DA Swanson Says Community Connection Key To Solving, Prosecuting Cases

MAYVILLE – District Attorney Patrick Swanson said he’s learned throughout his time in office that it’s very important to participate in community outreach, especially as various citizens believe a misconception that prosecutors are “robotic, and are trying to win at all cost.”
Swanson recently sat down with WNYNewsNow to discuss a recent prosecutors conference he attended in Salt Lake City, Ut. called, “The Evolution of the Criminal Justice System. What is the Role of the 21st Century Modern Prosecutor?”.  Swanson said the community outreach was brought up as prosecutors examined violence reduction strategies.
“Some of the ideas were about getting out in the neighborhoods and talking with folks, so that this perception about prosecutors that we’re just out here and are just robotic, and trying to win at all costs, we can combat that,” Swanson said. “That’s not our image. I don’t know any prosecutor that’s going to do anything they can to win at all costs.”
“We don’t break rules. Really, at the end of the day, we just want to do the right thing, and I don’t know if that’s the perception because of how we are painted sometimes on television and drama shows and things of that nature.”
The District Attorney said he took away additional ideas that could very well work within the Cities of Jamestown and Dunkirk. He said, however, that it may be harder to implement certain ideas within the county’s rural areas due to an overwhelmed DA’s Office.

DA Swanson Attends Prosecutor’s Conference

Because of the limited resources, Swanson said he’s trying to balance his office’s needs with what he and his staff can accomplish.
“If we add prosecutors over the next several years, that’ll allow us to not only do what we can with our cases in a more efficient, effective way, but it’ll also allow us to do some of those other things people expect us to be doing.”
A group of people called Mothers in Charge presented and discussed how, oftentimes, volunteers within their organization would go to crime scenes and bridge a gap between the community and police.
“They said, “‘Look people, we’re losing people in our communities because of people in our community,'” Swanson said. ‘”Saying you don’t want to be a snitch, or saying you don’t want to cooperate, because of backlash, or how you’re going to be perceived on the street, isn’t good enough.'”
Swanson provided local examples, stating how there’s been a lack of cooperation as the Jamestown Police Department’s investigations into the 2016 homicides of Obryan Ramos and Allan Burnett Jr. remains ongoing.
“We know they happened. We don’t have evidence to move forward. We know there are people out there that know about these cases, and that is exactly what this Mothers In Charge group is trying to combat.”
This is part one of multiple pieces from WNYNewsNow’s interview with Patrick Swanson.