Smoked Out—Missing, Broken Detectors Blamed For Worcester Deaths

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of every home fire deaths occur when smoke alarms are not present or not working properly. In Worcester, Massachusetts, firefighters experienced this first-hand: Five deaths in 2015 were caused by the lack of home fire alarm systems or improperly functioning alarms. This is something especially frustrating for first responders since the Fire Department not only supplies smoke alarms to older homeowners, but installs them for free. So what’s the disconnect—why are homeowners running the risk of getting smoked out?

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Tips from Law Enforcement to Keep the Real-Life Grinches Away

Tips from Law Enforcement to Keep the Real-Life Grinches AwayAh, it’s that most wonderful time of the year again. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Bad guys waiting for you to let your guard down so they can ruin your plans for a festive season.

With the holidays right around the corner, we reached out to local Massachusetts police departments to ask what you can do to protect your packages as well as your homes from those real-life greedy grinches.

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Small Town Pills, Big City Problems?

AA-Small Town Pills, Big City ProblemsNew England towns and cities have a reputation for charm and beauty. “Quaint” is a word often used to describe tree-lined main streets, back country roads, and ice cream socials. However, according to a recent Castine Patriot article, there’s more than meets the eye in Peninsula and Island neighborhoods—big city drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are starting to appear in towns and villages. What can New England communities do to take charge of the problem and take back their streets?

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Police Body Cameras Proposed in Boston

Police_lights_webPolice in Boston may soon be sporting new technology. A proposal from the citizen group, Boston Police Camera Action Team, would require all on-duty officers to wear a video camera on their shirt collars. This proposal comes after major cities across the country have participated in pilot programs to test the effectiveness of body cameras. These programs have emerged in response to public outcry over police-involved shootings nationwide.

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New England Communities Top National Safety List

New England OutlineIt’s official: Cities and towns across New England make up almost 25 percent of the top 100 safest places to live in the United States. According to a new report, places like Ridgefield, Wayland, Norfolk, Clinton, and Weston have all cracked the top ten based on FBI data for cities with over 10,000 residents. What sets these communities apart?

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Police Parlance: New Haven Aims for Better Cop-to-Citizen Communication

New Haven Aims for Better Cop-to-Citizen Communication Communication is difficult in any workplace environment—even small misunderstandings can mean missed deadlines or lost revenue. When it comes to policing, however, the stakes are much higher; poor communication with citizens can lead to protests, public outcries, and calls for total reform. In New Haven, the city is tackling this problem head-on with the creation of a new 17-member task force aimed at analyzing police and community relations and then making recommendations to improve their association. Is this a reasonable goal? If so, what’s the ultimate outcome?

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Boston Crime Down in 2015—Is This A “Snow-Go”?

Boston Crime Down in 2015—Is This A “Snow-Go”? Beantown is busy breaking records, but this time there’s no celebration. As noted by CBS Boston, the city recently broke its own record for snowiest winter, exceeding the 107.6 inches of 1995-1996 with 2014-2015’s 108.6 inches.

It’s not all bad news, however. According to the Boston Globe, crime in the city is down significantly. This begs the question: is all this snow the Boston’s newest crimefigher?

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New Worcester Lab Brings “Real” Crime to Campus

New Worcester Lab Brings “Real” Crime to CampusIs that guy passed-out drunk, or is that a dead body? Ketchup, or blood? What’s going on here?

On Becker College campus, the confusion is understandable thanks to the new John Dorsey Sr. Crime Scene Laboratory, named after one of the college’s longest-serving law professors. The 1100 square-foot lab is designed to mimic the horror and authenticity of real crime scenes, and according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Earley, a friend of Professor Dorsey, “I got the heebie-jeebies. It was that realistic.” The idea behind the sometimes gruesome vignettes is to give students a leg up in the real world, especially if they’re looking at a career in law enforcement or forensics.

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Worcester County Tops Crime List in MA, Says FBI

Worcester County Tops Crime List in MA, Says FBI If you live in Worcester County, MA, your area is the recipient of a dubious FBI honor: According to recently-released 2013 data, nine of the top 50 crime-filled cities and towns in MA belonged to Worcester. Local residents aren’t sure the data holds up under scrutiny, but safe or not the FBI results beg a question: What can citizens do to make Massachusetts a safer place? Read more

Gun Violence Goes Under the Microscope in New Research

Gun Violence Goes Under the Microscope in New ResearchInvolved in a serious car accident? There are state and federal databases to record what happened, how many people were injured and government money spent to discover new ways to prevent high-risk collisions.

Had a problem with gun violence? Until recently, there was virtually no federal funding for a similar system, and patients admitted to local ERs essentially vanished from sight. In large part, this was due to fear that a database of gun-related injuries was just gun control in disguise, thanks to an executive order from President Obama, money has started flowing from the CDC to state agencies interested in expanding their national reporting system. The hope? That a better understanding of why and how gun violence occurs will help limit the amount.

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