Many State’s Attorneys and District Attorneys fashion themselves as either an “Old School” or “Progressive” prosecutor. To me, seeking justice for all doesn’t fit squarely in a box. My staff and I continue to simply think of new ways to do old things. Our oath and obligation to do justice has not changed. It means to promote public safety and foster a sense of security in our community by holding people accountable for violating the law and pursuing justice in a fair, honest, efficient and ethical manner. But sometimes crime-fighting needs to innovate to be successful.
Here’s just some of the things we are doing…and doing well.
Combating Drug Violence and Addiction
As a long time Board member of the Frederick Rescue Mission, I recognize the need to address addiction in our community. I lost a sister to heroin addiction and recognize the devastating effect of drugs on our children, and especially on their parents and family. Heroin is a plague on our community.
Heroin dealers must be dealt with harshly, but many addicts need rehabilitation. Jail alone is not the answer. I have expanded our very successful Drug Court Treatment Program and will continue to be a community leader against this plague on our community.
Part of the answer is addressing the mental health needs of offenders. There is a need for a Mental Health diversion to supplement our Drug Court.
Bringing Project Exile to Frederick was no small task. Since its implementation, numerous violent career criminals have been removed from our streets and sent to the no-parole Federal system for prosecution. Due to our aggressive stance, these numbers are triple that of similar Exile jurisdictions in the same time span. Our Community Prosecution initiative with the Frederick Police Department has gone a long way towards this success.
Project Exile: Hard Time for Gun Crime
Professional and Efficient Prosecution
I have striven to make this Office as professional as possible, especially by hiring talented staff. Prosecutors must be in the courtroom demanding justice. The days of political hires and under-performance are over.
I envision my Office to be the model for professional, efficient, and accountable prosecution through the use of technology. We have implemented a digital Case Management System, and will achieve a “paperless” office before it is mandated by our Courts. As Chair of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Assn. Technology Committee, I am committed to improving prosecution through the use of technology throughout Maryland.
- Established a Mental Health Court to reduce recidivism among that population
- Formed partnerships/MOUs with community organizations such as the Phoenix Foundation,
- Implemented a Juvenile police diversion program (JEDI) that celebrated its one year milestone in January 2021—handling a solid 1/3 of the number of cases the Department of Juvenile Services handled in 2020 with a staff of 3 people.
- Maintained and improved our Youthful Offender Program, one of the few programs still able to offer live, in-person services during the COVID pandemic.
- Created a Juvenile Sexting and Child Pornography Education Program
- Began the Truancy Reduction Council
Leveraging The Power Of Innovative Community Programs
Aggressively Prosecuting Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, And Internet Crimes Against Children
We have successfully utilized task forces and community groups to address crimes against the most vulnerable victims:
- Expanded our Domestic Violence prosecution team, and were the driving force began the establishment of a Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
- Hired a Human Trafficking prosecutor, who was instrumentatl in creating the HT Response Team
- Continued to one of the lead counties in ICAC prosecution, reestablishing the Frederick County Cyber Crimes Task Force
As a member of the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association Legislative Committee and a board member of the National District Attorney’s Association, I have been able to advocate for the following:
- National Legislation: Electronic Communications & Encryption, Victims’ Rights, Data Sharing, Funding Goals, Drug Policy
- State Legislation: Successful advocacy of both the Strangulation Bill and Sexual Solicitation Bill