Wareham Police welcome first domestic violence intern

By Meghan Neely | Jun 28, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely From left: Cecila Brito, Kristen Cipullo, John Walcek and Walter Correia.

According to Acting Police Chief John Walcek, the public isn't aware of how prevalent domestic violence cases are in Wareham.

"We aren't allowed to make these cases public under state law," Walcek explained. "But if people could see what we're dealing with, they'd be shocked."

In an effort to better combat such high rates of domestic violence, the Wareham Police Department will welcome its first domestic violence intern this summer. Cecila Brito of Carver will start work at the Wareham Police Department the week of July 9 thanks to the Plymouth County District Attorney's office and a grant from Quincy College.

Brito will be working one-on-one with victims of domestic violence, helping them access the resources they need.

"We've been looking for ways to lighten the load on our officers," said Walcek. "I know Cecila will be a great contribution to our team."

Brito's future duties with the department will include helping victims to fill out paper work such as restraining orders and affidavits. She'll also help victims to gain access to women's shelters.

Prior to the joining the Wareham Police Department, Brito worked in hospice care for over 30 years.

"I couldn't do it anymore physically," Brito explained. "But I still had a lot of compassion and empathy to give."

Brito returned to school at Quincy College, majoring in social work before switching criminal justice. Her professor helped to connect her to the Plymouth County District Attorny, and later, Wareham Police.

"I feel like instances of domestic violence are getting worse and worse," Brito said. "I switched my major because I realized it would be the best way to help others."

According to Walcek, Brito will work with victims of domestic violence both in person and on the phone. In person meetings will take place at the station for the time being, though Walcek said he hopes to have Brito join officers in the field.

"It's a huge undertaking when someone is in crisis," explained Plymouth County Domestic Violence Coordinator Kristen Cipullo. "Having someone like Cecila present and ready makes a world of difference."

Prior to Brito, officers at the department would juggle all aspects of domestic violence cases.

"Our call volume is massive," said Sgt. Walter Correia. "When we're busy trying to arrest someone in a domestic case, we can't always give the victim the proper time and attention they need."

With Brito on staff, the department will be able to check in regularly with victims.

"Not everyone is ready to leave their abuser right away," said Cipullo. "So someone who's going to work with victims over a period of time, judgement free, is essential."

Brito is set work with the Wareham Police Department for the next three months. After that, Walcek hopes to have domestic violence interns working within the department on a regular basis.

"Interns like Cecila are a huge asset to this department," Walcek said. "In cases like these, it's the people who make all the difference."

Comments (6)
Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jun 29, 2018 11:08

Perhaps there are some domestic violence statistics that state law would allow to be released and which would better help readers to understand the prevalence of the problem and the demands upon police department resources. How many domestic violence responses in a year? On average how many units respond to a domestic violence call? How much time on average do responding units devote to a domestic violence call?

Posted by: totellthetruth | Jun 29, 2018 14:58

All  you have to do is listen too the scanner, Andrea

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jun 29, 2018 17:24

TTTT - I'm not for one second doubting the frequency or seriousness of domestic violence calls in Wareham. I just wish statistical information would be made available so that those readers who may not understand the scope of the problem in Wareham will have information that will help them to do so.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 30, 2018 01:08

Andrea - It is great to see that Wareham is going to have Cecila on staff as their domestic violence intern.  My only concern is that it is such a short 3 month assignment.  It does say that Walcek hopes to have interns on a regular basis, but that isn't all that reassuring.  I'd like to see a permanent position.


You're right.  I couldn't find any statistical information specifically on domestic violence in Wareham.  The best I could find were websites like this:  http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Wareham-Massachusetts.html.  If domestic violence is included, it must be grouped in with assaults in general.





Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 30, 2018 08:11

I'd hate to think that a majority of these domestic calls involve the zombies and their drug fights...

But welcome to Wareham.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jun 30, 2018 20:04

WBTS - I couldn't find any domestic violence statistics for Wareham either. I do know from a prior conversation that domestic violence calls are far more frequent and far more demanding of officers' time than the average person would ever imagine. I'd love to see a follow up to this story as I think it would help to give readers a far better understanding of the impact domestic violence calls have upon officers work schedules.

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