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Citizens Police Academy: Week 6: Domestic Violence

by Paul Saulnier
May 5, 2014

Detective Ciara Maquire-Ryan spoke on the many forms that  domestic violence takes and the programs available to help residents who may be experiencing or are in danger of experiencing domestic violence. Aslo speaking this evening was Officer Bryan DiGiorgio, HPD's School Resource Officer, on his involvement with the students and faculty in all of the Holliston schools.

Detective Ciara Maquire-Ryan has been with HPD since 1995 and is the department's lead detective in dealing with DV (domestic violence), a complicated issue that occurs more often in Holliston than most would think. Ciara said that outward appearances often seem normal and that DV crosses all cultures and classes.

Ciara was careful to note that not every argument or disagreement constitutes domestic violence.

Divorce can be a very stressful time and can lead to domestic violence. Ciara reviewed several cases of DV that have recently been in the news and through the courts.

When one member of a relationship decides to call off a relationship after the other has broken many promises to stop being so possessive, refusal to give the person "one more chance" can lead to violence. Ciara explained that being possessive is not love, but rather a need to control the partner.

Detective Ryan heads up Holliston's DV program and is always available to meet informally with anyone who wants to discuss their situation. She also heads up the department's Rape Aggression Defense program and will be offering a course sometime in May or June of the year.

Officer Bryan DiGiorgio has an office in the high school but also visits the Middle, Miller and even Placentino schools.He started his presentation by answering what was for many of us in the class was the obvious question: why have an SRO anyway?

He explained the SRO position has changed over the years, starting as part time in 1960. In 1990 the officer was known as a Juvenile Detective. Then in 1997 there was the D.A.R.E. Program that addressed drug awareness. The tragedy of Columbine in Connecticut changed the way police departments around the country planned for potential problems in schools.

The class viewed about five minutes of video from Columbine's security cameras that showed the two students shooting fellow students point blank as they pleaded for the their lives.

Bryan then explained the reasons for the SRO.

One  thing that changed as a result of Columbine was to teach the kids to evacuate the school if at all possible. Before Columbine, the drill was to hide. The video we watched showed how that did not work as the shooters walked from room to room looking under desks and shooting students hiding there.

This summer Officer DiGiorgio will also be running Junior Police Academy. Enrollment for this popular program (funded by a grant) is already full.

Sergeant Matt Waugh closed out the session with a review of the Officer Down Memoriam Website ( which listed 3 casualties last week.


Posted in Police/Fire.

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Comments (1)

This is one of those topics that makes people uncomfortable so they don't talk about it. I've experienced domestic violence growing up myself and I can tell you that the officers had no clue how to respond. It makes me feel happier that there is soooo much training now... THANK YOU Detective Ciara Maquire-Ryan for doing such an awesome job of sharing the information! It makes a huge difference in the lives of the people in this community! Great big hugs of gratitude, Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :) Coach Me Maria 23 Water Street, Suite 204 Holliston, MA 01746

- Maria Salomao-Schmidt | 5/5/14 5:44 AM



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