Rockland, NY. Candidate for Rockland County District Attorney, Ken Zebrowski, released a package of administrative reforms to root out corruption, enhance oversight, and protect Rockland County’s most vulnerable populations. Zebrowski’s 12-point plan includes new policies and improvements to existing policies that will address the public corruption, opioid crisis, tax payer scams, domestic violence, crimes against children, civil and social justice, animal welfare, environmental protection, specialized courts, violent crimes, and reporting and training requirements for the district attorney’s office.
“This package of common-sense reforms to the District Attorney’s office is long overdue. During my tenure as a Member of the State Assembly, I have sponsored and supported unbiased criminal justice legislation including raising the age of criminal responsibility, elevating sentencing for heinous and violent crimes, and expanding services to address the growing opioid epidemic. My proposed policy changes to the District Attorney’s office will strengthen existing policy measures and ensure Rockland’s most underserved populations are being treated fairly in the eyes of the law.” Said Ken Zebrowski, candidate for Rockland County District Attorney.
Zebrowski’s reform package calls for greater transparency in the reporting and investigation of crimes, more collaboration between the District Attorney and other government offices, and increased support to District Attorney staff. Throughout the remainder of his campaign, Zebrowski will be releasing details for each reform of his 12-point proposal.
The Democratic Primary for the County District Attorney Race will be held on June 25th. Election Day 2019 is November 5th.
Public Corruption: Ken is the only candidate in this race with a record of standing up against politicians who betray the public trust. A public corruption Bureau will be established to root out public corruption in every corner of Rockland County. The office will set up strict protocols, with independent safeguards, to investigate and prosecute instances of public corruption. Equal justice for all and special treatment for none, the District Attorney’s Office will re-establish faith in Rockland residents that the criminal justice system prosecutes all crimes without regard to political power or influence.
Opioid Epidemic: Ken will bring his policy experience to this office and this epidemic; investing in drug courts and existing programs while developing new initiatives to combat this public crisis. Establishing a new pre-arraignment diversion program, Ken will seek to get low-level offenders into treatment programs as soon as possible to help break the cycle of addiction. Working with police departments to expand the Hope Not Handcuffs program, The District Attorney’s Office will engage with dedicated volunteers and police to ensure this program that started in Piermont is expanded throughout the County. Overdose deaths will be treated like crime scenes, gathering evidence to expose pipelines and hold dealers accountable.
Tax-Payer Fraud: The District Attorney’s Office will collaborate, assist and train all County agencies on how to detect and investigate fraudulent activities. Data sharing systems will be established to cross check public assistance recipients with other public databases and government agencies. An anonymous online system will be established for residents to report crimes and provide tips.
Domestic Violence: The author of several bills that protect Domestic Violence victims, Ken will prioritize evidence-based prosecution as District Attorney. With victim protection and empowerment as a priority, Ken will ensure proper resources are available for the investigation of these crimes; gathering evidence and building a case so that a victim’s testimony is not the only element necessary for a conviction. Ken will strengthen collaboration with victim advocates to ensure the victim is supported throughout the process. In addition, programs like the VCS men’s domestic violence program will be utilized as an additional disposition to ensure a plea recognizes the seriousness of this crime.
Special Victims Unit: The special victims unit that protects children and victims of sexual abuse handles some of the most complicated cases in the County. Additional resources and personnel must to be dedicated to this unit to ensure the cases are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. Ken is dedicated to adding an additional senior level attorney and investigator to protect victims and the public.
Civil and Social Justice: Rockland County is facing a crisis. Disturbing situations include: Swastikas found in our parks, new affordable housing that excluded persons of color, and undocumented residents targeted by landlords. Marginalized communities are fearful and skeptical of Government’s ability or desire to protect them. The Rockland District Attorney’s Office will seek to provide coordinated protection. Investigations will be conducted into fraudulent actions that target specific communities; hate crimes and threats will be investigated and prioritized and there will be a coordinated effort, led by a senior ADA, to re-establish a sense of justice in Rockland County.
Animal Cruelty: A long-time animal welfare advocate, Ken is a co-sponsor of a bill to re- classify animal cruelty crimes out of the agriculture law and into the penal code. This bill will finally punish animal cruelty appropriately. As District Attorney, Ken will establish a formal animal cruelty task-force to coordinate with the ASPCA. ASPCA investigators will coordinate with trained ADA’s to prosecute these crimes strictly. Often times a pre- curser to assault on humans, this unit will work with police departments and animal control officers to ensure Rockland is both preventing and prosecuting these crimes.
Environmental Protection Unit: The Rockland District Attorney’s Office will establish an interagency task force with the NY State Attorney General, Department of Environmental Conservation and Environmental Protection Agency to protect our aquifers, lands, resources and wildlife. A tip-line will be established to take complaints from residents and The Rockland District Attorneys Office will help facilitate investigations between these agencies.
Violent Crimes: Rockland County is a safe place to raise a family and Ken Zebrowski will fight to keep it that way. Ken is the only candidate in this race with the Government knowledge and experience to secure additional resources to combat violent crime, gang activity and other criminal enterprises. While Rockland may be a small County, our proximity to New York City and the metro area makes us susceptible to serious crime. As District Attorney Ken will be active in Federal, State, and local budget debates, ensuring Rockland has the resources necessary to keep residents safe.
Hub Courts: As a co-sponsor of the recently passed Specialized Court’s authorization bill, Ken Zebrowski helped pave the way for innovative new courts. As District Attorney Ken will work to establish additional specialized treatment courts in Rockland County. Other counties and cities have had success with Mental Health Courts, Veterans Treatment Courts and Young Adults Courts. Ken will bring together advocates, experts and law enforcement to analyze and establish Courts that can provide specialized treatment and attention.
Citizen Advisory Groups and Internal Studies: As District Attorney Ken will continue to be as accessible and collaborative as his days in the Assembly. He will establish citizen advisory groups, to ensure the criminal justice system to actively engaged with the public and he will regularly study and report on the practices and procedures of the office. The only way to reform the criminal justice system is through an active District Attorney that has a connection to the diverse population of Rockland. Ken will transform the Office of District Attorney into an office that is truly accountable.
ADA Training, Authority, and Office Policies: Ken Zebrowski will establish the most robust ADA training procedures in the State: empowering and requiring prosecutors to charge appropriately, evaluate cases thoroughly, and prepare for trial and interact with defense council and the Court in an informed and fair way that seeks justice. Fair and consistent policies will be established so that the Rockland District Attorney’s Office establishes and maintains prosecutorial credibility.