Many safety measures and specific methods of counter-terrorism have come under scrutiny following the bombings at the Boston Marathon. One of these relates to fusion centers. Defined by the Department of Homeland Security as “focal points within state and local environments, for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information”, these information hubs have been created to fill in the holes between information know by an anti-terrorism agency but not by local law enforcement, or vice versa. [Read more…]
Massachusetts has seen a steady decline in grand theft auto cases since the mid-1970s when it was sometimes referred to as “the country’s car theft capital.” At one point, the parking lot at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, a mall just down the street from our offices, was one of the most notorious aut0 theft spots in the state.
In 2012, Boston alone reported 1,575 stolen vehicles. While this figure is far better than those reported long ago, residents need to take every possible safety precaution to prevent this type of crime.
In light of the horrific and wildly unexpected events that shocked the city of Boston – and the nation as a whole – law enforcement officials are considering a plethora of tactics to prevent similar events from occurring in the future. The shrapnel-packed bombs that rocked the finish line at this year’s Boston marathon slipped by the tight security that always accompanies the Patriot’s Day event. How, then, can police prevent another horrific event of this magnitude from falling through the protective cracks?
In one word, drones. [Read more…]
Since early 2013, Massachusetts law enforcement officers have busted a number of local residents, as well as others caught while traveling through the state. Those accused of violating the state’s controlled substances laws fit a wide variety of descriptions.
Two years ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that police may not search a vehicle based merely on the presence of the smell of marijuana. The holding in Massachusetts v. Cruz concerned a police officer who approached the car of driver Benjamin Cruz when he noticed Cruz smoking a small cigar. Once the officer smelled a “faint odor” of marijuana, Cruz was ordered out of the car, with an ensuing search revealing 4 grams of crack cocaine and resulting in an arrest for Cruz. The court held that the officer did not have a reasonable basis to order Cruz out of the car.
Years later, several decisions appear to suggest that the court has not backed down from the principles underlying the Cruz decision. [Read more…]