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Middlesex alum and Bedford Police Department Sgt. Patrick Towle led NEMLEC's SWAT team response in the days following the Boston Marathon Bombing.
"Given Sgt. Towle's years of service to the
town of Bedford, plus the role he undertook
helping to lead the NEMLEC SWAT unit in
the days of the Boston Marathon crisis, I join
with my colleagues at MCC to express our
pride for his work, and our gratitude for his
continued devotion to public safety,"
Malvers said.
Towle, 49, is a lifelong Bedford resident,
graduating from Bedford High School
before entering the criminal justice program
at MCC. He graduated from the college
in 1985.
He credits all of his brother officers in
the SWAT team and the support of the
NEMLEC organization for the unit's success.
"I like the challenge of SWAT," Towle said
recently, just minutes after attending a
briefing on security for this year's upcoming
Boston Marathon. "It's a huge commitment,
but I like the concept of knowing that when
SWAT has been called, it's to resolve an
incident, there's no one else coming in after
us. I've been blessed with an understanding
family and a supportive police chief that
have allowed me to be part of this for almost
25 years. I still enjoy the work. I suppose
the day my pager goes off and I don't want
to respond is the day I'll know I've
had enough."
Last April, on Marathon Monday when
his pager went off, Towle and his 35-member
team was pressed into service within hours of
the deadly explosions. They spent the next
several days trying to allay the fears of the
community, and providing visible security
at Boston events or venues, such as a Bruins
game, or at Faneuil Hall. They would work
12 hours shifts for the next several days.
"People weren't looking at our patches to
see where we were from, they were just glad
we were out there providing security,"
Towle said.
After the adrenaline high of that entire
week, Towle said he and his unit debriefed, to
discuss all of the details of the week, whether
it was during the height of an active pursuit
or while providing security at a church or
hospital when President Obama came to
Boston to speak.
"It was an emotional week, definitely
something out of the ordinary, but it helps
to talk things through with other officers
who've been through the same type of events
as you," Towle said. "And we had to prepare,
because we had no way of knowing when
those pagers were going to go off again, and
what that next callout was going to be for.
But we had to be ready."
Patrick Cook