Events- 2013

The Designated Driver Program
Kicks Off Its Tenth Year This Holiday Season

Hingham Police Department- Hingham, MA
December 18, 2013

from left to right:
Sgt. Steve Dearth-Hingham PD, District Attorney Tim Cruz, Chief John Llewellyn-Rockland PD, Chief Mike Peraino-Hingham PD, Chief Ted Ross-Norwell PD, Chief Phil Tavares-Marshfield PD, Ron Bersani

The goal of the Designated Driver Program is to increase the public´s awareness of, and to encourage the use of designated drivers to reduce the injuries and effects caused by drunk drivers.

Local Police Departments and the District Attorney have joined with a record number of liquor serving establishments across four towns to mark the 10th year that the Designated Driver Program has been in existence.

The kick-off highlighted the effectiveness of the program and the achievements that can be made when the police, the district attorney and our local businesses work together to encourage the public to plan ahead and use a sober driver, especially during the holiday season.

Pledge To Drive Focused & Sober

sponsored by SADD
Plymouth South High School- Plymouth
December 18, 2013

District Attorney Tim Cruz was invited to speak to the junior and senior class at Plymouth South High School regarding the dangers of both distracted and impaired driving.

Students heard a first hand account from an individual as to how his decision to drive while under the influence impacted his life and the lives of several others.

Students were also shown a video from AT&T entitled "It Can Wait".  The short film featured the last text messages several young people made right before they died in traffic accidents.

Students were asked to step up and sign the pledge to drive focused and sober.

Good Morning Metro South

Shaw´s Center- Brockton
December 13, 2013

District Attorney Tim Cruz was one of the featured speakers at the Metro South Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast. The topics of discussion were opiate and synthetic drugs, and the Plymouth County Prescription Medication Disposal program.

Annual Senior Luncheon Series

The Conference Center at Massasoit- Brockton
Lindsey´s Seafood Restaurant-Wareham
Issac´s on the Waterfront- Plymouth

October and November 2013

The Annual Public Safety Luncheon for Seniors is a three part series hosted by District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz in various locations throughout Plymouth County.

District Attorney Tim Cruz

The luncheons are held in an effort to educate senior citizens about the recent scams in our area, mail fraud and how to better protect themselves against identity theft.

At the senior luncheon held in Brockton on October 11, 2013, District Attorney Cruz was joined by Attorney General Martha Coakley, Mayor Linda Balzotti, Senator Tom Kennedy, State Representative Claire Cronin, State Representative Christine Canavan and State Representative Michael Brady.

Attorney General Martha Coakley

Attorney General Coakley addressed the seniors in attendance as to the various scams that target seniors, the tools to avoid them, and the resources available for their protection.   She also discussed the work of her Medicaid Fraud Division, which reviews complaints of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and financial exploitation of seniors.

Inspector Joe Kleinberg

Joseph P. Kleinberg, a retired Postal Inspector with the United States Postal Inspection Service was our guest speaker at all three luncheons.  Inspector Kleinberg is an expert in the field of mail fraud, telemarketing scams and Identity Theft.

Seniors also heard from an Assistant District Attorney in our Senior Protection Unit.  The Assistant DA informed the seniors about the rampant abuse of over the counter and prescription drugs with our younger generation.   Tips and information were given to safeguard all medications, and District Attorney Cruz informed the attendees about the new Plymouth County Prescription Medication Disposal Program.

Approximately 500 seniors from across Plymouth County attended this annual event.

Managing Threatening Situations
and Creating Safe School Climates

October 30, 2013

The Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office, United States Attorney´s Office, U.S. Secret Service´s Boston office and Bridgewater State University hosted researchers from the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) to provide law enforcement, school personnel and university officials with information on Managing Threatening Situations and Creating Safe School Climates.   Close to 200 attended the conference which was held at Bridgewater State University.

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz stated, "I am pleased that we were able to once again present this important information from the National Threat Assessment Center (NATC) to our local schools and law enforcement personnel.   The researchers from the (NATC) did a tremendous job and it is our hope that today´s information will help guide schools and local law enforcement as they work to keep our schools safe from targeted violence."

During the conference, participants were provided information on the foundations of threat assessment which is a behavior-based approach used by law enforcement and others to identify and assess those individuals who pose a risk of engaging in targeted violence.   NTAC also highlighted its research related to school safety and the adaption of the threat assessment approach in both K-12 and higher education settings.   They also discussed how privacy laws such as HIPAA and FERPA can impact the ability to identify students of concern, and provided participants with information on types of information that can be shared to assist with a threat assessment investigation.

Plymouth County Conference to Fight Addiction

October 25, 2013

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz

On October 25, 2013, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz, along with Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti and High Point Treatment Center, hosted The City of Champions Fights Addiction Conference at the Shaw´s Center in Brockton, MA.

The conference was attended by numerous law enforcement, health care, and education officials from Brockton and neighboring Plymouth County towns.   It highlighted some of the latest trends in drug use, especially opioids and synthetics.

District Attorney Cruz discussed his office´s newest collaboration with the Sheriff´s Department, and the Plymouth County Police Chiefs: The Plymouth County Prescription Medication Disposal Program.  Medication Return Receptacles have been securely installed in 22 out of the 27 lobbies of local police departments acoss Plymouth County. This program will provide residents with a safe and secure method of disposing of their unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications.

District Attorney Cruz partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to present the dangers and trends of synthetic drug use.  Speakers provided information on addiction and the brain, as well as, the Naloxone Pilot Program, which is a drug used to counter act an opioid overdose.

District Attorney Cruz also highlighted legislation that the Town of Middleborough enacted to prohibit the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana and similar products to minors, in any food-related establishment, or in retail outlets licensed by the Board of Health, with fines and revocation of permit to operate for violations. "I encourage lawmakers in the audience today to consider the dangers presented by synthetic drugs and work towards signing into law ordinances that ban the sale and possession of these drugs."

3rd Annual Conference
for the Prevention of Underage Drinking & Substance Use

September 24, 2013

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz,
South Shore FACTS Champion Award Recipient, Annemarie Galvin
and Dr. Barbara Green, Medical Director of Youth Health Connection

The Office of Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz partnered with South Shore Hospital: Youth Health Connection and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) to host the 3rd Annual Prevention of Underage Drinking & Substance Use Conference at Linden Ponds in Hingham MA on September 24, 2013.

The summit was attended by approximately 115 members from Plymouth County and neighboring towns.  Educators, law enforcement, health officials, and students represented the following communities: Abington, Avon, Brockton, Carver, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Rockland, Scituate, Weymouth, and Whitman.

Dr. John Knight, Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Children´s Hospital in Boston, provided the keynote address on prevention and early intervention.  Attendees also heard from panelists about the realities of living through drug and alcohol abuse and community approaches to addressing teen substance use.

Each community was given time to brainstorm collaborative efforts to bring awareness and preventative events to their respective town. As District Attorney Cruz noted, "Today was all about presenting the research, the science, and the realities of teen substance abuse, and giving each community the opportunity to learn the best practices to address drug and alcohol use in their towns."

In addition to substance abuse, District Attorney Cruz, along with representatives from AT&T, introduced "It Can Wait", a short documentary on the dangers of texting and driving.

National Night Out
Against Crime

August 6, 2013

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 16th 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.

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.

19th Annual Plymouth County Drug & Alcohol
Resistance Education Summer Program

July 29 - August 2, 2013

The Plymouth County Drug & Alcohol Resistance Education Summer Program, sponsored by the Office of Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and The Plymouth County Police Chiefs concluded after a successful week of summer fun.

The program is a collaborative effort between the District Attorney´s Office and the Plymouth County Drug Education Officers and School Resource Officers.   It 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.  Participants are selected by their hometown Officer.

Opening Ceremonies

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.

During the week, the students learned skills to resist illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence. They also took part in team building activities such as Olympic events and pick up games of dodge ball, wiffle ball, kick ball and basketball.   Educational entertainment was provided by Cubey the DJ, Johnny the K and Ooch.  The students received a visit from the Massachusetts State Police helicopter, and the Hanson Fire Department.   Lunch was provided each day and included a Chinese food buffet, pizza, and a cookout.

Massachusetts State Police Airwing Crew address the students

This year, 15 towns across Plymouth County participated in our program, held at the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.  Approximately 450 students and peer leaders were in attendance.
Throughout the week,students were surrounded by positive role models who were committed to making their experience as rewarding as possible.

Team 11, led by Officer Tom Ford, Hingham Police,
participate in the Olympic Event-Water Balloon Toss

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."

The Center at Sachem Rock
Open House

East Bridgewater, MA
Saturday, June 15, 2013

District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz

District Attorney Cruz was invited to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of The Center at Sachem Rock.  The Center, which opened its doors in February is the new home of the East Bridgewater Council on Aging.  This new center will allow the council to provide additional programs to service the needs of the seniors in their community.

SAAD Summit

Friday, June 14, 2013

Poster created by Brockton High School SADD Chapter

On June 14, 2013 Brockton Public Schools hosted the First Annual SADD summit at the Shaws Center in Brockton, MA.  The event was sponsored by the Office of Timothy J. Cruz, Plymouth County District Attorney, along with COPS SOS Program, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, Highway Safety Division.

SADD chapters included the Brockton High School, Ashfield Middle School, Davis Middle School, Plouffe Academy, Raymond Middle School, and West Middle School.   In the morning, the high school students presented exhibits on numerous themes including: dating violence, drugs and alcohol education, and text while driving.

The Brockton School Resource Officers also had interactive stations for students to experience field sobriety tests with the "drunk goggles."   AT&T presented "It Can Wait," a short video on the dangers of texting while driving.   After the video, District Attorney Cruz shared personal experiences of cases involving distracted drivers.   Brockton Police Chief Emmanuel Gomes followed with traffic accident statistics about distracted drivers.

The morning was completed with presentations from each middle school SADD chapter highlighting their projects and accomplishments from the school year.

Law Day

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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 2013:
"Realizing the Dream: Equality for All"

Children´s Advocacy Center
3rd Annual Open House

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office and the Plymouth County Children´s Advocacy Center introduced the Public Awareness Campaign of "One With Courage", in observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

One with courage is a national campaign that focuses on the courage it takes to talk about
child sexual abuse and the unique role Children´s Advocacy Centers play in providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to child victims of abuse.

Indian Head School-Mock Trial

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Hanson, MA

photo courtesy of the Hanson Police Department

Students at the Indian Head School in Hanson Massachusetts participated in a mock trial about bullying.   The auditorium at the school was transformed into a courtroom.   The students in the fifth grade had a chance to see firsthand, the consequences of bullying others.

The Mock Trial Programs from the District Attorney´s Office have reached thousands of students throughout Plymouth County.   They have been praised by administrators and teachers for their no nonsense approach, their factual and thought provoking material, and for the reality they bring to children faced with hard decisions during their most formative years.

The decisions and choices our children make will shape their lives for years to come.  These programs place emphasis on the legal consequences that can be expected if the wrong decisions are made.  The programs have shown to be effective drug prevention tools, and effective anti-bullying tools.
Knowledge is essential in making the students aware of the consequences of drug and alcohol use, and of bullying.  Education about drugs, alcohol, and bullying, provide the knowledge children need to make wise decisions and healthy choices.

Hingham High School-Mock Trial
Social Host Law

Thursday, March 14, 2013

photo courtesy of the Hingham Police Department

The Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office and the Hingham Police Department presented a mock trial to teach students about the dangers of alcohol.

District Attorney Tim Cruz and Hingham Police Chief Mike Peraino addressed the students prior to the start of the program.    The presentation was designed to help students make the right decision and to understand that actions do indeed have consequences.

The program, organized by School Resource Officer Tom Ford informed the students about the
Social Host Law, and showed them first hand what the consequences could be if the wrong decisions were made.

Child Abuse Investigations:
Advanced Techniques for Law Enforcement

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Bridgewater State University

The Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office conducted a seminar on advanced techniques in child abuse investigations for law enforcement officials.

The training focused on all aspects of child abuse cases, from inception to trial. Topics included the best approach to use when interviewing a child who has been sexually abused, gathering different types of corroborating evidence and trial preparation.

"Keeping Kids Safe"
A Public Forum

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Pembroke Public Library

District Attorney Timothy Cruz served on a panel at a public forum on "Keeping Kids Safe".  The forum, hosted by Representative Josh Cutler helped to educate families about ways in which we can keep our children safe.

Topics of discussion included bullying, school safety, sex offenders, child gun violence,substance abuse and mental health issues.

The forum was free and open to the public.

Benefit for Children´s Miracle Network Hospitals©
National Pancake Day 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Since 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $11 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates.   On February 5, 2013, District Attorney Tim Cruz, Sheriff Joe McDonald and Plymouth Police Chief Mike Boteiri were invited to join IHOP General Manager Alan Wright, to celebrate National Pancake Day at the IHOP Restaurant in Plymouth, MA.

Customers were treated to a stack of free pancakes.  A donation to the Children´s Miracle Network Hospitals© was encouraged and appreciated.

The Children´s Miracle Network Hospitals© raises funds for 170 children´s hospitals across our nation.  All donations received stay in the community to help local children.

Helping Traumatized Children:
Learn and Succeed in School & the Community

Monday, January 28, 2013

Youth Health Connection hosted a seminar to raise awareness of the prevalence of childhood trauma in our society.   District Attorney Timothy Cruz, Joel Ristuccia, M.Ed., Certified School Psychologist from the Massachusetts Advocates for Children Trauma and Policy Learning Institute, Harvard Law School and Edward G. Jacoubs, MSW, Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs, Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office were invited to make presentations to the seminar attendees.

Youth Health Connection brings together community resources that influence the lives of children and families.   Through collaboration, connection, communication, and coalition building YHC works to collectively make a positive difference in the mental health and physical well being of children, teens and parents to reduce risk and increase resiliency.   YHC was founded in 1994 and continues to grow and develop its mission and reach.

Public Safety Forum
Plymouth Public Schools

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Plymouth Public Schools, in conjunction with the Plymouth Police, Fire, and Emergency Operations Departments, sponsored a Public Safety Forum.   Representatives of the district´s Safety Committee provided the community with an overview of the Plymouth Public school system´s emergency preparedness plans and support services.   District Attorney Cruz, emergency personnel and members of the school and district administration addressed those in attendance.

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