Letter

printed 01/10/2020

Editor,

And Citizens of Worcester County, Happy New Year!

One year ago, I was sworn in as your state’s attorney and since that time, I have relished the opportunity to advance the cause of justice in our county.

As our dedicated team at the Office of the State’s Attorney begins tackling the challenges of this new year with determination and spirit, I am pleased to provide you with this brief review of our progress, and to outline for you our continued priorities moving forward.

During 2019, our community prosecutors partnered more closely than ever before with state and local agencies to ensure that vulnerable victims, whether children or adults, receive necessary care and services to aid in recovery and prevent further victimization.

We announced the creation of the Vulnerable Adult Task Force to assist our senior citizens and have raised awareness about home contractor fraud and telemarketing scams at various senior living expos and financial exploitation forums.

On behalf of children, we have worked collaboratively with law enforcement and the board of education to establish school threat assessment protocols that will help keep our kids safer at school and make sure police are immediately notified about all criminal behavior.

We have also assigned an experienced prosecutor to handle all cases involving juvenile offenders, to ensure the unique challenges facing our youth are acknowledged and addressed consistently, for the betterment of our communities.

While our specialized units work in areas of child and vulnerable adult advocacy, our drug prosecutors and drug treatment court team have been busy making sure that those suffering from addiction receive treatment, while those dealing drugs receive prison time.

We were vocal in our support of Worcester County’s application for designation as a drug trafficking area, which now allows our police access to much-needed funding for opioid initiatives and enforcement actions.

We have also coordinated with law enforcement in surrounding jurisdictions to ensure a strategic approach to stopping the flow of opioids into Worcester County, and have disrupted and dismantled drug trafficking organizations as a result.

Finally, we continue to engage as community prosecutors and to participate in multi-disciplinary approaches to the crime problems facing our community.

Many times, crime is a symptom of a larger issue — frequently addiction or mental illness. Working with other disciplines has allowed us to better identify the underlying causes of certain crime and to develop systems to eliminate those causes, which in turn reduces crime.

With this in mind, we have successfully partnered with the health department on creative initiatives such as the Homeless Outreach Team and Safe Stations and have seen positive results.

Together with you and our community partners, we will continue to keep Worcester County winning in the fight against crime and make a real difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in our important mission. While there is always more work to be done, I am beyond grateful for the endless commitment, dedication and grit of our entire team at the Office of the State’s Attorney, and I am proud to work alongside them in serving you.

Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and safe new year!

Kris Heiser

Worcester County State’s Attorney

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