EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Scott Allen and the men and women of the East Bridgewater Police Department regretfully announce the death of retired police officer Janice A. Cunningham.
Officer Cunningham died on Saturday, Dec. 1. She courageously battled Multiple Sclerosis since her retirement in 2009. Officer Cunningham was well-known throughout the community, south shore region and entire commonwealth for her advocacy and dedication for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and her tireless efforts to educate the community’s students and young adults.
Officer Cunningham was first appointed to the East Bridgewater Police Department as a permanent intermittent police officer in 1983. She was appointed to full-time status with EBPD in 1986. Prior to coming to EBPD, Officer Cunningham was an officer with the Bridgewater State University Police Department.
Throughout her career, Officer Cunningham was an innovative leader assisting victims and victim’s families of domestic violence and sexual assault. Officer Cunningham was certified by the Massachusetts State Police as a specialized Domestic Violence Officer in 1995. She completed additional Domestic Violence training highlighted with:
- Teen Dating Violence in 1995
- Certified by Polaroid Corporation in Domestic Violence Evidence Photography in 1995
- 1997 Cambridge College Battered Women professional development
- 1993 Massasoit Community College Stalking and Domestic Violence training
Officer Cunningham was a leader and role model for present and future female police officers and paved the way for future female East Bridgewater Police Officers. Officer Cunningham dedicated countless hours helping those victimized by domestic violence and sexual assaults, working investigations, testifying in court and offering continued them support.
Officer Cunningham was dedicated to educating and working with the students of East Bridgewater. She became the department’s DARE officer in 1997, and she worked closely with students and staff at the East Bridgewater Public Schools up until her retirement in 2009.
Officer Cunningham created the H.U.G.S. program, which remains in existence today. The mission of the program is to support local East Bridgewater families in need, especially around the holiday season. Officer Cunningham’s volunteer work ensured that families struggling would have Christmas presents and holiday meals during the giving season regardless of their means.
Officer Cunningham was also a volunteer with the East Bridgewater Community Drug Council for many years. Officer Cunningham was a fixture at the Dale and the Duds annual June “Concert on the Common”, which was created by the Drug Council to help those struggling, as well as to offer support to the families of those struggling.
Officer Cunningham was a fixture in the community, dedicating years of instruction and lessons in Karate and Ju-Jitsu, alongside her husband, retired East Bridgewater Police Officer Al Cunningham Sr.
Officer Cunningham will be dearly missed by the East Bridgewater Police Department as well as the entire community of East Bridgewater.
Godspeed Officer Janice A. Cunningham.
Arrangements will be announced.