"The changes will be a challenge but Ed will rise to the occasion"
Ed Kopko and his team will diligently improve the District Attorney’s office with progressive standards, approved by our community. The goals needed to keep Tompkins County safe, providing justice and fairness for all and redefining what we know as the criminal justice system. The culture of the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office is ready for dynamic change and a paradigm shift; which includes swift action to join the progressive criminal justice reform movement. Once in office, an Advisory Board of trusted community members will be established to advise on the appointment of Assistant District Attorneys to ensure that prosecutors adhere to community values. Ed and his team will act as influential gatekeepers between law enforcement and the courts to decide who is charged and with what crimes.
As District Attorney, Ed will prosecute all individuals with justice and equality. Dishonest law enforcement officers and dishonorable police behavior will not be tolerated. All incidents relating to police misconduct will be thoroughly investigated by our Misconduct Investigative Unit. To ensure public confidence in the process, all investigations will be reported to the public, never forgetting who we have pledged to serve with principles of accountability and transparency.
With equal fervor, Ed will applaud, support and encourage honest and professional police work, while leading by example. Officers should be ready to act with integrity and commit to making proper charging decisions.
Ed and his staff are prepared to transform prosecutorial practices and create an Independent Investigative Unit of talented investigators who thoroughly review all evidence and present the facts before charging an individual. Any post-conviction claims of innocence, using restorative justice, credible and verifiable evidence will be examined to free the wrongly convicted.
Kopko and his staff are developing relationships with advocates within our community, progressive-minded people and policy makers who wish to implement change. High on the agenda is supporting decriminalization, lowering recidivism rates, supporting progressive bail reform laws and reducing mass-incarceration. There is a renewed focus on pre-trial diversion programs of which our community is fortunate to have many. District Attorney offices in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and San Francisco have already begun to move in fair and balanced directions. We look forward to learning from and collaborating with successful programs and initiatives that provide each person a fair opportunity.
Ed Kopko brings determination, experience, skill and compassion to the Office of Tompkins County District Attorney. It is imperative that we keep our goals in sight. This is the beginning of creatively linking defendants with resources and services in order to garner positive outcomes for all. As we continue the campaign for office, the intention is to engage and join forces with allies and local governments to build authentic and strong relationships that ensure justice for all.