Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz testified before
the Joint Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill #2480
October 24, 2002
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz testified before the Joint Judiciary Committee in hearing room B-2 of the State House.
Andrea Casanova, the mother of murder victim Alexandra Zapp, also offered testimony through a written submission to the committee.
District Attorney Cruz authored Senate Bill #2480 immediately after the brutal murder of Alexandra Zapp on July 18, 2002. The bill is an amendment to
Massachusetts General Laws chapter 123A relative to the commitment of Sexually Dangerous Persons.
The proposed legislation has been sponsored by Senator Robert S. Creedon, Jr. (D-Brockton), Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), Senator Brian Joyce (D-Milton),
Senator Marion Walsh (D-West Roxbury), and Representative David Flynn (D-Bridgewater).
"In the wake of the brutal murder of Alexandra Zapp, it is clear that the current law relative to the commitment of sexually dangerous persons is completely
inadequate to protect the public. Senate Bill #2480 will better protect the public by closing existing loopholes in the law and keeping dangerous sexual predators
off our streets" stated District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.
Brockton Public Schools
incorporate the "Missing" program
October 23, 2002
In Plymouth County, we have successfully implemented a community
wide strategy to provide a united front against on-line predators.
This program enables parents, teachers and law enforcement to open a
dialog with children regarding Internet Safety. This game is unique
because it allows children to educate themselves as to the dangers
that exist when they are in chat rooms, or while they are conversing
with friends through Instant Messaging. By playing the "Missing"
game, our children learn firsthand how a dangerous situation could
result if they provide personal information about themselves or
their family over the Internet.
The Brockton Public School System has become the first school in our nation to incorporate the "Missing"
program into their formal curriculum. The Marshfield Public School System will be the second.
Implementation of a National Firearms Program
"Project Safe Neighborhood"
October 23, 2002
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced the implementation of "Project Safe Neighborhood", a national firearms strategy designed to combat
violence through the cooperative efforts of partners. District Attorney Cruz has received federal funding to hire two new prosecutors to focus strictly on firearms
cases in the city of Brockton. Additionally, Cruz has submitted a grant application for an additional $250,000.00 to fund police overtime, additional police shifts,
and Ceasefire Forums.
Recently the Massachusetts State Police and the Brockton Police working with the Drug Enforcement Agency conducted a joint state and federal investigation of drug dealing in
the city of Brockton. The investigation resulted in charges being brought against seven individuals for narcotics violations. Two of those individuals,
have been referred to United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan for prosecution.
In recent weeks District Attorney Cruz has referred two individuals for federal prosecution for firearms violations. "These referrals continue to demonstrate
the ongoing relationship with the United States Attorney´s Office and commitment to seek lengthy federal prison sentences where appropriate."
District Attorney Tim Cruz
was chosen to test "Opening Argument" with Bridgewater Students
September 25, 2002
In a collaborative effort with LiveWires Design of Vancouver, Canada and The High Tech Crime Consortium of Tacoma, Washington, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim
Cruz took the initiative to have Plymouth County designated as a pilot site for the Internet Safety Program "Missing".
"Missing" is the brainchild of Drew Anne Wake of Live Wires Design. It is an innovative, interactive computer game which educates students
in grades six and seven to the dangers that exist on the Internet. The game, which is based on a true story, opens with a passionate plea for help from
a father who has discovered that his 13-year-old son Zack has run away. The students assume the role of the detective and piece together evidence left behind
on Zack´s computer to help track down the missing boy. Their goal is to make sure that Zack is safely returned to his family. As a follow-up
to the game, the students participated as a class to develop their own Internet Safety Plans, which they will utilize to protect themselves whenever they are on the
In an effort to further enhance the "Missing" project; District Attorney Tim Cruz has been selected to test the next part of the program
entitled "Opening Argument". Drew Ann Wake of Live Wires Design has this to say, "Timothy Cruz, the District Attorney in Plymouth County,
Massachusetts, has a long-standing interest in the law- and in children. So when he heard about the Missing kit, he invited LiveWires to put on a
workshop in the region south of Boston. The workshop was crowded. Almost 50 teachers, police officers and prosecutors were trained to deliver
the program in a single day. Over the next month, the Brockton schools will become the first in the United States to adopt "Missing" as a formal part of
the school curriculum. It is not surprising, then, that Tim Cruz was the District Attorney selected to test the Opening Argument program with middle
Legislative amendment to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 123A
is filed in relation to the commitment of sexually dangerous persons
July 24, 2002
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Senator Robert S. Creedon, Jr. (D-Brockton) announced that they have filed a legislative amendment to Massachusetts
General Laws Chapter 123A relative to the commitment of sexually dangerous persons. The proposed legislation is the direct result of a coordinated effort by the
District Attorney´s Office and local legislators, it is also sponsored by Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) and Representative David Flynn (D-Bridgewater).
"In the wake of the brutal murder of Alexandra Zapp it is clear that the current law regarding the commitment of sexually dangerous persons is completely inadequate to
protect the public. The proposed amendments filed today will better protect the public by closing existing loopholes in the law and keeping dangerous sexual predators
off our streets" stated Timothy J. Cruz.
The "Missing Program"
District Attorney Tim Cruz was invited to visit DARE Officer Jack Hobson´s middle school class in Bridgewater, MA.
Officer Hobson had received a "Missing Program" kit from the "High Tech Crime Consortium" to test with his students, to see if the program
would be effective in teaching middle school students about internet safety.
"Missing" is a computer game which is presented on two discs. It tells the story of a teenager who meets a predator
online and is lured away from home.
In Disc 1, players take on the role of a police detective, examining chat room conversations between Zack and his new "friend" Fantasma.
In Disc 2, players continue to follow clues to assist police to discover Zack´s location and ultimately reunite him with his family.
Based on a true story, the "Missing" game uses a fun and positive approach to teach children how to avoid becoming victimized on the Internet so they can surf safely and confidently.
The students in Officer Hobson´s class enjoyed the program were eager to try the game again.
District Attorney Cruz observed firsthand how
effective this program was with the students, and was determined to bring it to more students in Plymouth County.
He contacted the creator and offered to have Plymouth County designated as a Pilot Site for this program.
With the assistance of the High Tech Crime Consortium and "Web Wise Kids", District Attorney Cruz was able to secure free software
to distribute across Plymouth County.