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A strong record of prosecuting crime

September 12, 2006|by Charles P. Strong

Each day I go to work to ensure justice for the victims of crime in Washington County. My goal is to help provide a safe environment for parents to raise their children and a community in which our residents will be proud to live and call their home.

Washington County is very important to me. My wife and I raised our daughters here, and we have served children and adults in this area for over a quarter of a century. I pledge to continue to work diligently and faithfully to protect and support the families of Washington County.

As state's attorney, I have implemented a violent crimes prosecution program focusing on violent crimes on our streets and in our prisons. My proactive victim assistance unit and my hardworking team of prosecutors work diligently to make sure justice is achieved promptly and fairly for the victims of crime.

I have eliminated court backlogs because I recognize that justice delayed for victims is justice denied. We do not take pleas for the purpose of moving the court docket along. We don't have to use that tactic because of my elimination of the court backlog. We are not afraid or unwilling to try a case to see that justice is done. Victims are our No. 1 priority.

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We strive to serve victims, not to serve defense attorneys or special interest groups. We can't always make victims whole or undo the scars of crime or guarantee outcomes, but we can and do guarantee our best effort. That is our mission and it will continue to be our mission.

I recognize that working for the citizens of Washington County is more than just trying cases in the courtroom. To serve and protect the people, I have initiated and supported a number of important preventative programs to improve the lives of our people. I have worked with the Board of Education and the Department of Juvenile Services on a truancy deterrence program. Failing to finish school is a common denominator of many adult criminals. This program focuses on the importance of children attending and completing school.

I have worked with the Washington County Circuit Court to establish a juvenile drug court to break the cycle of addictions earlier rather than later. The first sessions are scheduled for January, providing a foundation for an adult drug court soon to follow.

I also am setting up a mediation program for situations which tie up police time in court and are best resolved outside of court. Justice is more than trying cases in the courtroom.

I have personally prosecuted more than 1,000 criminal cases in court, including numerous homicides, rapes, child molestations and other major felonies.

I also know that serving the people and victims of Washington County involves working with and coordinating with other agencies where together we can accomplish more than any single agency could. I am on the Washington County Gang Task Force. I serve on the Child Advocacy Center Board, the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families, the Child Fatality Review Board, the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, the Washington County Gang Task Force, and the board of directors for the Maryland State's Attorneys' Association.

I work with the police agencies of Washington County on a daily basis. I work with the Department of Social Services. I work with the wardens, investigators and staff of the three state prisons in Washington County. The inmates may be guests of the state, but the guards are our citizens whom I am proud to serve. These relationships have made the Washington County State's Attorney's Office one of the most successful in Maryland.

The state's attorney is the chief law enforcement officer for Washington County. I offer to the citizens my 25 years of experience, not just as a proven prosecutor in the courtroom, but also as a leader who has put in place programs to assist the citizens and as a working partner of the many agencies which are necessary components of the criminal justice system.

Now is not the time for amateurs and beginners and people who have never prosecuted criminals in our county. Help Washington County keep one of the most effective and admired prosecutorial offices in the state. Keep Strong - vote Strong on Sept.12.

Charles P. Strong Jr. is Washington County's state's attorney.

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