Through community programs and presentations, the District Attorney continually works to educate our residents about the dangers associated with substance abuse and he remains vigilant in his effort to reduce violent crimes that have plagued our communities.
The Plymouth County Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education Summer Program (formerly known as DARE Camp) provides a structured environment that instructs young people on responsibility, leadership, decision-making, discipline, awareness, and most importantly, how to say no to drugs and alcohol. Held on the last week in July, students spend the week surrounded by police officers and positive role models who have volunteered and are committed to making the experience as rewarding as possible.
The Community Reinvestment Program was established under a statute which the Court authorized to order convicted drug dealers to forfeit all proceeds of their criminal activity. The law allows the District Attorney to expend up to 10 percent of the monies and proceeds that are seized annually, and reinvest these funds into the community for drug rehabilitation, drug education and other anti-drug or neighborhood crime watch programs which further law enforcement purposes.
The Mock Trial Program is a comprehensive curricula that focuses on drug and alcohol prevention, bullying, violence prevention, and Internet Safety. The essential elements of the legal and criminal justice systems are explained to the students and culminates with their interaction, by bringing the courtroom into the classroom.
Social Host Liability Presentations are conducted around the county at various high schools. Many schools utilize this presentation prior to prom and graduation season. This presentation opens the eyes of both the student and their parents to the consequences related to underaged drinking.
The Sports Smart Program is a substance use presentation for high school students. The program is presented in partnership with Dr. Dan Muse of Signature Healthcare. The presentation is recommended to coincide with concussion training for high school students and covers topics such as managing pain from acute injuries and surgery, recognizing the signs of withdrawal and substances of abuse, as well as symptoms of a concussion, etc. It is recommended that students, parents, coaching staff and trainers attend.
The Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force was created and co-chaired by District Attorney Cruz and Sheriff McDonald. The Task Force brings law enforcement, the medical community, educators and substance abuse experts together to share information and track the current trends of the opiate epidemic within Plymouth County. The task force, through its members, provides on-going support for community coalitions and will be a clearing house for all coalitions throughout Plymouth County.
The Plymouth County Prescription Medication Disposal Program was created due to the escalating problem of prescription drug abuse in our communities. Under the federal Safe and Secure Disposal Act of 2010, communities are now required to offer residents, a method to collect and dispose of unused or expired prescription and over the counter medications in a safe, legal, secure and environmentally conscious manner. Every police and Campus Police Department across Plymouth County now offer free, anonymous disposal of unused or expired medications that are no longer needed. Receptacles are securely located in the police department lobbies and provide safe accessibility every day, 24-hours a day. There are no fees involved for the disposal and there are no questions asked. These medications will be incinerated and turned into energy through Covanta’s Rx4 Safety Program.
The White Ribbon Campaign urges communities, schools and other organizations to participate in the effort to stop violence against women. While concerned about all forms of violence, the purpose of the White Ribbon is to focus on men´s violence against women. Men, young and old are encouraged to take the pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women.
The Handle with Care Program was created to assist children who have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a traumatic incident. These adverse childhood experiences create long lasting negative effects on our children and place them at a greater risk of struggling in school and succeeding in life. By creating a supportive school environment, children can learn to cope with traumatic events, and successfully further their education.
Operation Safe Streets is a multi-agency response to target gun, drug and violent crime in the City of Brockton and its surrounding communities. This law enforcement task force is comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Members meet regularly to collect data, share information and gather intelligence on problem areas and individuals within Brockton and its surrounding communities. This initiative focuses on reducing firearm violence in this community through targeted enforcement by removing repeat firearm offenders from this community for as long as possible. Technological advances are used to improve the investigation and prosecution of criminals. These include surveillance cameras, an offender database accessed remotely by laptop computers, cell phone connections directly from the police investigators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and crime mapping used to focus law enforcement resources on the locations where the crime data indicates an increase in activity.
The Plymouth County TRIAD Initiative has been developed to reduce the criminal victimization of our senior population and to enhance the delivery of law enforcement services to them. TRIAD is a nationally recognized program in which Law Enforcement, Senior Citizens, Supportive and Protective Services all work together to unify and implement services that are currently available to seniors in their community. The Plymouth County TRIAD is a cooperative effort that consists of the District Attorney, the Sheriff, the local Police Chief, the local Fire Chief, the Council on Aging Director, S.A.L.T. Council Members, Seniors, and representatives from the supportive services that assist seniors in their community.