Timothy J. Cruz has served as Plymouth County District Attorney since November, 2001. During this time, he has worked to protect and promote the public safety of the nearly 500,000 residents in Plymouth County. As chief law enforcement officer, and in conjunction with local police departments and Massachusetts State Police, District Attorney Cruz’s primary responsibility is to enforce the law by investigating and prosecuting criminal cases. Toward that end, District Attorney Cruz has strived to take guns, drugs, and violent felons off of the streets, while partnering with other agencies and initiating programs to address the social, economic, and health challenges facing our communities.
In 2015, in an effort to address the opioid crisis, District Attorney Cruz partnered with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department to create the county’s Drug Abuse Task Force. The Task Force serves as the clearinghouse for coordinating law enforcement efforts, education, overdose prevention, outreach, and data dissemination. In 2017, the Task Force partnered with all 28 police departments to develop and implement Plymouth County Outreach (PCO). PCO is a police assisted recovery intervention program where a police officer and a recovery coach conduct outreach visits to victims in the hours after an overdose.
District Attorney Cruz and his staff are also doing ground-breaking work with drug endangered children, training members of law enforcement and school faculty in the county and around the state, on how to identify and support students with Adverse Childhood Experiences.
The Safe Streets Task Force is a coordinated effort led by District Attorney Cruz, working in conjunction with law enforcement partners at the local, state, and federal level, to reduce gun violence in Brockton. Through prevention, enforcement and re-entry services, Safe Streets helps to keep the lines of communication open between Brockton residents and members of law enforcement.
District Attorney Cruz operates a nationally accredited Children’s Advocacy Center, which delivered high quality and effective services to the 1009 referrals of child abuse victims the office received last year.
District Attorney Cruz also formed a Human Trafficking Task Force to improve investigations and prosecution of human trafficking cases, and get services for victims.
District Attorney Cruz’s Diversion Program addresses first-time offenders who may have faced a number of difficulties and pressures associated with growing up. The program has been successful in putting the lives of young men and women back on track, and allowing them alternatives to criminal records.
District Attorney Cruz also utilizes special courts, like Drug Court and Veterans Court, to hold offenders accountable but also offer help to break the cycle and stay out of jail. The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office is currently participating in a district court pilot program to screen applications for complaints in an effort to improve court efficiency.
Another important part of District Attorney Cruz’s job as a prosecutor is the protection and support of victims of crime. In any given year, the office will meet with thousands of victims and the office has 18 victim witness advocates to assist victims of crime in many ways.
Outside the courtroom, District Attorney Cruz is working in the community. He and his staff conduct Cyber Safety trainings and Drug and Alcohol Awareness presentations to students and parents, so that they make smart choices outside of the classroom. District Attorney Cruz works to protect seniors in conjunction with the county’s TRIAD programs. During the pandemic, District Attorney Cruz hosted regular virtual trainings for seniors to get them information and resources on how to protect themselves against scammers.
District Attorney Cruz supports restorative justice programs and partners with the Plymouth County Sheriff to hold job fairs for those who have been justice involved. Last year, District Attorney Cruz established a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), to investigate claims of wrongful conviction or actual innocence.
District Attorney Cruz is currently vice president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association. He is past vice-president of the National District Attorneys Association, where he serves on the NDAA Opioid Working Group. District Attorney Cruz has served as a member of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance; Department of Corrections Advisory Council; Governor’s Council on Capital Punishment; and the Forensic Technology Subcommittee of the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice Innovation.
District Attorney Cruz previously worked in private practice, and as an Assistant District Attorney in Plymouth County. He is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School. District Attorney Cruz is admitted to both the Massachusetts and United States District Court bars, as well as the United States Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. He and his wife currently reside in Marshfield, where they raised their two sons.