Boston police officer suspended; explosives taken from his former home in Plymouth

A Boston police officer was suspended on Thursday after authorities removed possible explosives from his former home in Plymouth earlier in the day, officials said.

Cheryl Fiandaca, a Boston police spokeswoman, confirmed the suspension of Officer Kirk Merricks. She released few other details but did say that Merricks was placed on paid leave as a result of the incident in Plymouth. Fiandaca said Internal Affairs is investigating Merricks.

He could not be reached late Thursday, and a lawyer for his union declined to comment. It was not immediately clear if Merricks had been arrested or charged.

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A State Police bomb squad came to the home on 6 Paddington Way in the afternoon after a resident discovered “what appeared to be TNT-type and C4-type explosives inside,” said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman. He said he could not confirm precisely what the bomb squad removed from the house, if anything.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, whose office also responded, would only say that authorities “removed some items at the request” of Plymouth police.

Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri said the homeowner had discovered a suspicious device and called police at about 2:15 p.m.

He said the woman also called police last month for a domestic dispute involving her husband, who no longer lives with her. It was not immediately clear when Merricks left the home.

Botieri did not identify the woman or Merricks by name, but town assessing records listed Kirk and Robin L. Merricks as owners of the home, and neighbors said the couple lived there.

A neighbor on Paddington, Joanne Crowley, 45, said police did not ask residents to evacuate their homes, and that authorities cleared the area by about 8:30 p.m.

“They carried out what appeared to be storage containers, like plastic tubs. They just loaded them in the van and drove away.”

Crowley said she had only occasional interactions with the Merricks.

“Just ‘Hi, how you doin’ every now and then; neighbor stuff,’ ” she said.

Merricks joined the Boston Police Department in 1999, according to Fiandaca. She did not say whether he had any prior disciplinary record.

He was listed on the website of an organization called Department of Massachusetts, Marine Corps League, a nonprofit that donates to veterans’ homes and hospitals and also awards scholarships.

The website listed him as a member of the group’s Detachment Commandants.

Crowley, the neighbor on Paddington, said the area is generally quiet.

“This is the most excitement we’ve had in several years,” she said.