WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Police Department is proud to announce that Officer Kelley Tobyne was the recipient of the 2015 Massachusetts
Association of Women in Law Enforcement (MAWLE) “Spirit of MAWLE Award” for Community Service.
This award is given to only five women in law enforcement each year from across Massachusetts in the areas of leadership, mentoring, courage, performance and community service. She was selected for this award because of her outstanding contributions to the field of law enforcement. This prestigious award was presented at a ceremony at Hellenic College in Brookline on Thursday, June 18.
Officer Kelley Tobyne joined the Wakefield Police Department on Sept. 30, 2009. “The impact that she has had on our department and the citizens of our town has been immeasurable,” said Police Chief Rick Smith.
He continued: “Officer Tobyne has dedicated herself to making the lives of each and every person that she comes in contact with her top priority, with a focus on those who are less fortunate. In 2010 she volunteered to partner with a clinician from Eliot Community Human Services as a ride-along program to better assist those suffering from mental illness and emotional disturbances. The success of this endeavor led to grant funding by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health where we now have a clinician housed at the department for 24 hours per week to assist our officers in dealing with this segment of the population. This also led to the creation of a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), of which Officer Tobyne is a highly talented member.”
During 2011, Officer Tobyne volunteered to become one of the Police Department’s first child safety seat technicians. Throughout her time in this role she has provided assistance to a countless number of expectant parents and family members and educated them on the best and safest way to travel with their newborn and young children.
The town of Wakefield selected its first School Resource Officer in 2012. Officer Tobyne was selected to fill that critical role in partnership with the Wakefield public schools. One of her first projects was to develop a “Junior Officer” program that was hugely successful. She developed a curriculum, designed uniforms and gathered donations for funding. This class included several students with physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as a female from a local DCF home who attends our middle school. Several of their staff members attended the graduation in lieu of a parent to show support for these individuals and their accomplishments. This program mandated all students from various walks of life to work together in order to successfully complete the tasks for each week, solidifying the concept of community and teamwork. Each and every adult raved about the program and the positive impact that it had on their child or client.
In 2013, Officer Tobyne was selected by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to attend a 40-hour “Youth Mental Health First Aid” instructor course in Burlington, Vt. Since completing the course of study, she has taught six classes to local teachers, school administrators and parents to help provide the best possible tools and practices to the ever-increasing juvenile population in need. The program has been so successful that she is now receiving calls from school administrators around Eastern Massachusetts looking to send members of their staff to one of her classes.
In 2014 she was asked to give a presentation at the Essex County annual “Youth at Risk” Conference where she received rave reviews for her passionate discussion, which focused on building a support team for youths in crisis. Following this, she was asked to be part of a start-up Suicide Prevention Coalition in Wakefield that will target early signs of depression in both juvenile and adult populations. She is also a member of the “Wakefield Unified Prevention Coalition” (WAKE-UP), which dedicates itself to substance abuse education and outreach within our community.
Beyond her countless number of professional achievements, her most significant contributions to the community may very well come in her time off-duty as a volunteer at the Massachusetts Department of Development Services (DDS) Hogan Regional Center. Officer Tobyne has volunteered at the Center for over 15 years. Approximately two years ago Officer Tobyne and her certified therapy dog “Mac” began to visit clients in hopes of establishing a positive connection and provide another opportunity for them to break from their daily routine.
“Words could not describe the impact that these two have had on the members of this community,” said Smith. “Fortunately, she agreed to be part of a documentary titled ‘The Hogan Experience’ produced by our local Wakefield Community Access Channel (WCAT) and available on YouTube, which recently won the national ‘Telly’ film award for content. It should be noted that Officer Tobyne did not agree to this to bring notoriety to herself but rather notoriety for her extended family; the clients at the Hogan Center.”
A supreme level of compassion, dedication and motivation are what places Officer Kelley Tobyne at the top of her class in the area of service to the community, Smith said. She is an inspiration for others, especially women who aspire to achieve greatness in the field of law enforcement.
Published in the Monday, June 22nd edition