NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 23, 2013

Manhunt maneuvers

Scholtz manned NEMLEC command post in search for bombers

AMESBURY — As thousands of law enforcement personnel worked around the clock to identify and capture those responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings last week, an Amesbury police officer was right in the thick of things helping keep everyone on the same page.

Sgt. William Scholtz spent most of last week at Boston Police headquarters assisting in the manhunt. As the planning sections chief for the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council’s Incident Management Team, he was primarily responsible for managing communication among NEMLEC resources.

“My job was to track all of our resources, personnel, equipment, stuff like that, and also to plan for our next operational period throughout the incident,” Scholtz said.

NEMLEC is a coalition of 53 different municipal police and sheriff’s agencies around northeast Massachusetts that share equipment, knowledge and personnel to maximize overall effectiveness. NEMLEC officers from around the state were called in to Boston at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, less than two hours after the explosions, and most of the officers spent nearly the whole week there.

After being called in, Scholtz reported to the Boston Police Cooperation Center at Boston Police headquarters, where he stayed until Friday, when he was assigned to the NEMLEC command post at the Watertown Mall during the manhunt’s final hours.

“I was there Monday night until midnight, all day Tuesday, Thursday night and Friday at the completion,” Scholtz said. “The only day that I missed was Wednesday.”

While Scholtz’s role was largely behind the scenes, he was very much involved with the hour-to-hour efforts to capture 19-year-old Cambridge resident Dzokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan. For instance, when the two suspects engaged police in a shootout in Watertown early Friday morning, Scholtz was the one who deployed the NEMLEC officers to the scene.

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