Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz kicked off the first of a monthly Quincy College Criminal Justice Speaker Series recently by addressing the opioid epidemic and advocacy communities.
PLYMOUTH – Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz kicked off the first of a monthly Quincy College Criminal Justice Speaker Series recently by addressing the opioid epidemic and advocacy communities.
Cruz reflected on the innovative ways his office has collaborated with local law enforcement, community organizations, individuals within the community and educational institutions – from elementary school to higher education.
Cruz is the chairman of the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, an effort to engage all community sectors to work on the opioid issue.
The Drug Abuse 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. Plymouth County Outreach, a county-wide program designed to reach overdose victims and their families and get them support and services, grew out of the effort.
State Police detectives in Cruz’s office have also secured a manslaughter conviction against a defendant who supplied the drugs in a fatal overdose, and Cruz helped implement drug court sessions in all of the Plymouth County district courts.
Cruz elaborated on how these efforts sought to address the opioid issue, explaining that the Task Force’s mission is to build capacity for the county to deal with the opioid crisis, reduce the demand for opioids via education, and reduce supply and accessibility by working with law enforcement. The task force is also working outside the box for treatment options.
“We took what we learned from domestic violence and gang violence, and tied it to our efforts with the opioid crisis,” he said.
Quincy College President Michael Bellotti introduced Cruz during the speaker series. Cruz addressed a standing-room only crowd of over 70 Quincy College staff, faculty, and students. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
The Feb. 6 event was the first of a monthly series of criminal justice guest speaking engagements that will be held on the Plymouth Campus.
“The criminal justice field is changing. We are law enforcers, community resources, human service collaborators, supporting community discussions and problem solving as criminal justice leaders,” Matthew Delaney, criminal justice professor at Quincy College at Plymouth, said. “At Quincy College, we are developing interdisciplinary ways to educate the next generation of criminal justice professionals. The Quincy College Criminal Justice Speaker Series will bring varied viewpoints, discussions, and opportunities to the Quincy College community that will surely impact our work in our shared communities.”