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|January 18, 2008
Director of Communications
ASSISTANT CHIEF SHARES
PERSONAL STORY DURING SEMINAR
Several times a month, Westborough District Court
Assistant Chief Probation Officer Jim Butcher and State Police
Officer Rich Eubanks, team up to speak to driving offenders and
junior operators (ages 16 to 18) as part of the State Courts
Against Road Rage (SCARR) Program, a two-hour informational seminar.
Butcher is not helping to conduct this program
as part of his job. No, it is a lot more personal than that.
He is there as a grieving father to talk about the loss of his
18-year-old daughter, Courtney, who died in a car accident last
When Butcher speaks of his loss and the sadness
during the holidays he and his family felt as they spent their
first Christmas without Courtney, the pain is palpable.
"I want to prevent parents from going through what
I had to go through. I knew all of the kids who were in the car
with Courtney," Butcher said.
"Sometimes I get emotional. But, doing this (speaking
during the SCARR Program) has helped me to move forward," he
said. "I feel I can do this to help other parents."
Butcher, a 14- year Probation employee, has three
other children. Courtney was his oldest child. A basketball standout
in high school, Courtney was a freshman at the University of
New Hampshire at the time of the accident. She was studying to
become an athletic trainer.
Eubanks said of Butcher's involvement with the
program, "It is great having Jim here. He brings a personal perspective.
He is a parent who has lost a child."
Butcher and Eubanks presented to about 30 teens
and adults at the day-long SCARR seminar held recently at Natick
District Court. In fact, it was Natick District Court Chief Probation
Officer Daniel Marzilli and Probation Officer Joyce Fenney who
first suggested that Butcher consider sharing his story during
the SCARR Program. The SCARR seminar addresses topics such as
road rage, dangerous behaviors and public safety.
After the presentation, a young man sheepishly
approached Butcher and thanked him for speaking to the class.
"I feel I can do this although it (death of a child)
is a tough thing to go through," Butcher said.
Butcher and Eubanks offer the class at Milford
District Court, Milbury State Police Barracks, Haverhill District
Court, Malden District Court, Gardner District Court, Orleans
District Court, and Peabody District Court. More than 2,000 people
have attended the SCARR Program since it was first established
at the Newburyport District Court in January 2000.