Criminal Justice 2030
Every County Attorney should have at least an 8-year plan and priorities to improve our criminal justice system. Here are my top priorities.
Support and train local law enforcement on best practices in the use of body cameras and evidence collection
Develop a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to consult with the County Attorney on criminal justice policy and important local matters
End policies in the Anoka County Attorney’s Office that ignore criminal activity in the community, and that result in catch-and-release bail for repeat and violent offenders like having law clerks arguing bail instead of attorneys
Develop a local Re-entry Court designed to reduce chances for recidivism of high-risk offenders as they transition back into the community
Assign a prosecutor as a liaison to every law enforcement agency in the county to improve communication
Assign a juvenile division attorney to each of our public high schools to address juvenile delinquency issues unique to those communities
Enhance the use of specialty courts and pre-charge diversion programs as problem solving courts to intervene with offenders who are identified as good candidates for rehabilitation and redemption
End plea deals and policies that allow adult sex offenders to escape predatory offender registration
Vigorously prosecute livability crimes that impact families and communities, such as carjackings, sex offenses, and the exploitation of the elderly and vulnerable
Require detailed review of all applications for no-knock warrants by a seasoned prosecutor to assure that they are used only in rare and exceptional circumstances and based on reliable sources
Informed by well over two decades of combined experience as a trial lawyer, prosecutor, City Councilmember, and local leader, I have raised my daughters to appreciate the ethic that “Listening is the most important thing in the world.” Listening leads to understanding, which in turn leads to progress, solutions, and accomplishment.
The innovations listed in my Criminal Justice 2030 plan discussed above are not just random thoughts that I came up with on my own. I have been listening to people in our community, law enforcement, and court partners, who have come to me with their problems and their ideas. We have talked them through and discussed how we can work together to make things better. I have assembled these concepts and ideas into a plan and priorities to solve real problems in the criminal justice system. I am committed to see them through.
A former mentor and teacher at Anoka Senior High School, Bill Mittlefehldt, used to say, “Go out into the world. Gain experience and hone your craft. Then come back and invest yourself in the community that has invested so much in you; the place that gave you your start.” That is what I have done. And now, as our community grows and faces new challenges, listening and following through have become all the more important.
With deep experience in city and county levels, I know how our local government works from the inside and how it is perceived on the outside. I know the strengths and shortcomings. I have existing positive relationships – with people who I can trust and those who know they can count on me – to get the job done well.
Join me in this process. Share your ideas with me. And together we will make Anoka County a leading example of how local government can be done right.
We all do better when we all work together.