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Long running for sixth term

June 18, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

M. Kenneth Long filed Friday to run for his sixth term as Washington County state's attorney.

As the county's chief prosecutor, Long, 55, presides over an office that has 10 full-time and three part-time attorneys and a 23-member support staff.

Long said his more than 20 years of experience make him uniquely qualified to direct efforts toward the most productive ways of addressing the crime problem in the community.

Drug and alcohol cases continue to have a big impact on Long's office, he said.

"Clearly the majority of our caseload includes drug or alcohol components ... that doesn't seem to change," Long said. "We've made a lot of efforts and there have been successes, but the numbers show the magnitude of the problem."

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As a member of the Washington County Community Partnership, Long said he has input into which agencies are funded with available grant money.

His office participates in the formation and operation of the Washington County Child Advocacy Center at 24 N. Walnut St. The center deals with crimes against children.

"It is a very positive team approach to this problem," Long said, noting that police and social workers are involved in the process.

Long is a member of the Washington County Family Violence Council, which takes a team approach to family issues that affect children and adults.

He pointed to the Alternative Sanctions project, which was developed by Long's office in an effort to divert many first-time criminal defendants into drug and alcohol treatment instead of giving them a criminal record.

Long emphasized his office's commitment to strong victim/witness programs.

A Republican, Long graduated from Washington and Lee University and the University of Maryland School of Law. He practiced law in Hagerstown from 1973 to 1979, when he became a part-time assistant state's attorney for Washington County.

Unopposed in five prior elections, Long currently is paid $90,428 a year.

Because of a change in legislation, the state's attorney who takes office in January 2003 will earn approximately $96,300 a year.

The primary election is Sept. 10 and the general election is Nov. 5.

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