Giving Prosecutors and Police More Clout Would Honor the Fallen [PHIL-OSOPHY]
I can't think of a better way to truly honor the memory of New Bedford native and Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon, as well as Weymouth Police Officer Michael Chesna, than by creating legislation that would make it easier for district attorneys and law enforcement to confine criminals who are dangerous in our communities.
A bill filed by Gov. Charlie Baker would give prosecutors and police more clout and authority in holding until trial defendants who pose a danger to others.
Keeping dangerous people in custody, and letting law enforcement detain criminals who violate pretrial release conditions without requiring a court to issue a warrant first is a good first step in fixing a system that seems to favor the criminals more than everyday people.
Like the governor, Bristol County District Attorney Tom Quinn gets it, too. He believes that viperous and unstable defendants should be held without bail until their cases are settled. It's the only way we can be protected from treacherous gangsters who are now roaming free.
What Gov. Baker is proposing is a good first step in the right direction for protecting us from the hoodlums. The police would be required to fingerprint anyone arrested, and not just those charged with felonies. The courts would also be able to consider a defendant's criminal history, and not just the pending charges against the individual, when making a decision to bail or hold a suspect.
In addition, the proposed legislation would create a new felony for cutting off a court- ordered GPS device, and would instruct the courts to develop a text messaging system to remind defendants about upcoming court dates. In another sense, this bill is also a reminder that we will never forget what caused the untimely deaths of Sean, Michael and others.
Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.