Now in his fourth term as sheriff of Norfolk County, Michael G. Bellotti continues to emphasize innovation, collaboration and accountability as the keys to running an office that provides a positive force to help solve the public safety problems facing us today.
Sheriff Bellotti has developed an inmate re-entry program aimed at reducing criminal recidivism by preparing inmates for a successful transition back into society. The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office was one of 15 agencies nationwide to be recognized and chosen by the U.S. Justice Department for a major grant to further develop the re-entry program.
Recognizing that 99 percent of inmates return to their communities, Sheriff Bellotti believes in strong inmate programming. One of his innovations was to establish a jail housing unit specifically dedicated to treating the core issues of substance use.
A past president of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, Sheriff Bellotti is a strong advocate of continual professional training for correctional staff. The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has more correction officers certified by the American Jail Association than any other correctional institution in the nation. In addition, the Norfolk County Correctional Center is one of only a handful of institutions throughout the country that has received accreditation from both the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.
Sheriff Bellotti realizes that public safety reaches beyond the walls of the jail, and he has enthusiastically joined forces with the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (MetroLEC). The agency provides 43 southeastern Massachusetts towns with highly specialized law enforcement services such as K9 teams, a computer crime unit, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and a crisis negotiating team. He also utilized a federal Homeland Security grant to create and administer the Rapid Alert Notification System (RANS), a reverse 911 program that sends alerts to community residents about public safety emergencies.
Sheriff Bellotti’s community programs have been hailed by educators, parents and local police for their positive impact on Norfolk County youths and senior citizens. His Youth Leadership Academy teaches kids about goal-setting, problem-solving, developing self-confidence and anti-bullying.
His “Are You OK?” program, which he introduced into Norfolk County in 2001 to provide daily well-being phone checks for hundreds of elderly citizens who live alone, has brought emergency medical help to more than 150 program participants. Fallon Ambulance Service is a key partner in the program.
Sheriff Bellotti is the recipient of the Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 “Friend of the Firefighter” Award, the Salvation Army “Others Award,” the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary Club of Quincy, St. Michael the Archangel Award from the Massachusetts Association of Italian American Police Officers, Rabbi Jacob Mann Award for Social Justice from Quincy District Court, the Honorable Maurice H. Richardson Award for Excellence in the Community, Sons of Italy Social Justice Award and the Project Lifesaver LoJack SafetyNet International Recognition Award, among others. He is the commander of the Robert I. Nickerson Post Sons of the American Legion in Quincy.
He has authored articles on various criminal justice and correctional issues which have been published in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Patriot Ledger as well as national corrections magazines.
Sheriff Bellotti is a graduate of New England School of Law and Boston College. He lives in Quincy with his wife and three children.