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Northampton Police Get Juvenile Law Updates

Committed to staying informed about changes to laws and updates in current criminal procedures, the Northampton Police Department recently dispatched four officers to complete a New Legal Challenges for Massachusetts Law Enforcement & Juveniles training, held December 6 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough. The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), property and casualty insurance provider for all of the participating municipalities, provided the training free of charge. The full-day session served not to only educate the 71 participating officers, but also to help minimize potential liability issues and save money on their towns’ insurance premiums.

The interactive course covered key challenges that police departments face related to juveniles in the criminal justice system – including the change in juvenile eligibility from age 17 to 18, the revamped Child Requiring Assistance (CHIRA) standards which affect treatment of “status offenders,” and proper juvenile interrogation procedures. Participants learned about proper booking and stationhouse custody practices for juveniles, as well as arrest and summons related considerations. They also examined laws and regulations affecting jurisdictional issues, transfer matters, delinquency cases, and information sharing with schools.

“As a Massachusetts accredited agency, we are always seeking training opportunities on the best professional police practices so as to incorporate them into our departmental policies and procedures,” noted Northampton Police Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz. “This particular training was very important given the several recent and complex changes within the juvenile justice area.”

John Scheft – founder of Law Enforcement Dimensions, LLC and author of widely-used manuals on motor vehicle law, criminal law and juvenile issues – conducted the training. Upon completion of this and other MIIA risk- and loss-prevention programs, participating municipalities are eligible to receive insurance premium credits through the MIIA Rewards Programs, reducing costs of property and casualty insurance.

About MIIA

MIIA is the non-profit, member-based insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) insuring nearly 400 cities, towns, and other public entities in the state. In fiscal year 2012, nearly 8,000 city and town employees participated in nearly 400 MIIA-sponsored technical trainings and management seminars offered throughout the state. Member municipalities' efforts yielded more than $2.6 million of premium credit collectively through the MIIA Rewards incentive program for a 10-year total of over $17.3 million. For more information please visit www.emiia.org and www.mma.org.

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