Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes on Thursday formally announced his candidacy for re-election as District Attorney at an event on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Surrounded by hundreds of supporters, including many of Brooklyn’s elected officials, District Attorney Hynes praised his office’s record of accomplishment over the last 23-years, the dramatic drop in crime in the borough since he assumed office, and declared, “our greatest achievements are still ahead of us.”
Joining District Attorney Hynes on the steps of Borough Hall were hundreds of sign-waving supporters, along with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowtiz, City Council Members Letitia “Tish” James and Lewis Fidler, State Senator Martin Dilan, and a host of other elected officials, community activists and clergymen.
“When I took office in 1990 there were 765 murders. To many, Brooklyn was the murder capital of the world. Last year there were 149 – the lowest number since 1960,” said District Attorney Hynes.
The District Attorney attributed much of the drop in crime and much of his remarks to his office’s many innovative community-based programs.
“While many in law enforcement embrace ‘the lock the door and throw away the key’ approach to law enforcement – my office has embodied a comprehensive and progressive set of policies centered around not only law enforcement but reduction in recidivism rates and an aggressive effort to re-acclimate and assimilate those who are coming back home,” said District Attorney Hynes.
The District Attorney pointed to his alternative to prison and re-entry programs as the solution to recidivism. “For my office, the battle to fight crime begins long before the crime is ever committed,” he said. District Attorney Hynes also highlighted his DTAP, ComAlert and Safe Surrender initiatives, and his office’s efforts to keep kids in school. He also cited his office’s pioneering gun control efforts, including one of the very first gun buyback programs, credited with removing 2,596 guns from the streets of Brooklyn.
“I’m proud to support Joe Hynes-’America’s DA,’ star author, and a proud son of Flatbush-for re-election. Joe has a record of proven achievement, innovative leadership and, most importantly, compassion-as shown by the opportunities he has given to those who have gotten into trouble with the law in truly turning their lives around. His pioneering work in establishing community justice centers in neighborhoods like Red Hook and new initiatives that keep at-risk youths out of trouble in areas such as Brownsville have all helped reduce the crime rate to its lowest in decades. Joe, you’ve done Brooklyn proud and made our borough a better-and safer-place to live, work and play. So I say: Joe Hynes as Brooklyn DA-let’s keep it that way!” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
“I’m happy to endorse Joe Hynes for Brooklyn DA,” said former Mayor David Dinkins. “He’s the kind of public servant who is consistently effective and innovative. Not long ago, I saw one of his most productive innovations – a highly successful recidivism program – in action. Worldwide, roughly seven of ten ex-prisoners end up back behind bars. This program cuts that number in half. With America’s outsized prison population, that’s a very meaningful reduction in repeat offenders. I think this program should be adopted by every state and the Federal government. DA Hynes creates and supports programs like that, programs which both protect the public and improve the lives of those who serve their time.”
“There is much more to effective law enforcement than locking people up. Joe Hynes reached out to neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn, and worked with community organizations, schools and churches to find a better way to make sure people deserving of a second chance, get a second chance. You can see how effective Joe has been on the streets of Brooklyn – which is why I am happy to endorse him for re-election,” said City Councilwoman Letitia “Tish” James.
“Joe Hynes has been extraordinary effective as District Attorney,” said State Senator Martin Dilan. “His gun buyback program, his programs to prevent domestic abuse, and the community based programs are some of the most advanced crime fighting tools around. They not only prevent crime, but help heal entire communities. They are why I am endorsing the District Attorney for re-election.”
On November 3, 2009, Charles J. Hynes was re-elected to his sixth term as the District Attorney of Brooklyn.
The District Attorney began his career in public service in 1963 as an associate attorney for the Legal Aid Society. In 1969, he joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1971, he was named Chief of the Rackets Bureau and in 1973, he was promoted to First Assistant District Attorney.
In 1975, Governor Hugh Carey and Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz appointed Mr. Hynes as Special State Prosecutor to investigate nursing home fraud. District Attorney Hynes was elected the first president of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units in 1976. Today, 47 states have Medicaid fraud control units.
In 1980, Mayor Edward I. Koch appointed Mr. Hynes as Fire Commissioner of New York City. In 1982, after two years as Fire Commissioner, he left public service for private practice. He served as a Commissioner for the New York State Commission of Investigation between 1983 and 1985 by appointment of New York State Assembly Speaker Stanley Fink. He returned to public service in 1985, appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as a Special State Prosecutor for the New York City Criminal Justice System.
The District Attorney became the center of national attention when Governor Cuomo called on him to investigate the murder of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach, Queens. As the Special Prosecutor and Chief Trial Attorney in that case, Mr. Hynes led the investigation and prosecution which resulted in three homicide convictions.
In 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mr. Hynes started a United States Department of Justice funded Family Justice Center – a one stop shopping service for victims of domestic violence and their children. The Center is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Hynes’ mother, Regina Katherine Drew, a victim of domestic violence. District Attorney Hynes started one of the first Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) programs for chronic drug offenders in the country.
In 1999, Mr. Hynes created the ComALERT (Community And Law Enforcement Resources Together) public safety program which supports individuals on probation or parole as they re-enter their Brooklyn communities. The program was validated by a Harvard University study which found it reduced recidivism by more than half. In 2005, District Attorney Hynes created the Girls Re-Entry Assistance Support Project (GRASP). GRASP is specifically designed to meet the needs of young women between the ages of 13 and 25 who are returning to the community after placement in a juvenile or adult correctional facility.
Mr. Hynes is now spearheading a groundbreaking alternative-to-prison program for mothers and their children through a not-for-profit foundation named in honor of his mother, Regina Drew. The Drew Foundation is planning to operate the first residence of its kind in the country in which women will be permitted to remain with all of their children in a secure, community-based setting while receiving intensive trauma-focused, rehabilitative services.
(YWN Desk – NYC)