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SCHOOL SUPERBOWL GAMES 2009
SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF PROBATION/MIAA PARTNERSHIP
The recent High School Superbowl
games at Gillette Stadium marked the sixth
anniversary of the PEACE Partnership Community
Probation Initiative, a historic alliance
between the Massachusetts Interscholastic
Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Massachusetts
Probation Service, which was formed to
help stem violence and target troublemakers
at high school Superbowl games throughout
Through this effort, formally
named Probation Enhancing Athletic Climate
Excellence (PEACE) Partnership Community
Probation Initiative, Probation Officers
from across the state maintain a presence
at each of the Superbowl games where they
keep an eye out for court-involved individuals.
Dressed in fluorescent vests marked with
the words PROBATION, Probation Officers
also serve as an ever present reminder
to offenders to be on their best behavior.
Probation Officers have an intimate knowledge
of the offender and his or her social and
family history. They also have the authority
to bring an offender before the court and
to ultimately send probationers to jail
based on their recommendation to the judge.
“This partnership underscores
our commitment to the community and public
safety. We are in the community day and
night. The presence of a Probation Officer
at these events serves as a deterrent to
potentially violent behavior,” said Commissioner
John J. O’Brien.
As part of the Partnership,
Probation Officers serve as integral members
of a tournament safety team that include
site supervisors, school administrators,
teachers, stadium security personnel and
local police. The Superbowl games are the
highlight of the local football season.
Over the years, Probation
Officers have been instrumental in preventing
the high tension and discourse between
opposing teams from turning into all-out
brawls. They have come to the aid of spectators
and worked closely with local police to
maintain public safety.
“Safety and security are
paramount to the shared commitment of this
association and the Probation Service.
This Partnership has fostered the positive
climate and culture that must be identified
with education-based athletics. On behalf
of our student athletes and their school
communities that benefit from this partnership,
I extend our sincere gratitude to Commissioner
O'Brien and his outstanding men and women,”
said Richard Neal, MIAA Executive Director.
Since the launching of the
PEACE Partnership, approximately 350 Probation
Officers from across the state--who on
their own personal time during nights and
weekends--have maintained a presence at
nearly 500 games, according to Steve Fratalia,
one of the architects of the initiative.
The activities of the Partnership have
expanded since 2004. Probation Officers
can now be found at high school basketball
championship games as well as hockey tournaments.
Fratalia, Director of Resource
Management at the Office of the Commissioner
of Probation, and Norfolk County Juvenile
Court Chief Probation Officer Thomas Mitchell,
Fratalia’s founding partner, said they
are pleased with the progress of the PEACE
“This partnership has really
grown and become a very efficient strategy,”
said Fratalia. “It is evident that a visible
Probation presence is a deterrent to unruly
The Massachusetts Probation
Service is a department of the Massachusetts
Trial Court. There are 12 Superior Court,
62 District Court, eight Boston Municipal
Court, and 12 Probate and Family Court
probation departments throughout the Commonwealth.
Probation’s Juvenile Court System includes
11 divisions which represent every county
in the state. There are more than 20 Community
Corrections Centers throughout the state.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic
Athletic Association is a private, non-profit
association organized by its member schools
to regulate, coordinate and promote athletic
programs for high school students.
billboard message lauds Commissioner
of Probation John J. O'Brien
and the men and women of the Massachusetts Probation Service for their
participation at the 2009 High School Superbowl games at Gillette Stadium
in Foxboro. The billboard message appeared during the Everett High School
vs. Xaverian High School game.
Officers at basketball championship.
Officers at hockey game.
Officers at football game.