone for his suicide, but she said working for Abington Police put unnecessary stress on him.

“Alex Kokoros dedicated his life to the town,” DiMarzio said. “He was a school resource officer. He was a court prosecutor. He touched a lot of lives in town and he paid the ultimate sacrifice, so at the very least I'm happy to move forward. At least this will be done in honor of him.”

DiMarzio said the town will hire an independent company to conduct an analysis of the police department. After receiving the findings, the Board of Selectmen will decide how to move forward.

Since Kokoros’ death, his mother said she’s been learning suicide is all too common among police officers in the United States.

Boston 25 News Anchor Blair Miller has reported extensively on the mental health issues police officers deal with as part of his series Burden of the Badge.