Gallery: Tewksbury Police Officer Jennie Welch [1 Image] Click any image to expand.
You see them every day. Cruising the neighborhoods and main streets of Tewksbury. Helping the community, risking their lives for others, running Tewksbury activities, working day to day for our town. Today I had the privilege of interviewing one of our own. Tewksbury Police Officer, Safety Officer, mother, wife, and life long resident of Tewksbury, Jennie Welch.
Jennie grew up in Tewksbury. She went to our public schools, lives in our town, and raises a family here. As I sit in her office at the Police Station, Jennie is all business. Very professional, and courteous. Her office is cloud gray in color, but her personality shines brighter than the paint. Her family pictures line the desk and walls, and her smile proves to be the kicker in this room. What is the key to working in Tewksbury, especially as a Police Officer?
Hollie Gonzalez - Let's talk about living and working in Tewksbury.
Jennie Welch - I love this town. I went to the schools here, with great experiences and memories, and I want the same for my children. I love the families and community here. To be able to be part of that in my day to day profession is just a bonus.
HG - I know that you are sometimes referred to as "Police Officer" or "Patrolman" and sometimes you are called "Safety Officer". What is the difference?
JW - There isn't a difference as much as it is a special part of the duties of a Police Officer. It is sort of an addition to the basic duties of being a police officer. The Safety Officer teaches education for substance abuse in schools, a women's and elderly self-defense program, as well as traffic safety and car seat installation. The police department also holds a bike helmet program, where if a policeman sees a child riding a bicycle wearing a helmet, they will stop and give them a special thank you for being safe.
HG - How would the community find out about these programs?
JW - You can visit our Facebook page, follow us on twitter, or visit the town website. We also try to use the local media and newspapers, and the Your Tewksbury Today website.
HG - What is the best part about being a police officer in Tewksbury?
JW - From my standpoint, its definitely working with the kids in the community. Family is a big part of who I am and being able to educate other families from where I come from means a lot to me both professionally and personally.
HG - What is the worst part about working in Tewksbury?
JW - The hardest part for me is knowing someone personally that ends up in a tough situation. I have a saying, "Police Officers meet some of the best people on their worst days, and some of the worst people on their best days."
HG - Who influenced you to become a police officer?
JW - It runs in the family. My mother and grandmother were big influences on who I became in life. (with a big smile) Not to mention the fact that I loved crime shows growing up. I watched Quincy all the time when I was younger. I guess it was in my blood.
HG - Over the years, Tewksbury has had many facelifts. What is your favorite so far?
JW - I love the new Livingston Park. It has come a long way since I was younger. My kids love it!
HG - What do you miss most from the changes?
JW - (laughs) - The Drive-In Movie theater! (For those of you who don't know, or remember, it was called the Wamesit Drive-In) I would love to be able to take my family there to see a movie, minus the mosquitos!
HG - What would you like to see happen in the town in the future, not just as a police officer, but as a mom too?
JW - Sidewalks. I love to see families out walking and riding their bikes. There is just a need for more sidewalks in this town. I would also like to see more parent involvement in the drug awareness education programs. Education can start from as little as healthy eating in kindergarten all the way up to high school where we teach parents what some of the signs of drug abuse are and how to look for them in your children.
HG - What advice would you give to the younger generation who are interesting in becoming a Tewksbury Police officer?
JW - Stay in school. Get an education. And most important, be smart on social media. One bad thing on say Facebook, for example can follow you for life. And remember to take the Civil Service exam as soon as you are old enough. It is not an easy profession to choose, but you have to stick with it.
I'd have to say, after meeting with Officer Jennie Welch, she is not only an integral part of our town, but she is a great person too.
Jennie Welch - Quick 5
Favorite Candy Bar - Kit Kat
Favorite Disney Movie - Finding Nemo
Favorite Song - anything by James Taylor
Favorite Sports Team - Boston Red Sox
Best Advice Ever Received - Be good to other people. Treat people how you would want to be treated.
Hollie Gonzalez resides in Tewksbury. She is married and has two kids. She is very passionate about her town.
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