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Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC)

According to its website, "The Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) is a consortium of police departments in Middlesex and Essex Counties, and two County Sheriff’s Departments. Member agencies operate by sharing resources and personnel, collectively providing services to each other that might not be available to one." NEMLEC currently lists 61 police departments and two Sheriff's Departments (Essex and Middlesex) as member agencies.

NEMLEC is one of several regional Massachusetts Law Enforcement Councils which function to increase collaboration between local police and sheriff's departments, while organizing SWAT teams and obtaining military equipment for use by these law enforcement agencies. Set up as non-profit professional organizations, NEMLEC and other LECs have attempted to restrict public knowledge of their activities and refused public records requests. After the Marathon Bombing in 2013, the extensive use of military equipment and the practice of door to door searches in Cambridge and Watertown brought more attention to NEMLEC as a coordinating body of area policing practices. Only after a lawsuit from the ACLU did NEMLEC disclose some information about their structure, equipment, and operations.

Before increased public and press attention in 2013, NEMLEC's website contained the following explanation of its history:

The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) began in 1963 [...] during the turbulent social and political struggles in the 1960s, when police departments were experiencing an increase in crime. [... ] The disorder associated with suburban sprawl as people migrated from larger cities, the development of the interstate highway system, the Civil Rights Movement and the growing resistance to the Vietnam War threatened to overwhelm the serenity of the quaint, idyllic New England towns North and West of Boston. Police chiefs gathered to share intelligence about crime patterns and trends, to discuss social policies and develop effective prevention and response programs.

Other similarly functioning regional police councils in MA include: the Cape Cod Regional Law Enforcement Council, the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, the Greater Boston Police Council, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, and the Western Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

314 Main Street, Suite #205 Wilmington MA, 01887

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