|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|April 19, 2005
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
SPRINGFIELD DISTRICT COURT PROBATION JOINS POLICE
TO GET ABSCONDERS OFF THE STREETS
AS PART OF NEW ‘SAFEGUARD’ INITIATIVE
In the past several weeks, 60 probation violators have been arrested and another 40 offenders have turned themselves into the Springfield District Court Probation Department in response to regular warrant sweeps conducted by probation officers and the Springfield police.
Each week, Springfield District Court probation officers and members of the Safeguard Unit of the Springfield Police join forces to target violent offenders and probationers with records that include distribution or possession of narcotics, according to Chief Probation Officer John Morganstern and Assistant Chief Probation Officer Steve Ashe. The law enforcement team is focusing its efforts on a list of about 260 offenders.
“With the amount of warrants generated out of Springfield District Court, it is a tremendous benefit to have the working relationship we have with the Springfield Police. Our goal in ensuring public safety and enforcing the orders of the court is to pursue the worst of these offenders and bring them back before the court, ”said Chief Morganstern. “We appreciate the opportunity to team up regularly with the Springfield Police Department, specifically Sergeant John Delaney and the Safeguard Unit to achieve this goal.”
“This effort has been extremely successful. There has been a decline in the number of default warrants issued from the violation of probation session,” Ashe said.
Ashe said the Probation Department has received a number of tips from the public about the whereabouts of offenders. “We welcome the tips. The word is out on the street that we’ve teamed up with the police department and the feedback has been great.”
Added Ashe, “We don’t always catch them at home. But, we make contact with a family member and usually, the offender will turn themselves in the following day.”
Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney of the Safeguard Unit said the partnership is a “tremendous asset.”
“For years, the police would go to court to prosecute cases and the people did not show up. We knew as a unit that the cases were piling up. By teaming up with Probation, we have been pretty successful with taking the offenders into custody,” said Sgt. Delaney. “Surprisingly, they began turning themselves in. We’ve had some pretty recent warrants. The Probation Officers help us by doing a lot of the legwork. These guys are right there in court. They know the offenders and are able to do the research.”
He added, “We have a good working relationship with the courts. It is nice having probation officers going out with us. I think this should be expanded.”