Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement Holds Successful 15th Annual Conference

BOSTON — The Executive Board of the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement reports the success of its 15th Annual MAWLE Conference on Monday, Oct. 3.

More than 200 law enforcement professionals from across Massachusetts, representing 78 law enforcement agencies and organizations, participated in the day-long event at the Wylie Inn and Conference Center on the campus of Endicott College in Beverly.

Members of the Rockport Police Department Honor Guard presented colors. Endicott student Amanda Fox performed the Star-Spangled Banner. Attendees were welcomed by MAWLE Board President Marie Cleary, Endicott College Police Chief Kerry Ramsdell, Beverly Police Chief John G. LeLacheur, and Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger.

President Cleary, a Wellesley Police Department Lieutenant, shared that a significant number of sworn female officers had risen in rank in the past year, including several who have become police chiefs.

Retired Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best delivered the Keynote Address, reflecting on her law enforcement career and her ascent through the ranks, and sharing leadership lessons she learned through challenging times.

Chief Best said law enforcement has many traditions, but added, “Some traditions can hinder people and ideas from advancing. We want to create new traditions.” Those traditions involve revising and expanding hiring practices, which will bring diverse voices and viewpoints to conversations within public safety.

“We need diversity, and we need to make sure everyone is involved, and is comfortable speaking up,” Chief Best said.

Chief Best also spoke about unrest in Seattle following the death of George Floyd. Best said the protests posed significant challenges to the department. She said leadership meant both ensuring the safety and security of the community, but also tending to the safety, physical, and emotional conditions of all officers.

Breakout sessions focused on topics including career planning, investigating sexual assault cases, new initiatives to increase the ranks of women in law enforcement, leadership and risk, career planning, and financial planning. Informational sessions about the Municipal Police Training Committee and Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission also were offered.

The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion involving leading women in Massachusetts law enforcement: Sgt. Valesay Collins, Foxboro Police Department; Superintendent Lanita Cullinane, Boston Police Department; Superintendent Danielle Frane, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department; Detective Ciara McGuire, Holliston Police Department; Acting Police Chief Jennifer Paster, Brookline Police Department; and Chief Ramsdell.

Gary, the Endicott Police Department comfort dog, attended to provide support and snuggles throughout the conference.

“Conferences such as these are important because they allow us to hear from important voices within law enforcement,” President Cleary said. “Attendees can connect and reconnect with their peers. And they can pursue mentorship opportunities that will allow them to grow in their careers.”

The Executive Board wishes to recognize the Conference Committee for its hard work in delivering a successful conference: Sgt. Amyleigh DeVito, Boston Police Department; Superintendent Danielle Frane, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department; Sgt. Mary Fountain, Rockport Police Department; Sgt. Nicole Grant, Boston Police Department; Chief Cara Rossi, Ashland Police Department; Lt. Laurene Spiess, Boston College Police Department; Superintendent Pauline Wells, Cambridge Police Department.

The Executive Board also wishes to thank the following: Platinum Sponsor, City of Boston Credit Union; Diamond Sponsor, FirstNet; Gold Sponsor, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association; and Bronze Sponsor, Hunt’s Photo and Video.

The Executive Board also expresses its appreciation to the following sponsors and supporters: Ancora Psychological, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association, the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, Inc., LLEGO Boston, AAA Police Supply, Aer Lingus, Atlantic Tactical, Boston Police Superior Officer’s Federation, Brotherhood for the Fallen – Boston, Central Equipment, John Guilfoil Public Relations, and Law Enforcement Dimensions, Endicott College Public Safety, Endicott College’s Homeland Security Studies, Ballin Law, and Essex County Sheriff’s Department.