Happy New Year - 2016 Year in Review
Dear Fellow Albemarle Citizens,
Last year, I was honored to be elected Albemarle's Commonwealth's Attorney. Your personal support made this possible. For this, I extend my personal gratitude and respectful appreciation.
As 2016 closes, I also wish to reach out and highlight initiatives I was privileged to help implement during my first year as your Commonwealth's Attorney.
When running for this office, I pledged to ensure that integrity, judgment, and fairness would define the work of the Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney's office. I have done my utmost to consider the views of crime victims, and to place the interests of justice first in every prosecution decision. I have stressed our ethical and professional obligation to fairness, to promoting the integrity of the legal process, and to exercising the humility and temperament justice requires. I am proud to lead a talented team of lawyers and professional staff who uphold these values daily.
When seeking your support, I pledged to take steps to help protect Albemarle seniors. In consultation with local, state, and federal law enforcement, adult protective services, elder advocates, and industry partners, we established the Jefferson Area Coalition to End Elder Abuse and Exploitation (JACEEA) to better identify, refer, and prosecute those who prey on our elderly population. This group has facilitated greater communication among area partners and we look forward to expanding its reach in 2017.
Last year, I pledged to seek enhanced accountability for sexual assault -- wherever it occurs in our community. Working with law enforcement partners, the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, University of Virginia President Sullivan and others, we were pleased to expand our area Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) to include the University of Virginia and its Title IX representatives. We look forward to working closely with SART partners to make our community safer in the new year.
We have also sought to expand community outreach and prevention efforts such as the Gang Reduction through Active Community Engagement (GRACE), to whose executive committee I am pleased to have been appointed. We have expanded relationships with community stakeholders, religious leaders, and all those who work in our criminal justice system, including the Public Defender and Offender Aid and Restoration. And with community support, we have sought to reduce an opioid epidemic that threatens the safety of our citizens.
We have worked with our law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute violent criminals, those who threaten public safety, and those who abuse or threaten children. We have also taken steps to strengthen criminal investigation and enforcement tools. I have also been working with Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding on common sense efforts to enhance Virginia's DNA databank.
Finally, our law enforcement community deserves our continued support and gratitude. I am proud of efforts to build a relationship with law enforcement partners that places professionalism first.
Thank you for your support. I am proud of our record of accomplishment in 2016, and look forward to continuing to serve all Albemarle citizens in 2017.
Robert N. Tracci