A New Vision for Public Safety in Norfolk County
The Sheriff’s Office has the opportunity — and the responsibility — to evolve past a narrow focus on prisons and corrections. The role of the Sheriff must be a broader focus on Public Safety, working to connect the residents of Norfolk County to the necessary services, opportunities, and resources that make them safe in all areas of their lives.
I envision a Sheriff’s office whose primary role is that of the county’s Chief Public Safety Officer. This vision includes not only a properly and efficiently run county corrections system, but the implementation of a holistic approach to addressing the core issues that undermine public safety across the county.
As your Sheriff, I will work with community leaders and stakeholders to:
Work with our Communities to increase Public Safety for All
- Bring together community groups and municipalities to develop community based approaches to public safety issues.
- Develop a county-wide community online resource center to connect residents to public health and safety resources.
- Serve as a county-wide hub when public health and safety crises arise
- Expand and identify new community partnerships to expand the effectiveness of existing programs, like the yellow dot program and R U OK, and create additional avenues to serve Norfolk County residents.
- Seek out and focus on the perspectives of diverse ethnic communities and immigrant populations across Norfolk County when developing policies and programming in the Sheriff’s Office
- Work with health care professionals and non-profit organizations to address addiction and help people get the services they need, before they are in crisis
- Work to break cycles of domestic violence by working closely with victims (including notifications of release of abusers) as well as providing training, counseling, and programming for abusers in custody.
- Increase youth programming including expanding the Sheriff’s camp to include a location in the southern part of the county, increase participation from one week to two weeks.
- Implement a “counselor-in-training” program at the camp for kids 14-17, to increase their leadership skills and keep them on the right path.
- Seek out additional grant money not being utilized to increase the effectiveness of public safety programs around the county.
Ensure an Efficient and Effective Sheriff’s Office
- Conduct an immediate fiscal audit and assessment of programs and operations to ensure the office and jail are running as efficiently and effectively as possible
- Assess infrastructure needs and create a plan to address those issues before they become costly and require urgent repairs
- Develop additional options for ways to save taxpayer money including increasing the use of alternative energy and actively seeking out grant funding.
- Create a plan to address the updating of Sheriff’s office equipment to make sure officers and staff are able to do their jobs efficiently and safely.
- Ensure officers and staff have access to the training they need.
- Develop and utilize an effective metrics program to measure results of programs to ensure they are meeting goals.
Put People on the Right Path Forward
- Create programs and units within the correctional facility to address the needs and issues of specific groups who need specialized services, such as veterans who often deal with substance abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to identify the root causes of their problems and redirect them towards the right path before returning to their community.
- Serve as a leader among County Sheriffs to address gender inequities in corrections plans across the state.
- Explore the feasibility of creating separate juvenile and first-time offender units and a separate female detention facility within the jurisdiction of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office.
- Increase diversion programs, utilizing my relationships in the Trial Court through our District, Probate & Family, Drug, Veterans, and Housing Courts, to get people the help they need.
- Work with our friends in labor unions and community-based instructors to institute education and training programs for inmates to gain valuable skills in a variety of trades that will give them the ability to secure employment and be self-sufficient after they are released.
Keep People Successful Outside of Prisons
- Ensure that prior to leaving the system, prisoners are able to secure health care (including addiction and mental health care), employment, housing and other services to set them on a path to success and reduce the chances of recidivism.
- Work with local law enforcement professionals and probation officers and secure non-profit agency partnerships to ensure receipt and continuity of services for parolees in order for them stay on the right path forward.