BOSTON - Crime, policing and consumer protection are all hot topics under the purview of Attorney General Andrea Campbell, who sat down with WBZ-TV's Jon Keller to discuss hot-button issues.
Three months into online sports betting in Massachusetts, but Campbell said some changes are already necessary, requiring gaming operators to use the data they collect to identify problem gamblers.
"There are a lot of changes that are necessary," Cambell said. "I have stressed from the beginning that we are paying attention to this because we want to protect consumers. We have addictive devices now, addictive gambling in many ways - or could become that - and we want to make sure that operators are operating with the consumer in mind to protect consumers with responsible betting."
Campbell also said working with gaming operators on data privacy is crucial, including making sure operators aren't selling information or targeting consumers to encourage them to bet more. Campbell said when she was sworn in, the bill had already been passed. She said she is now working with the Gaming Commission to make sure consumers are protected from addicting app features and youth don't have access to gambling apps.
"I want to come from a space of collaboration," Campbell said. "We have a lot of expertise in the AG's office. I have been encouraging folks and different stakeholders to use our expertise, which may not exist in other places, which may not exist in the Gaming Commission because it's so new, and they are doing just that."
Crime of all kinds is something Campbell said she's focused on. In the two-and-a-half years since the enactment of the Police Reform Law, Campbell said she wants to focus on individual officer conduct and has proposed a Police Accountability Unit and is looking for a director for the unit.
"I am excited to look at systemic reforms across the Commonwealth," Campbell said.
Campbell said the unit could inform policy decisions as well as refer cases to her office for legal action. She is also hoping that departments will be able to share what they do well, from training to culture. "The range of responsibility within the unit is significant."
Campbell said she also wants Massachusetts residents to feel safe. Although crime rates in many local communities are among the lowest in the country, Campbell said many people don't care what the numbers say.
"If there is one incident of violence in their community, they are very concerned," Campbell said.
She said she is focused on gun violence prevention, with a proposed Gun Violence Prevention Unit to take guns, including ghost guns, off the street. She also wants to support community-based organizations that are working on breaking cycles of violence.
"So as we are looking to reduce crime, which we can do, how do we also make sure the entities or the stakeholders or the police departments or law enforcement that respond to crime are not perpetuating racial disparities or racial injustice? You can have both while working with law enforcement and community stakeholders to really deliver in such a way that folks feel safe in their community. That's a top priority for this office."
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