Police would argue cases under Bristol County DA's plan

Will Richmond

In an effort to free prosecutors from minor proceedings, the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing a plan to let police officers argue cases in court.

Greg Miliote, spokesman for District Attorney Sam Sutter, said that office, in conjunction with police chiefs from throughout Bristol County, is finalizing plans to pave the way for police prosecutors.

The plans are expected to be finalized following a meeting scheduled for sometime this week.

Miliote said the working group is still working on the types of charges and crimes the police prosecutors will handle, but the goal is develop a consistent plan that will be used throughout the county.

“It’s been a good working group and we’ve had positive feedback from the police chiefs,” Miliote said. “We are all working toward one common goal.”

Miliote said police prosecutors will help streamline district court-level prosecutions, while also allowing assistant district attorneys more time to focus on serious crimes.

“Police officers are the ones most connected with the community,” Miliote said. “They have a level of familiarity with the communities that can be beneficial at the district court level. It should make cases run smoother and make our office more successful at the district court level.”

He said district court prosecutors currently handle “heavy, heavy” caseloads and the addition of the police prosecutors could lead to more success in court.

“The more prepared our prosecutors are, the more they will succeed at trial,” Miliote said. “Those are all positive things.”

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