- Brockton Police Department - Brockton Area Child Witness to Violence Project - Recognizing that no single agency possesses all of the knowledge, skills, or resources to address the effects of violence on children, the Brockton Police Department has teamed up with Plymouth County DA's Office, Brockton Public Schools, various mental health providers, the Department of Social Services Brockton Area Office, and Master's Level Social Worker interns from local colleges to establish the Brockton Area Child Witness to Violence Project. The program seeks to provide a coordinated law enforcement and social service response to children who have witnessed or have been victims of violence.
Specifically, the program identifies affected children and facilitates a rapid response of services so children may receive the necessary counseling and comfort in a timely manner. The program partners social workers with patrol officers and by provides support and training to officers who regularly encounter children. The program has succeeded in assisting these officers to be more aware of the effects of violence on children while attempting to break the cycle of violence so these children will not become future victims and/or offenders.
The Brockton Area Child Witness to Violence Project is a hybrid of two programs: the Boston Medical Center - Child Witness to Violence Project and the New Haven, CT Community Policing and Child Development model. Brockton Police Department worked with their local collaborative partners to develop a program that best meets the needs of their community and capitalized on the resources in their area to deliver a consistent coordinated response to the city's vulnerable children.
- Essex County District Attorney - Choose to Refuse: A Heroin and OxyContin Prevention Education Program - In response to a growing concern about heroin and OxyContin use by young people in Essex County, the District Attorney's Office developed Choose to Refuse: A Heroin and OxyContin Prevention Education Program to be delivered to young people ages 13-18 in Essex County, MA.
Choose to Refuse is a six session program that helps young people understand the physical, legal, and social consequences of illegal drug use. Participants learn decision-making skills, methods for refusing drugs, and how to identify potentially risky situations. The program is designed to educate young people on the addictive nature of heroin and OxyContin and provide youth with the strategies to avoid using these drugs in advance of their exposure.
This program is a collaborative effort between Essex County District Attorney, state and national substance abuse experts, law enforcement, and public schools, and the program is based on the Preventive Alcohol Education Program, a SAMHSA recognized Promising Program .
- Town of Weymouth - National Incident Management System Training - The National Incident Management System was developed to allow all government, private-sector, and non governmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents. The Town of Weymouth developed and implemented a systematic training that certified members of governmental agencies whose expertise would be required during natural disasters, environmental contamination, terrorist attacks, or other emergencies.
The training was led by a motivated team from the Weymouth Fire Department and the Weymouth Emergency Management Agency, and it demonstrated to each Town employee that their position was relevant and important in emergency management and response situations. The training focused on a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional response and recovery and offered examples of how each department in the Town government fit into the emergency response network. Each department's capabilities and responsibilities with respect to incident management were highlighted.
Overall, 227 Weymouth town employees were trained, and further training is planned for the fall. This program is credited with giving a renewed sense of purpose to all local government employees.
- Worcester Police Department - Electronic Pawnbroker Monitoring - The Worcester Police Department (WPD), with the help of the Worcester Technical Services Department and New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN), developed an electronically searchable database to track the daily business activities of pawnbrokers. Pawnbrokers in the Worcester area are now required to electronically submit to the WPD the name, address, date of birth, and social security number of any individual pawning goods.
Some pawnbroker establishments have become the recipients and resellers of stolen property. This new database gives law enforcement officers the resources necessary to monitor pawnbrokers and to learn the identities of the individuals conveying items to the pawnbroker. Police have the ability to access information, conduct searches, locate stolen property, and identify thieves from any PC with Internet access.
In conjunction with NESPIN, the Electronic Pawnbroker Monitoring System was expanded and renamed the Pawnbroker Electronic Tracking System and is available to all law enforcement agencies as a repository of information on pawn information from their various communities. Police in multiple jurisdictions now have a powerful tool to aid in a spectrum of criminal investigations. The Worcester Police Department applied 21 st Century technology to an outdated and inefficient paper system of monitoring pawnbrokers which sped up the recovery of stolen property sold to pawnbrokers.
Organizations Recognized for Meritorious Achievement
- Boston Police Department - The Boston Regional Intelligence Center - In May 2005, the Boston Police Department (BPD) combined its Intelligence Unit and Office of Research and Evaluation to form the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). Since that time, the BRIC has integrated information and resources from the eight other police departments within the Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region, as well as other federal, state and local law enforcement entities.
On a daily basis, the BRIC provides intelligence collection and analytic support to all of its partners on priority public safety issues, including: homeland security, street violence, firearm and drug activity, and property crime. The model utilizes a systematic application of data collection and analysis that yields products that provide BPD and its partners with data-driven decision-making capability.
Before the BRIC was created, BPD analysis was done at a district level and was limited to specific crime sets. Very little information was systematically shared between districts and among jurisdictions. Analysis is now done across disciplines and jurisdictions and daily BRIC meetings also convene decision makers for deployment planning, guidance, and prioritization of objectives. Through the use of bi-directional information sharing, the BRIC has given the Boston law enforcement community better tools with which to meet changing criminal and homeland security threats.
- Boston Police Department - Operation Cloak and Dagger - As part of an effort to do more with fewer officers and serve a region suffering from increased gun violence, Boston Police Department (BPD) instituted Operation Cloak and Dagger, a comprehensive and innovative enforcement strategy that folds intelligence-led policing into specific-deterrence tactics through a problem-oriented approach. This program was created based on the recognized National Institute of Justice strategy of specific deterrence/saturation patrols and premised on Routine Activity Theory's assertion that crime occurs when motivated criminals converge on a target perceiving an apparent lack of guardianship.
BPD changed the patrol dynamic in District Three by having uniformed police officers wear plain clothes and drive unmarked non-descript vehicles such as taxis, SUV's and vans. In addition, the department used crime mapping technology and intelligence driven planning to target these plain clothes patrols at gun violence in hotspot locations. Operation Cloak and Dagger led to several plain-clothes sub-operations that focused on non-traditional indicators that could contribute to gun violence, such as: motor-vehicle stops, warrant arrests, and after-hour party spill-over violence. High-risk individuals encountered through Cloak and Dagger operations were referred to community prevention services.
The region where Cloak and Dagger operates has seen a decrease in gun-related homicides and overall shootings since its inception. By "cloaking" the majority of their two-man patrols in plain clothes, BPD was able to "dagger", or cut, many impact players out of District Three and reduce gun violence.
- Bunker Hill Community College - Offender Reentry Program The Offender Reentry Program (ORP) is a two stage reentry program designed to prepare male offenders from the Suffolk County House of Correction for a successful and sustained transition back into the community. The guiding force of the program is that education is an essential element in reducing recidivism. The ORP is a unique collaboration between three organizations: Bunker Hill Community College, Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, and Youth Opportunity Boston.
ORP's two stage approach provides an intensive multi-disciplinary program at the House of Correction with after care services. The first stage is an eight week program that includes writing, computer, job and life skills courses. Offenders develop a portfolio of their work during this program as well as create an individualized discharge plan. At the conclusion of the program, offenders present their portfolio to a panel of staff, peers, and invited guests.
The second stage reinforces the discharge plans by offering necessary assistance, including housing and employment assistance, academic counseling and general counseling referrals. ORP also offers financial support for public transportation, clothing for interviews, obtaining identification, and purchasing books for school. To meet the goals of the program, ORP staff contact the released offenders once a week for the first month and once a month for the next five months. Offenders are not required to remain in contact with staff, although 86% of offenders who complete the program remain in contact with at least one ORP staff member.
- Department of Fire Services - Development of Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations - In November 2005, after a year long collaborative initiative spearheaded by Department of Fire Services (DFS) on promoting awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning, Nicole's Law was passed. This law requires the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all residential structures with potential sources of carbon monoxide. Awareness of the problem came from the tragic death of a seven year old girl who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in January 2005.
Recognizing the importance of this proposed legislation, DFS staff members initiated a series of public hearings with business leaders and regulatory agencies to generate support for the regulations. The same DFS staff immediately met with the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (BFPR) to assist in the drafting of carbon monoxide regulations. After countless hours of meetings, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and BFPR Chairman David Demers announced on February 2, 2006, less than 90 days following the signing of "Nicole's Law", the passage of emergency regulations requiring carbon monoxide alarms be installed in residences by March 31, 2006. In response to the demand for information on this issue, DFS provided training to fire and building officials on carbon monoxide monitoring. DFS also developed an information brochure on this topic. The DFS effort on Nicole's Law is noteworthy because the process from initial awareness of the carbon monoxide issue to enactment of the law took less than a year. This rapid response on the part of DFS and its collaborative partners will save lives across the Commonwealth.
- Department of Fire Services - Fire Safety Act of 2004/Chapter 304 Statewide Training of Public Officials - As part of an effort to make public assembly buildings safer, Massachusetts released landmark fire safety legislation in November 2004 that required tougher enforcement of public assembly venues that can hold 100 or more people. An important feature of this law is the requirement that these venues must install sprinkler systems.
This new feature presented regulation and education challenges for local fire officials and building inspectors. Individuals who would be enforcing and inspecting these systems throughout the Commonwealth needed to be educated with the important information related to the new law, including new sprinkler requirements and a review of new inspection and enforcement procedures. Department of Fire Services (DFS), along with help from Department of Public Safety (DPS), held a series of 11 joint workshops which reached more than 1200 public officials (fire departments and fire inspectors) in early 2005 to teach the provisions of the Fire Safety Act. Six additional workshops were held in September 2005 that reviewed ticketing and code enforcement procedures. DFS and DPS also worked together on designing and printing the new tickets and field guides for fire officials and inspectors.
The training on the law and enforcement procedures has resulted in increased ticketing and issuing of fines. The Fire Safety Act is one of the most comprehensive fire safety laws in the country, and this large-scale training program demonstrated that two agencies can effectively collaborate to rapidly train staff and uphold and enforce new laws.
- Falmouth Police Department - Racial Profiling: Perception or Reality - As a reaction to a 2003 Northeastern University study on racial profiling by Massachusetts police organizations, Falmouth Police Department (FPD) wanted to determine if racial profiling was a factor when officers issued tickets. FPD assembled a community focus group to determine the community's impressions of whether racial profiling was taking place Falmouth. The focus group determined that a study should be conducted to assess the community's perceptions and experiences of racial profiling.
With the help of Professor Ed LeClair at Salem State College and Professor Jack McDevitt of Northeastern University, FPD created a survey to determine the public's perceptions of the police department and the Town of Falmouth's experiences with racial profiling. Six thousand surveys were mailed that yielded over eleven hundred responses. Results of the survey were shared with the department members. This survey allowed the department to open up a dialogue with the minority community in Falmouth and will enable the department to incorporate findings from the survey into training.
- Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps - Detention Diversion Advocacy Project - Modeled after the Detention Diversion Advocacy Project (DDAP) at the San Francisco-based Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the DDAP at the Robert F. Kennedy Children Action Corps seeks to decrease the number of detained minority youth in Dorchester by diverting them from detention pre-disposition to alternative programs. This program is the first of its type in Massachusetts.
The DDAP intervenes to reduce the number of youth in court-ordered detention programs by providing a myriad of appropriate community services and counseling. The overall goal in supporting detention diversion programs is to reduce the rate of recidivism and reduce the number of minority youth held, or likely to be held, in juvenile detention centers. While they are removed from detention and await disposition, youth are provided with intensive case management services through DDAP. These services include: tracking cases, meeting with parents, curfew checks, home visits, daily telephone checks, and continuous communication with the network of stakeholders who provide various program services.
The DDAP effort benefits from strong collaborative relationships with the following organizations: Boston Center for Youth and Families, Department of Youth Services, Dorchester Court, Youth Advocacy Project, Boston Public Schools, and other youth services agencies.
- Worcester Police Department - Clergy Mentoring Program - As part of an effort to decrease youth involvement with crime, violence, and gangs, and to build a system of community support and create healthy safe neighborhoods, Worcester Police Department (WPD) is exploring a partnership between a variety of faith leaders and police. The partnership engages in mentoring youth identified by the faith community who are at increased risk of being affected by drugs, alcohol, crime and violence.
The partnership's premise is based on research conducted by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Currently, the program is involved with nine churches and affects approximately 220 youth. The mentoring programs include structured programming such as after school homework opportunities and social needs assistance. In addition, officers involved in this partnership are encouraged to design their own programs as well, which include: group outings, athletic teams and self-esteem programs. These interactions will assist in building positive relationships between the youth, faith leaders, and the police.
If you would like further information about any of the recognized programs, please contact Keith O'Brien via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org