Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Senator Tarr's Statement on Implementation of Secure Communities in Massachusetts

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) released the following statement today, as federal officials began implementing the Secure Communities program in Massachusetts:
“The implementation of Secure Communities is a positive and productive step for public safety in Massachusetts, because information is one of the most important tools law enforcement has to protect all of us. Many people in law enforcement, including our sheriffs, have testified about the need for Secure Communities to help identify violent criminals who are in this country illegally. It’s unfortunate it’s taken the Obama Administration so long to act, but finally the Department of Homeland Security is giving law enforcement officials access to this vital tool despite the failure of the Patrick Administration to expedite the availability of this important program in our state.

Secure Communities has already proven its worth in other states, and has been successfully utilized on a pilot basis in the city of Boston. When Joao Brito was arrested last summer after vandalizing a vehicle, Boston police were able to use the Secure Communities program to determine that he was not only in the United States illegally, but also wanted by Dutch authorities for sexual abuse of children and human smuggling. Law enforcement should have access to every available resource to protect public safety, and the Brito case is just one example of how Secure Communities can help identify and remove some of the worst criminals from our streets.”