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"The highest level of public safety means cooperation among police and fire officials, community leaders, parents, and our children. A community that works together is a safe community."
 image of a Officer of the Peace with Tom Finneran
-Speaker Tom Finneran
Public safety can only be ensured by cooperation among police and fire officials, community leaders, parents, and children. The world changed after the events of September 11, 2001, and the Legislature has worked to give firefighters and police officers the tools to operate under higher security and to advance the fight against terrorism.

Under Speaker Finneran's leadership, the Legislature has helped police and firefighters protect the public's safety. The House of Representatives toughened existing penalties on individuals who commit Assault and Battery in certain situations, making it easier for the police to arrest a person in the case of domestic abuse situations.

In addition, the Legislature has increased support for police and fire departments throughout the Commonwealth. In 2000, the Legislature created a $10 million grant program to help local fire departments purchase equipment, and Massachusetts now has a new state-of-the-art fire-training facility in Stow. The Commonwealth has successfully fought crime on a local level by developing the Community Policing Program, a means of building partnerships that have had a positive impact on reducing neighborhood crime, helping to reduce the fear of crime, and subsequently enhancing the quality of life within Massachusetts' cities and towns. The State Bulletproof Vest Reimbursement Program is another example of the Legislature's commitment to providing Massachusetts' police officers with the best lifesaving equipment available.

Speaker Finneran and the Legislature recognize that Massachusetts relies on the courage and the dedication of the men and women who risk their lives to fight fires and keep the streets safe from violent criminals.

Voter Record: Public Safety
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
 #   H. 5102. This bill regulated the use of firearms. House passed. (Y114 N32) 7/10/02
 #   Amendment to H. 5100. This amendment to the fiscal year 2003 budget provided funding for community and state police, fire and county correctional programs. House passed. (Y155 N0) 5/14/02
 #   S. 1211. This bill would authorize police to pull over drivers and fine them specifically for not wearing seat belts. House rejected. (Y76 N76) 5/29/01
 #   H. 5395. This bill established minimum standards for the cleanliness of public bathing water and put in place a system to monitor the water and apprise the public of its cleanliness. House passed. (Y157 N0) 7/31/00
 #   H. 5300. This amendment to the fiscal year 2001 budget funded 12 community corrections programs that provided community-based alternatives to incarceration. The program saved taxpayers approximately $30 million. House passed. (Y132 N18) 7/31/00
 #   S. 2134. This bill protects children and families from harmful pesticides, mandates the identification of certain pesticides used, and restricts the use of certain pesticides. House passed. (Y152 N0) 5/3/00
 #   S. 1985. This bill modified gun control regulations by outlawing dozens of high caliber and automatic weapons and eliminating lifetime gun licenses which allow Massachusetts to monitor gun purchases and ownership in the state along with aiding in tracking firearms used in crimes. House passed. (Y100 N53) 6/23/98
 #   H. 6001. The fiscal year 1997 budget established the Office of Community Corrections, implementing community-based alternatives to incarceration such as restitution, sobriety and structured work. House passed. (Y148 N0) 4/13/96
 #   H. 5200. The fiscal year 1994 budget included the first community policing grant program, giving resources directly to the communities so they could start solving problems specific to the individual city or town. House passed. (Y127 N25) 5/29/93