Tuesday, September 23, 2014

head prosecutor began career as news reporter

At this evening's RAFOM meeting, the head prosecutor for Arlington County noted that she began her career as a news reporter.  While attending law school at night, she was hired in the local prosecutor's office in 1987.  Theo Stamos is now the head prosecutor in Arlington.  That's evidence for the importance of news reporting in providing the foundation for seeking justice in our community.

Both Stamos and police chief Doug Scott spoke at the meeting.  Stamos' office has a total budget of $4 million/year, while Scott has a budget of $65 million/year.  Scott noted that Arlington has 361 police officers, with a ratio of 1.67 officers per 1000 residents.  That's considerable lower than comparative jurisdictions, which have an officer ratio of about 2.5 officers per 1000 residents.  Fortunately, crime in Arlington is at historic lows.  Assistance that residents provide police helps to keep crime low.  If you see suspicious circumstances, don't hesitate to call the police and let them know.  

Key public safety challenge today include:
  1. Mental illness and addiction.  Arlington lacks sufficient facilities to care for the mentally ill and those suffering from addictions.  Transporting such persons long distances drains police and sheriff resources.
  2. Bicycling and walking.  Having more persons bicycling and walking is a great development.  More attention to public safety is needed, however, among both cyclists and pedestrians.  No one benefits from an accident.  Do your part to reduce the risks of accidents.
  3. Ensuring public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system.  Stamos and Scott will participate in a community forum on trust and confidence in the criminal justice system on Oct. 15 from 7-9pm at Wakefield High School.
  4. Homeland Security.  Arlington police take very seriously Homeland Security concerns and potential emergency situations.
Other items from this evening's RAFOM meeting:
The next RAFOM meeting will be a candidates' night on Oct. 20.

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