Department News

A message from Chief Howe, and Chief Russell regarding deaths at Mascuppic Trail residence

A message from Police Chief Howe and Fire Chief Russell concerning the deaths of two women on Mascuppic Trail:
There have been some concerns raised regarding the origin and overall threat posed by the high levels of Carbon monoxide found in the home by responding Firefighters. We want to assure the community that during the investigation it was determined that the high levels of CO were isolated to the affected residence only. Out of an abundance of caution National Grid was requested to respond to the scene by us to ensure that there was not a larger threat, and they continue to assist us in the investigation today.
The focus of the investigation at this point is to find the specific source of the high CO found in the home, and experts and investigators will continue their efforts until a definitive answer is found. With that said, we urge all residents to be diligent and check their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on a regular basis.  We recommend checking both every six months, when you change your clocks for daylight savings.

Two women who died in Mascuppic Trail residence are identified

Tyngsborough Police Identify Women Found Dead in Home on Mascuppic Trail
TYNGSBOROUGH — Chief Richard D. Howe reports that the Tyngsborough Police Department is releasing the identities of the two women found dead inside a home on Mascuppic Trail yesterday.
The deceased have been identified as Doris Gariepy, age 91, of Tyngsborough, and her caretaker Tonya McKinney, age 38, of St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica.
“On behalf of the department and the town of Tyngsborough, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the deceased,” Chief Howe said. “This is an absolute tragedy and we will continue to work diligently to determine how this occurred.”
Tyngsborough Police and Fire, along with Massachusetts State Police, responded to a home on Mascuppic Trail yesterday at approximately 10:45 a.m. for a report of two unresponsive individuals inside the home. Upon their arrival, first responders located Gariepy and McKinney deceased in the home.
Shortly after their arrival, specialized devices worn by Tyngsborough firefighters during calls indicated dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the building. The home was subsequently ventilated by firefighters.
Tyngsborough Police, Fire and National Grid remain on scene today looking to identify the cause of the dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
The incident remains under investigation by Tyngsborough Police Detectives.

Tyngsborough Police Launch “Tyngsborough Home Safe Project”

Tyngsborough Police Chief Richard Howe is pleased to announce that the Tyngsborough Police Department has collaborated with the Tyngsborough/Dunstable Rotary in an initiative to bring the SafetyNet Program to Tyngsborough. SafetyNet is a radio frequency tracking system designed to help police officers locate residents with cognitive impairments such as autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer’s, or dementia. Individuals with these impairments wear a transponder that connects to the SafetyNet system in an officer’s vehicle. If a resident is missing, police can locate them and assist the individual to ensure their safety. Officers will undergo training to become comfortable and capable users of the SafetyNet System before implementation. In addition to the use of the equipment, officers will be able to access helpful and important user information that can be critical in search and rescue operations.

The Tyngsborough/Dunstable Rotary has raised approximately $6000 to support this initiative. They will be donating this money to the Police Department donation account to be used solely for this program. The Department has also applied for a grant through the Department of Justice to support this program. That grant announcement would be made sometime this fall.

Additionally, Chief Howe announced the Tyngsborough Home Safe Registry. The registry will include any information that the families or caregivers of these individuals wish to provide. Eligible residents for this program include the residents eligible for SafetyNet as well as members of our aging population. This may include pertinent medical information, a recent photo, emergency contact information, useful phrases or names, and much more. When the Tyngsborough Police or Fire Departments are called to assist a resident on the registry, they will have this information at the ready to provide the best emergency response they can.

While these two programs are part of the same initiative, residents may chose to be a part of one program or both. If signing up for the SafetyNet program, eligible residents will receive a free loaner bracelet for as long as they wish to be in the program. Information added to the Home Safe Registry can be updated by the family or caregiver as needed.

Residents or caregivers of eligible participants can sign up for the program using the link below. The information provided will only be accessed by the Tyngsborough Police Department and the Tyngsborough Fire Department as needed and is completely confidential.


Operation Dry Water

Massachusetts Environmental Police to Participate in Annual Operation Dry Water Campaign

Nationwide Campaign Targets BUIs Over Fourth of July Weekend to Raise Public Safety Awareness


BOSTON – Ahead of the upcoming Independence Day Weekend, the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) today announced that the agency will once again participate in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign that seeks to reduce the number of individuals boating while under the influence (BUI). Due to the busy nature of the holiday weekend when there are larger numbers of recreational boaters on the water, MEP and other public safety agencies respond to an increase in BUI related incidents. To raise awareness of the issue, state and local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, recreational boating safety advocates, and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) participate in the annual campaign to prevent tragedies related to boating while under the influence.


“The Fourth of July offers an excellent time for us all to get outside, enjoy the water with friends and family, and celebrate the holiday; however, we all must remain responsible while boating to ensure the operator, passengers, and those around us enjoy a safe experience,” said Massachusetts Environmental Police Colonel Shaun Santos. “Importantly, the Massachusetts Environmental Police and other public safety entities will be strongly enforcing the Commonwealth’s BUI law in an effort to reduce tragic incidents from occurring.”


The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that approximately 5,265 recreational boating accidents took place in 2020, which led to the unfortunate death of 767 individuals, 3,191 injuries, and cost approximately $62.5 million of property damage. Of the 767 fatalities, 75% were caused due to drowning. Furthermore, of those who drowned, 86% were not wearing a lifejacket.


Massachusetts state law prohibits the operation of any vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Boaters are reminded that they are required to operate at headway speed within 150 feet of a swimmer, shore or moored vessel. Operators of boats are urged to operate their vessels at reasonable speeds based on existing conditions, including traffic density, weather, and visibility.


It’s important to remember that boating safety starts onshore with the development of a float plan to be shared with a friend or family member not participating in the water excursion prior to getting underway. Massachusetts law also requires all boats must contain personal floatation devices for all passengers and all passengers less than 12 years of age must be wearing a lifejacket whenever above deck.


To foster a more safe environment for boating within areas with a significant recreational presence, the Massachusetts Environmental Police and several local and federal law enforcement agencies have convened the Merrimack River Task Force, the Connecticut River Task Force, and the Lake Quinsigamond Task Force. The participating organizations work collaboratively to enforce boating and watercraft violations, ensure the legal and safe operation of watercrafts, and prevent trespassing and littering on islands and beaches. The task forces also enforce parking rules and regulations, and deter general criminal activity, with a focus on boat ramps.


These unique task forces will also play an active role in Operation Dry Water this weekend. The Merrimack River Task Force is composed of law enforcement and vessels from Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tyngsboro and Andover; the Connecticut River Task Force is composed of law enforcement and vessels from Easthampton, Hadley, Northampton, South Hadley and Chicopee, and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office; and the Lake Quinsigamond Task Force is composed of law enforcement and vessels from Shrewsbury and Worcester. The Massachusetts Environmental Police, United States Coast Guard and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation also serve on each task force.


On Thursday, July 1, 2021 Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation to increase public safety and awareness at state parks and beaches by increasing fines for swimming outside designated waterfronts across the Commonwealth. The legislation, “An Act Relative to Enhanced Enforcement of Swimming Limitations,” would increase the maximum fine to $500 for entering or swimming in any waters on DCR property that are not designated for swimming.


The Massachusetts Environmental Police is the primary agency responsible for enforcing the Commonwealth’s fish and game, boating, and off-highway vehicle laws. MEP officers, while authorized to enforce all general laws, focus on laws and regulations related to the protection of natural resources and public parks and land; boat and off-highway vehicle use; and hazardous waste disposal. MEP officers serve as stewards of the state’s natural resources, patrolling forests, parks, inland waterways, and coastal waters throughout the Commonwealth. Notably, all boating accidents must be reported to the Massachusetts Environmental Police at (800) 632-8075.

Tips for Safely Celebrating the 4th of July

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, Chief Richard D. Howe and the Tyngsborough Police Department wish to share a reminder of several important safety tips as residents prepare to celebrate Independence Day.
According to Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, fires started by fireworks increased by 180% in 2020 and complaints to local police departments increased significantly as well. This year, State and local law enforcement agencies will be ramping up their efforts to stop illegal firework use and sales in Massachusetts.
The possession, use and sale of fireworks without a professional license is against the law in Massachusetts, and punishable by confiscation, fine or imprisonment. Fines range from $100 to $1,000, and some violations could carry a one-year prison sentence.
“We wish all of our residents a very happy Fourth of July,” said Chief Howe. “While we hope that they enjoy the holiday, we urge them to do so safely and not use illegal fireworks. The misuse of fireworks can not only cause physical harm, but it can cause legal repercussions too.”
In order to cut down on residents purchasing fireworks in other states and transporting them back to Massachusetts, members of the State Police will conduct targeted patrols along state lines to enforce fireworks laws.
According to the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, between 2011 and 2020, there were over 900 reported major fires and explosions involving illegal fireworks. During that time span, 32 people were treated at Massachusetts emergency rooms for severe burns or other injuries from fireworks.
Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in their community to the Tyngsborough Police Department call 978-649-7504. In case of a firework-related or other emergency, always dial 911.
Additionally, the Tyngsborough Police Department reminds residents to be aware of these key safety tips during Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Be mindful of pedestrians
  • Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only
  • Remember, alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix
  • Keep pets indoors
The Tyngsborough Police Department also urges residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving
  • Designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride-share service to get home safely
  • Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs can impair perception, judgment, motor skills and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911
For more information on fireworks, click here. For more on general summer safety tips, click here.
The Tyngsborough Police Department wishes everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!