Events- 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz receives
The Massachusetts Bar Association´s 2009 Community Service Award

December 10, 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz and MBA Past President Edward W. McIntyre

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz received the Massachusetts Bar Association´s 2009 Community Service Award from the Plymouth County Bar Association.

MBA Past President Edward W. McIntyre presented District Attorney Cruz with the award at a reception held at Thorny Lea Golf Club, on December 10, 2009.

District Attorney Tim Cruz

In addition to his work as a district attorney, Cruz is an adjunct professor at Massasoit Community College and an instructor with Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.  He has volunteered as a baseball, hockey and soccer coach for teams on the South Shore, mostly in Marshfield.   Cruz has also served on numerous state boards, including the Governor´s Commission on Criminal Justice Invocation and the Governor´s Council on Capital Punishment.

The Plymouth County Children´s Advocacy Center
Charity Open

August 24, 2009

from left to right:
District Attorney Joe Early,   District Attorney Mike O'Keefe,
Bobby Orr,   District Attorney Tim Cruz,
Tony Simonelli, and District Attorney Jon Blodgett

This year over 117 golfers took to the links.   District Attorney Cruz was joined by legendary Boston Bruin Bobby Orr, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, and Barnstable County District Attorney Michael O´Keefe.

The Charity Open supports the Children´s Advocacy Center (CAC) located in Brockton but serving all of Plymouth County.   The CAC is a joint project by BAMSI and the D.A.´s Office to provide a one-stop facility for children who are victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or severe neglect.

Regrettably, over 400 cases of child abuse are serviced by the CAC each year.
The staff offers quick and comprehensive intervention for these children so that the necessary medical, counseling, and forensic intervention is readily available.   The children receive coordinated services from the CAC´s multi-disciplinary team.   All services are developmentally and culturally customized to meet each child´s individual needs.

The overall goals of the CAC are:

  • Offering services and treatment for children and their families including forensic interviews, advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling referrals, and medical services when appropriate

  • Providing multi-disciplinary investigations involving all agencies responsible
    for responding to child abuse

  • Offering professional training and community outreach to broaden the understanding
    of the causes and effects of child abuse in order to provide the best response possible
    to allegations of abuse

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz stated, "The Children´s Advocacy Center is essential to helping abused children here in Plymouth County.   The partnership between BAMSI and my office has enabled hundreds of abused children obtain the services that they so desperately need.   It has also strengthened our ability to investigate and prosecute these troubling cases".

Anthony Simonelli stated, "Today, when a child comes to our center they receive comprehensive state of the art services under one roof in a child friendly center that creates an atmosphere of safety.   Our center offers great hope to victims and is the catalyst that begins the healing process.   Our agency BAMSI is proud to partner together with our great Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and his staff providing this essential community service".

The Insurance Fraud
Joint Task Force

August 5, 2009

A joint study released by the Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts (AIB) and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) highlights the significant progress made by the partnership between the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office, the Brockton Police and the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

In April of 2004 the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office partnered with the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Brockton Police Department in a creation of a joint task force to attack the problem of fraud in the City of Brockton.

To date, this task force has charged 204 people with insurance fraud and has dramatically dropped the insurance claim level in the city.   Prior to the creation of the task force, for every 100 accidents in Brockton there were 90 injuries claims reported to insurance companies - more than double the statewide average.   By 2008, that number had dropped to only just over 50 claims for every 100 accidents.   In addition, since the inception of this program, premiums have gone down.
The drop in premiums has resulted in over $26 million of savings for Brockton policy holders.

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz stated, "This joint task force has had a major impact on reducing auto insurance fraud here in the City of Brockton.   It has also been a major factor in reducing premiums for policy holders here and across the state.   This is a good thing for law enforcement and a good thing for Brockton drivers.   We look forward to continuing this successful partnership with the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Brockton Police".

Brockton Police Chief William Conlon added, "The joint task force the Brockton Police Department has been partnered in with the D.A.´s office and the Insurance Fraud Bureau has been a godsend for the citizens of Brockton.   Prior to its inception, Brockton had some of the worst insurance claims in the state, in large part due to fraudulent claims.   As a result, Brockton drivers unfairly bore exorbitant insurance rates on their auto premiums.   While our officers had suspicion that the claims were out of touch with reality, we lacked the resources needed to concentrate on such investigations.   This task force has provided those resources and the results speak for themselves.   Finally, the Brockton ratepayers are getting a fair shake and it´s the insurance cheats who are paying the price for fraud.   The tables have been turned and we are happy to remain in this strong partnership for years to come."

Dan Johnston, Executive Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau echoed this sentiment. "This task force approach to fighting fraud in the cities most plagued by this crime has shown success in 13 key cities across the commonwealth.   The results in Brockton are among the best, largely because the District Attorney´s office and the Brockton Police department have treated this partnership seriously, have dedicated quality personnel to the effort, and the results speak for themselves.   At a time when the economy is struggling, this is great news for honest Brockton citizens."

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Attorney General Martha Coakley
announce Comprehensive Economic Crime Bill

August 5, 2009

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz joined with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and a coalition of legislators, fellow District Attorneys, and law enforcement organizations, to announce the filing of An Act to Combat Economic Crime, comprehensive economic crime legislation designed to give law enforcement the necessary tools to investigate and prosecute sophisticated criminal activities and enterprises in the 21st century.

The bill, which is sponsored by 12 legislators, District Attorneys, and the Attorney General, specifically updates the law in three areas, including money laundering, enterprise crime, and wire interception.

"This legislation will be an important tool in helping prosecutors to successfully investigate and prosecute white collar and organized crime.   We commend and appreciate the Attorney General´s leadership on this issue." said District Attorney Cruz.

"As our economy has struggled in recent years, we have seen criminals engage in more sophisticated, organized, and often large-scale schemes to steal money or otherwise profit from illegal conduct," said Attorney General Coakley.   "Crimes such as money laundering and engaging in corrupt business enterprises are very difficult to prosecute at the state level because police and prosecutors simply do not have the necessary tools to investigate such crimes.   Particularly as we explore the possibility of expanded gaming in the Commonwealth, it is critical that we have the statutory structure in place to address the types of financial crimes and corruption that may be associated with legalized gaming."

The bill updates the law in three key areas:

  • Money Laundering - Money laundering, which entails concealing the source of illegally obtained money, has proven to be critical in the furtherance of large-scale, illegal enterprises such as terrorism, narcotics trafficking and other organized crime, and is particularly prevalent where casino gaming is legal.   Among other measures, the bill makes it a crime to knowingly engage in a financial transaction derived from criminal activity with the intent to promote, carry on, or facilitate criminal activity.   Under the proposed new law, the crime of money laundering would carry a maximum penalty of six years in State Prison, or up to eight years for a repeat offense.   Money laundering is prohibited by federal law and in at least 28 other states.

  • Enterprise Crime - The legislation also focuses on traditional and non-traditional criminal enterprises and organizations, including so-called organized crime families and traditional street gangs, organized retail crime rings, identity theft rings, large-scale drug and human trafficking groups.   Many of these organizations have sophisticated structures and extensive supporting networks, allowing them to engage in such criminal activities as money laundering, illegal gaming, running drugs and firearms, credit card and identity theft, and other types of fraud.   The bill will prohibit patterns of certain crimes committed by corrupt enterprises, allowing the ring leaders and major players, who control and direct the enterprise but often do not partake in the actual commission of the crime, to be deterred and held accountable.   Specifically, the bill makes it a crime, through a pattern of criminal enterprise activity or through the collection of an unlawful debt, to knowingly:
    • receive proceeds derived from such activity;
    • use the proceeds to establish, operate, or acquire any enterprise;
    • receive anything of value or acquire any interest in or control of any enterprise; or
    • be employed by or associated with any enterprise to conduct or participate in the enterprise by engaging in a pattern of criminal enterprise activity or through the collection on an unlawful debt.

    Under the proposed new law, such activity would carry a minimum penalty of five years in State Prison, and a maximum of 15 years. Currently, 32 states have enterprise crime statutes.

  • Wire Interception - Last updated in 1968, the Massachusetts wire interception statute has not been updated to address either the technological advancements in telecommunications, or the changes in the nature and structure of criminal enterprises over the past 40 years.   This bill provides much-needed updates to the wire interception law, including adding a definition for "electronic communication," designating new crimes eligible for the use of a lawful interception, and extending the amount of time that a lawful interception can remain open from 15 to 30 days to account for the breadth and complexities of criminal investigations in the 21st century.   The bill also allows lawful, court approved one-party consent monitoring and recording of conversations of certain crimes.   At this time, 43 states have wire interception statutes, and 35 have one-party consent statutes.

  • In addition to District Attorney Cruz and Attorney General Coakley, this legislation, which was filed Monday, is co-sponsored by:

    Senator Steven Baddour (D-Methuen)
    Senator Stephen Brewer (D-Barre)
    Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield)
    Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford)
    Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole)

    Representative James Vallee (D-Franklin), House Majority Leader
    Representative Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham)
    Representative Katherine Clark (D-Melrose)
    Representative Barry Finegold (D-Andover)
    Representative John Keenan (D-Salem)
    Representative Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham)
    Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown)

    Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett
    Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless
    Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley
    Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz
    Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone
    Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe
    Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel
    Bristol District Attorney Samuel Sutter

National Night Out
Against Crime

August 4, 2009

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and his office participated in National Night Out.   Hosted locally by the Partnership for Safer Communities, this is the 12th consecutive year that the event has taken place.

National Night Out is a year-long community building campaign designed to:
  1. heighten crime prevention awareness;
  2. generate support for, and participation in, local anti crime programs;
  3. strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships;
  4. send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Brockton and adjoining communities celebrated with an event at Campanelli stadium which included a resource fair, law enforcement parade, youth activities and free tickets to the 6:05 pm Brockton Rox baseball game.   It is estimated that over 2,000 participants attended the event.

The District Attorney had the honor of presenting awards in between innings to Jack Alger from Beacon Communities, Staff Sergeant Jermaine Credit US Air Force, Sergeant First Class Sominck Dagostion Jr., and Staff Sergeant Jersouk Touy Mass Army National Guard.

The recipients were recognized for their commitment to crime prevention and the National Night Out event.

While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out does represent the kind of spirit, energy and determination that is helping to make many neighborhoods safer places throughout the year.

15th Annual Plymouth County Drug & Alcohol
Resistance Education Summer Program

July 27-31, 2009

pictured left to right:
District Attorney Tim Cruz,   Barbara Faherty, Program Director
Peter Veneto, Program Coordinator,   Sheriff Joe McDonald,
Chief Ed Savage, Hanson Police,   Chief John Cowan, East Bridgewater Police,
Lt. Joe Yakavonis, Hanson Police,   Chief Christine May-Stafford, Whitman Police

The Plymouth County Drug & Alcohol Resistance Education Summer Program, sponsored by Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz, the School Resource Officers and the Drug Education Officers of Plymouth County, concluded after a successful week of summer fun.   The program, which ran from July 27th to July 31st, is a collaborative effort between the District Attorney´s Office and the Plymouth County Drug Education Officers and School Resource Officers.

The program is a one-of-a-kind experience that blends cultural diversity, education, and fun. The program is offered to students entering grades 5 and 6 in the fall, free of charge.

The students spent the week learning skills to resist alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and violence, as well as taking part in team building activities such as Olympic events and pick up games of dodge ball, wiffle ball, kick ball and basketball.   They were treated to educational entertainment by Cubey the DJ, Johnny the K and Chris Poulos.   The students also received a visit from the med-flight helicopter and crew.
Lunch was provided each day and included a Chinese food buffet, pizza, and a cookout.

This year, 12 towns across Plymouth County participated in our 15th annual program. More than 250 students attended this year´s program which was held at the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.   The students were surrounded by positive role models that are committed to making the experience as rewarding as possible.

Team 2, led by Officer Tim Kane, Hanover Police,
present their team chant during the Graduation Ceremony

The program combines outdoor activities with Drug & Alcohol Resistance Education lessons to create a unique environment for children to foster growth and respect under the guidance of peer leaders, Drug Education Officers and School Resource Officers from their own communities.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz stated:    "The success of the program is due in large part to the participating Police Chiefs and their officers.   They are not only committed to our program, but they are also dedicated to ensuring that the children of Plymouth County are properly educated in order to keep themselves safe from the dangers associated with drugs, alcohol and tobacco."

Andrew Carney,   An intern for the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office,
was unable to participate in our program this year.
Staff members sent well wishes to him on a program shirt.
Andrew enlisted with the Navy, and is currently stationed in Taji, Iraq

Department of Justice
National Conference

July 14, 2009

On Tuesday, July 14, 2009, District Attorney Timothy Cruz presented at the Department of Justice´s Community Capacity Development Office´s national conference.   The conference entitled, "Empowering People, Empowering Neighborhoods" took place in Tampa, FL from July 13-16 and focused on empowering residents and local stakeholders in Weed and Seed communities.

During "Helping Traumatized Children Succeed in Schools and in the Community" workshop, the District Attorney highlighted the success of a collaboration initiated under his and Police Chief William Conlon´s leadership.    In partnership with the Brockton Public Schools and the Massachusetts Advocates for Children´s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, law enforcement and school personnel have been trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma and respond in a manner that fosters a child´s healthy development.   While some may feel that prevention is beyond a prosecutor´s scope, the District Attorney demonstrated that coupled with a strong law enforcement strategy, this type of proactive intervention is exactly what Brockton needs to decrease the level of violence in some of the City´s toughest neighborhoods.

"Some wonder why a prosecutor´s office is invested in a community´s prevention efforts.   My answer to those would be that we must NOT sit by and wait for crime and victimization to occur", stated District Attorney Cruz.

Over 100 participants from across the country participated in this workshop. The District Attorney was joined by Edward Jacoubs, Director of Grants and Special Projects from the DA´s Office, Captain Wayne Sargo of the Brockton Police Department and Joanne Camillo from the Brockton Public Schools.

Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice initiative to "weed" out drug and criminal activities and "seed" in community programs and restoration efforts.   Brockton has been a Weed and Seed site since 1999.   The program is administered locally by
the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office.

Brockton´s Promise
donation in support of Safe Places for City Youth

July 1, 2009

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz donated $1,000 to the Lincoln Academy, a program of Lincoln Congregational Church in Brockton.   The Lincoln Academy provides youth ages 5-14 with a full day enrichment program for eight weeks during the summer.   Activities include educational components, such as career awareness and computer instruction, as well as recreational opportunities for basketball, double dutch and bowling.

District Attorney Cruz supports Brockton´s Promise, a community coalition that works to ensure that all youth have access to Five Promises - Caring Adults, Safe Places, Healthy Start, Marketable Skills and Opportunities to Help Others.   The Lincoln Academy program will provide youth with a safe place and caring adults during what is typically a very unstructured time of year.   Cruz understands the importance of these protective factors in helping the City´s youth stay safe and drug free over the summer months.

Youth Development
in Brockton

June 9, 2009

In 2008, Brockton was named on the "100 Best Communities for Young People" by the America´s Promise Alliance for the second time in a row.   While youth violence continues to be a challenge, the community was recognized for noteworthy programs including evening summer activities, drop-out prevention, mentoring services for youth with disabilities, and much more.

Funders Day Out was co-sponsored by District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz, Associated Grant Makers, The Sheehan Family Foundation, The Clipper Ship Foundation, The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County, The Lenny Zakim Fund, and the United Way of Greater Plymouth County.

The tour included lunch at the Fuller Craft Museum and presentations by District Attorney Tim Cruz and other local leaders.   The sites visited included
the Brockton Rox Baseball Stadium, the Brockton Brightfields Solar Generating Station, Trinity Catholic Academy, the Fruth Teen Center, the The Plymouth County Children´s Advocacy Center , Massasoit Community College, and new school and recreation facilities.

Building on a strong history of collaboration between and among public and private agencies, youth serving organizations in Brockton and their partners adopted the America´s Promise framework in 2003 to coordinate, focus, and sustain their efforts.   Leaders in Brockton are using the 5 Promise Teams to continue to identify and address needs of a diverse population including recent immigrants from Haiti and Cape Verde.

The 5 Promise Teams are:
  • Caring Adults

  • Safe Places

  • Effective Education

  • Opportunities to Help Others

  • Healthy Start

150th Anniversary
of the Massachusetts Superior Court

Thursday, May 7, 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz addresses our new citizens
Wicked Local Photo by Wesley Ennis

A day long celebration to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Superior Court in Plymouth County was held at the Plymouth Superior Court.   Various activities were scheduled throughout the day, including a Naturalization Ceremony for new citizens and their families.

Law Day

May 1, 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz
Wicked Local Photo by Robin Chan

Law Day, USA was created by a proclamation by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on May 1, 1958.    It was established to honor and respect the role that law has played in the foundation of our country.   On May 1st of each year, citizens of the United States are offered the opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to the importance that law has had on our society.

The theme of Law Day 2009 was
"Legacy of Liberty--Celebrating Lincoln's Bicentennial"

Plymouth County Prosecutor
receives honor

April 30, 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz and Assistant District Attorney Tom Flanagan

Annual Spotlight Award

Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Tom Flanagan received the annual Spotlight Award.   This award is given annually to an assistant district attorney from each office in recognition of their outstanding service, spirit, and professionalism.

It provides each District Attorney an opportunity to showcase one ADA in the "spotlight", thanking him/her publicly for a job well done.

Coaching Boys into Men:
"Train the Trainer"

March 26, 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz is introduced by Paul Chiano

As a follow up to last year´s Coaching Boys Into Men Conference, the Plymouth County White Ribbon Campaign sponsored a "Train the Trainer" session.   This year´s session introduced the new curriculum that was created by this initiative.

District Attorney Tim Cruz

District Attorney Tim Cruz along with Juan Carlos Arean and Feroz Moideen, presented the new curriculum.   Approximately 30 coaches from across Plymouth County were in attendance.   A program manual was provided to each coach as well as additional materials that offered examples as to how they could incorporate this curriculum into their coaching styles.  The conference was free of charge and open to any and all coaches of male athletes.

The "Train the Trainer" Conference was held at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School in partnership with the school Safe & Supportive Learning Environments Grant.

District Attorney Tim Cruz and State Representative Vinny deMacedo
author legislation to impose a 10 year minimum mandatory sentence
for those convicted of discharging a firearm at a law enforcement officer

March 9, 2009

District Attorney Cruz announces the filing of new legislation
designed to protect law enforcement

Representative Vinny deMacedo (R, Plymouth) and Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz announce the filing of legislation which will stiffen the criminal penalties for anyone who is convicted of discharging a firearm at a law enforcement officer.

This bill would establish a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for those convicted of "an assault or an assault and battery upon a law enforcement officer by discharging a firearm while said officer is engaged in the performance of duties, and who knows or has reason to know that the individual is a law enforcement officer..."

District Attorney Tim Cruz stated:
"When criminals cross the line and threaten the very people who protect us, then we as a society have to come together and send the clear message that it will not be tolerated.

If you shoot at a police officer, then you are going to prison
- and you are going for a long time."

District Attorneys from across the state, as well as Law Enforcement Officials and Local Officials from across Plymouth County,  join District Attorney Cruz and Representative deMacedo
in support of this legislation.

This legislation comes in the wake of escalating violence on the South Shore, where officers have found themselves as targets, facing criminals who boldly brandish their guns.   Currently in Massachusetts, there is no statute mandating a minimum mandatory sentence for those convicted of such a crime on an officer.   In fact, such criminals have been released back onto the streets in as little as two years.   This legislation, if passed, would seek punishment of "not less than ten years up to life imprisonment in the state prison...and a fine of not more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars may be imposed but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment..."

After speaking with District Attorney Cruz, deMacedo stated that:
"Individuals who open fire at police have complete disregard for the safety of their fellow citizens, and no respect for the law.   Whether it´s the Brockton Police, or the Plymouth Police, these officers are courageously putting their lives on the line each and every day to protect the public.   The least we can do and I believe it is our duty, is to ensure these dangerous criminals are not released back on the street to continue their terror."

"Law enforcement officers work every day to make sure that our streets are safe, that our homes and businesses are secure, and that our children grow up in peaceful communities.   They are on the front line, protecting all of us from criminals who would do us harm," said District Attorney Cruz.

With the support of the District Attorney, Representative deMacedo is hopeful this bill will pass through committees, with expediency and high approval.

"We must act now and we must act decisively, our law enforcement officers and our communities deserve that."

District Attorney Tim Cruz
attends Eagle Scout Court of Honor

March 1, 2009

District Attorney Tim Cruz, State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford and Representatives from the Sons of the American Revolution, present achievement recognitions to new Eagle Scouts, David Hayhurst, Liam Kelly and Joseph Nelson.

All three scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout during a reception held in their honor at the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 48- Eagle Court of Honor, in Carver, MA on March 1, 2009.

The Second Annual
Statewide White Ribbon Day

February 14, 2009

On February 14, 2009, Jane Doe, Inc. (the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence) sponsored the second annual statewide Massachusetts White Ribbon Day as part of an international effort to engage men and boys to help end violence against women.

District Attorney Tim Cruz leads the Plymouth County Police Chiefs
in the Pledge for the White Ribbon Campaign

In collaboration with the statewide day, a series of White Ribbon Campaign events took place in and around Plymouth County:

  • Police departments participated in the statewide day on many different levels.
    At the Plymouth County Chief´s Association meeting all police chiefs took the pledge lead by District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.   The pledge was also read during roll call, some officers wore white ribbons on their uniforms, and white ribbons were tied to the antennas of the police cruisers.

  • The Plymouth County Sheriff´s Department also made presentations at roll call, asking their male employees to take the pledge and wear a white ribbon, and to tie a ribbon to their vehicles´ antennas.

  • The Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office held an office-wide awareness day on Friday, February 13, 2009.

  • Many schools in the county held events in honor of White Ribbon Day.   These schools included Gordon Mitchell Middle School in East Bridgewater, Hingham High School, and Plymouth South High School.

  • The City of Brockton proclaimed February 14th as Brockton White Ribbon Day.

  • Informational White Ribbon Day bookmarks were made available at florists and candy shops throughout Plymouth County the week preceding White Ribbon Day and on
    White Ribbon Day itself.

  • WIC offices across Plymouth County had White Ribbon Campaign information available for their staff and clients the week preceding White Ribbon Day (February 9-13).

The White Ribbon Campaign signing
Hingham High School

February 11, 2009

On February 11, 2009, Hingham High School held their annual White Ribbon Campaign signing.

District Attorney Tim Cruz

The White Ribbon was presented in two assemblies which included the student body from the entire school.   The assemblies were facilitated by Paul Chiano from the Sheriff´s Department and Kathy Spear from South Shore Women´s Resource Center.

The students were addressed by Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, Hingham Police Chief Taylor Mills, and Fred Jewett, a former teacher at the high school.

District Attorney Tim Cruz, Chief Taylor Mills, and Fred Jewett
are joined on stage by Hingham High School Students

They each encouraged the young men in the audience to take a stand against violence against women.    Paul Chiano from the Sheriff´s Department shared his personal story with the students of how his life was changed forever by an act of violence against women.

Verizon Wireless and Plymouth County Law Enforcement
Team up against Domestic Violence

February 11, 2009
The District Attorney´s Office has extended the cross-county wireless phone recycling drive for all of those no-longer-used wireless phones.   The recycling drive is held in support of the Verizon Wireless´ HopeLine® program, which turns unused wireless phones into support for survivors of domestic violence.

HopeLine collection boxes are placed at police departments throughout the county, and the Plymouth County District Attorney´s offices in Plymouth, Brockton, Hingham and Wareham. More than 25 police departments have collection boxes including Abington, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham and Whitman.   Since 2005, the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office has donated over 5,000 cell phones and accessories to the HopeLine® program.

"We are excited to work with Verizon Wireless on this important initiative to help domestic violence survivors.   Those of us in law enforcement welcome this help from the business community in addressing such an important issue.   Verizon Wireless works every day through its HopeLine program to raise awareness of domestic violence and its consequences at home and in business," said District Attorney Cruz. "The company helps domestic violence agencies obtain the resources they need, while standing shoulder to shoulder with law enforcement to assist survivors at many levels.   The donation of wireless phones seems a simple, yet greatly beneficial way for the community at large to get involved with this important cause."

At the center of HopeLine® is a phone-recycling program.   Verizon Wireless collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider at company stores nationwide.   Proceeds from the HopeLine® recycling program are used to provide wireless phones and financial grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.

"Verizon Wireless has focused on increasing awareness and preventing domestic violence for many years through the HopeLine® program," said Ken Dixon, Verizon Wireless´ New England Region President.   "Recycling a no-longer-used wireless phone during this special collection is an environmentally-friendly way for Plymouth County residents to support survivors of domestic violence."

District Attorneys Tim Cruz
and Sam Sutter launch initiative to combat cyberbullying

January 29, 2009

First came the cell phones.   Then came the hackers and cyberbullies.
Three games that promote Cell phone Safety.

Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter announced a joint initiative with LiveWires Design LTD to launch Braincells, an innovative computer game developed to educate students about cyberbullies and cell phone hackers.

District Attorney Sutter,  District Attorney Cruz
and Drew Ann Wake of Live Wires Design, LTD.

District Attorney Cruz and District Attorney Sutter, were joined by Drew Ann Wake,  president of LiveWires Design and Raynham Police Chief Lou Pacheco at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School to announce the launch of the game.

As part of this collaboration,  the game will be available to educate students in both counties free of charge for one year.

District Attorney Cruz

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz stated,

"One of the biggest challenges facing kids today is how to navigate safely in this increasingly technical world.

Today, kids often communicate on the internet and through cell phone text messages.

Braincells not only teaches children appropriate cell phone behavior, but it also helps them recognize unsafe behavior."

Students from the Hanson Middle School
assist in the development of Braincells

In early January 2009, students from the Hanson Middle School,  under the direction of Officer Rick Nawazelski, were asked to attend a workshop to beta test the Braincells game.  The students were asked come up with effective responses to four text messages in the game.

The students´ responses assisted Live Wires Design with the development of a successful cellphone safety plan.   The purpose of the safety plan is to help students recognize when they are in a cyberbullying situation.   It equips them with the necessary steps that they will need to take to effectively put an end to cyberbullying.
The five best responses have been incorporated into the final version of the Braincells game.

Later that month, the students attended a second workshop.   They worked with Drew Ann Wake of Live Wires Design.   The students were asked to come up with ideas that could be written into a script for a cartoon promo of the Braincells game.

Drew Ann Wake of Live Wires Design,  conducts the second workshop with the Hanson Students

The animated program is set in the fictitious Braincells High, which is in turmoil.  Eddie the Bully steals cell phones from younger students.   He hacks into the school computer and "improve" his marks.   He then initiates a series of cyberbullying incidents which pit the students against one another.  In the final game,  ´Get Eddie´,  players bring peace to the school.

District Attorney Cruz observes the students at the workshop

The game is broken down into three areas:  Hacking, Bullying and Cyberbullying.

The Hacking portion of the game was beta tested with students from Canada.
The Bullying portion of the game was beta tested with students from the Netherlands,
and the Cyberbullying portion of the game was beta tested with students from both Plymouth and Bristol counties.

The Winners of the Cell Phone Safety Plan
and the Cartoon Promo Contests

Principal Martin Geoghegan,  Officer Rick Nawazelski and teacher,  Jessica Hobin
with the winners of the Cell Phone Safety Plan and the Cartoon Promo Contests.

(missing from this picture:  student winner,  Brendan Hayward and teacher,  Tom Kilduff)

Cell Phone Safety Plan Contest Winners:

Rachael Baker,  Paige Caswell,  Jessica DeMont
Brendan Hayward, and Samantha Smith

Cartoon Promotion Contest Winners:

Jake Bowen,  Brendan Hayward,  Caroline Merry
Katie Peloquin and Kylie Vaughn

Many Thanks to our Beta Testers:

Students:  Nathan Baker,  Rachael Baker,  Jake Bowen,  Isaac Bowman,  Paige Caswell
Jack Crowley  Jessica DeMont,  Alexander Duclos,  Brendan Hayward
Nadine LeBeau,  Kevin McKenna,  Caroline Merry,  Ryan O'Donnell, Kathleen Peloquin
Alexander Quadros,  Samantha Smith,  Michaela Terrell,  Mark Troupe,  Kylie Vaughn
Principal Martin Geoghegan,  Officer Rick Nawazelski and teachers:  Jessica Hobin and Tom Kilduff

(missing from this picture:  student winner,  Brendan Hayward and teacher,  Tom Kilduff)

Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office
166 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301