Worcester DA, Leominster Police engage with students

LEOMINSTER — Street and Practical Law class students at Leominster High School were recently treated to two guest speakers whose career experience is extremely relevant to their studies.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. spoke to the students on Oct. 11 in conjunction with the observation of Constitution Day at the high school.

“I was very pleased to introduce the DA to my students,” said René Lafayette, an LHS social studies teacher who also teaches elective law classes.  “Mr. Early brings years of experience as district attorney. He explained not only what his office does, with a staff of 180 employees, but also explained the constitutional references to ‘due process’ in both the fifth and fourteenth amendments.”

The ongoing speaker series organized by Lafayette has brought a variety of people to the LHS campus to speak to Street and Practical Law students including former Superintendent of Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason, Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court David Lowy, and attorney Greg Henning, who serves as a legal analyst for WCVB Channel 5 among others.

Early spoke about his father and namesake, Joseph D. Early, who served several terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts.

“Government is about helping people,” said Early Jr. conveyed to the students before answering questions submitted by the students and read by LHS senior Riley Smith.

Leominster Police Department Court Liaison Sgt. Matthew Fallon paid a visit to Leominster High School, his alma mater, earlier this month to speak to Street and Practical Law students. (COURTESY RENÉ LAFAYETTE)
Leominster Police Department Court Liaison Sgt. Matthew Fallon paid a visit to Leominster High School, his alma mater, earlier this month to speak to Street and Practical Law students. (COURTESY RENÉ LAFAYETTE)

The second guest speaker was Leominster Police Department Court Liaison Sgt. Matthew Fallon, who paid a visit to his alma mater earlier this month. Fallon is an attorney and former Worcester County assistant district attorney and an LHS Class of 2007 graduate.

“Sgt. Fallon did a superb job explaining his career path from LHS graduate to his undergraduate years at Worcester State University, to law school experience at the Massachusetts School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate degree, to time spent with the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and appointment to the Leominster Police Department,” Lafayette said. “He explained the nuts and bolts of the criminal justice system in a clear and understandable manner. My students really enjoyed his presentation and his willingness to engage them and answer their questions.”

Fallon spoke about his career experience during the Nov. 2 visit and how it led him to the role he is in today at the LPD.

“I believe that what makes life complete is when you contribute to society,” he said. “I have experienced that with the DA’s office, and certainly as a police officer in Leominster. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives. Find something you are passionate about and follow your goals.”

Among the many topics covered, Fallon discussed the legal standard “beyond a reasonable doubt” and how it applies to criminal cases as well as “probable cause” and how that applies to cases.

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