FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT STEPS UP OUTREACH IN DORCHESTER
Dorchester – Officers and representatives of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department have made an increased outreach effort in Dorchester. This month, members of the Sheriff’s Department can be seen at senior establishments, schools and neighborhood meetings across Dorchester, connecting with the community.
Deputy Abe Ayuso and Corporal Tom Derosa, both Community Affairs Officers for the Sheriff’s Department Office of Communications and External Affairs, spent the morning of Thursday, March 16 at the Harbor Point Apartments on North Point Drive and the afternoon Monday, March 20 at School House Properties on Brookledge Place, introducing the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Elderly ID program to the senior housing residents. The Elderly ID program provides color photo IDs to seniors. The IDs have the name and address of the cardholder, emergency contact information, and important medical information such as the cardholder’s blood type, allergies, medical conditions, and organ donor status. The cards are very important in an emergency situation and also serve as a secondary form of ID for seniors who participate. Deputy Ayuso and Corporal Derosa also hand out senior safety pamphlets while visiting the senior establishments and discuss ways in which seniors can protect themselves from various types of crime. The two officers will also visit the Kelly Apartments at 10 Ellet Street on Wednesday, March 29.
“I love doing this,” said Corporal Derosa. “Sheriff Cabral is committed to making Suffolk County a better and safer place and this is an excellent way to do it.”
Officers from Sheriff Cabral’s Choice Program Officer Cadre have visited the Grover Cleveland School three times this month, on March 13, 15, and 16, and the Paul Dever School on March 16, and will visit the New Boston Pilot School on the March 23 and Jeremiah Burke High School on March 27 and 28. The Choice Program Officer Cadre is made up of fourteen officers recruited by Sheriff Cabral in December. The Cadre officers, who have received forty hours of training for the program, now spend their days off in classrooms around Suffolk County, speaking with students about how the decisions they make now can affect them later in life. The officers put a focus on CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) and its lasting effects. Employers in a growing number of professions, educational institutions, and housing agencies have access to CORIs but often don’t understand how to read them. This makes it extremely difficult for an individual with a CORI to obtain employment and housing or to pursue a higher education. The Choice Officers encourage respect, self–confidence in the face of peer pressure, making smart choices, and setting goals for the future. They also address issues like gang involvement and youth perception of law enforcement. Classes range from grade five through grade ten, with curriculum varied to suit the age group.
Paul Dever School Vice Principal Rebecca Sargent was very impressed with the program. “This was great,” she said. “The kids could really see how what they’re being taught here is extended into the real world. The Choice program does a great job of showing the kids that their choices have consequences.”
Ed Geary Jr., a Public Affairs Officer with the Department, visited the Florida Corridor Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, March 14 and the Neponset Precinct 10 Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, March 21, and will be speaking at the Ashmont Hill Association on Thursday, March 30. Geary, who is vice president of his own civic association in Savin Hill, is meeting with the neighborhood associations to explain the role of the Sheriff’s Department and the issues faced by both the Department and its detainees and inmates, as well as to speak with residents about their crime and safety concerns.
Among the topics discussed is offender re–entry. The Sheriff’s Department runs several re–entry programs to combat offender recidivism, including one of very few re-entry programs in the country for women, Community Re-Entry for Women (CREW), and the recently created Common Ground Institute (CGI). The programs provide participants with job and life skills training, preparing them to become productive members of society. Geary also invites association members to take advantage of the many services the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department offers, such as tours of the House of Correction and Jail, and the Safety in Numbers program, which provides citizens with reflective house numbers that make locating an address at night easier for emergency responders.
“It was really nice having Ed at our meeting,” said Barry Mullen, who heads the Florida Corridor Neighborhood Association. “And it’s good to know all that the Sheriff is doing out here.”
To schedule the Elderly ID program, Choice program, or speaking engagement, call the Sheriff’s Department Office of Communications and External Affairs at 617-961-6655, or find more information about the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department at www.scsdma.org.