Michael Jenkins appointed East Bridgewater police chief

EAST BRIDGEWATER — The East Bridgewater Police Department has a new chief of police.

“I have been proud to serve and protect the residents of this community for over 25 years and look forward to continuing to do so as Chief of Police,” Michael Jenkins said in a written statement from the police department.

Jenkins, who has served as acting chief since March, was appointed chief of police on Wednesday, Aug. 23, by the East Bridgewater Select Board.

“It is an honor and privilege to be a member of the East Bridgewater Police Department, and I would like to thank all of the members of this department for all that they do each and every day to make this one of the most professional departments in the Commonwealth,” Jenkins said.

Michael Jenkins has been appointed as Chief of the East Bridgewater Police Department.

Michael Jenkins has been appointed as Chief of the East Bridgewater Police Department.

Jenkins’ law enforcement career

Jenkins began his law enforcement career as a seasonal special officer for the Dennis Police Department in 1989. In 1990, he was appointed as a special police officer for the Abington Police Department, serving until 1997. From 1990-1997, Jenkins also worked in information technology.

In 1997, Jenkins became a police officer with the East Bridgewater Police Department. In addition to his patrol duties, he was the department’s IT officer and specialized in cybercrime investigations. He helped launch the department’s first website and wrote grants to procure new technology, including new mobile laptops for cruisers.

Jenkins was promoted to detective in 2007 and assigned to the WEB Multi-Jurisdictional Major Crimes and Drug Task Force as a narcotics and cybercrime investigator. He served in this role until 2013. He was also sworn in as a DEA Task Force Officer.

Jenkins was promoted to sergeant in 2013. As sergeant, his responsibilities included the oversight of the Investigative Division, court prosecutors, evidence and property control, radio and communications, department IT and more.

From 2016-2019, in addition to his responsibilities as sergeant, Jenkins was Unit Commander of the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) Mobile Command Unit, providing support to the SEMLEC SWAT, Search & Rescue and Crisis Negotiation teams. In 2020, Jenkins was appointed deputy chief.

Jenkins’ plans as police chief

As chief, Jenkins plans to work to maintain safe staffing numbers for sworn personnel and continue to provide personnel with training to develop the skills needed for engaging and interacting with the community.  He wants to continue to raise awareness and provide the necessary tools and training to assist first responders in working with youth and families experiencing mental health or behavioral health crises.

Jenkins also plans to continue to improve operational efficiency while strengthening the department’s commitment to community-police relations, including continuing work to attain National Accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). He also plans to continue building public trust and confidence in the department.

Additionally, Jenkins aims to provide training and support to safeguard the mental health and well-being of all first responders and staff in recognition that officers’ mental and psychological health is just as important as physical health in effectively serving and protecting the community.

Finally, during his tenure, he plans to create a committee to determine the feasibility of a new public safety facility for the police and fire departments.

Awards and training

Jenkins has received the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Agency Award recognizing law enforcement officers who have undergone its rigorous series of leadership trainings. He is also DEA/Narcotic Investigations certified and was a past member of the Massachusetts ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force, among numerous other certifications.

He holds a degree in criminal justice/law enforcement administration from Western New England College. He graduated from the 30th MPOC Plymouth Police Academy.

An official swearing-in ceremony is expected to be scheduled at a later date.

Jenkins takes command following the retirement of Chief Paul O’Brien. O’Brien retired on Aug. 5.

Chief Michael Jenkins, right, takes command following the retirement of Chief Paul O'Brien who retired on Aug. 5. They are pictured here in 2020.

Chief Michael Jenkins, right, takes command following the retirement of Chief Paul O’Brien who retired on Aug. 5. They are pictured here in 2020.

O’Brien retires

O’Brien joined the East Bridgewater Police Department in 1997, having worked in the maritime industry prior to becoming a police officer. He was promoted to detective in 2004 and sergeant in 2010. He served as deputy chief from 2018 until becoming chief in March 2020.

He graduated from the 25th MPOC Plymouth Police Academy, Drug Enforcement Administration School through the Massachusetts State Police Academy, and Arson School through the Massachusetts Firefighter Academy. O’Brien grew up in Brockton.

“I am grateful to Chief O’Brien for his 20-plus years of dedicated service to the community and his skillful leadership of the East Bridgewater Police Department, including through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said in the written statement. “Likewise, I look forward to seeing how the department will continue to grow under Chief Jenkins’ leadership.

Staff writer Kathy Bossa can be reached by email at kbossa@enterprisenews.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today. 

This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: East Bridgewater appoints new police chief, Michael Jenkins

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