Collin County's Shift from Rural to Urban
I think it is important that you know your elected officials as intimately as possible. An elected official is a person that, if doing the job properly, can positively affect your life. The Collin County District Attorney is an especially unique elected position. The person who holds this position can affect your life in a way that you cannot even imagine at this moment, or in a way that you have already experienced, when crime unfortunately invades your life. That crime could invade your life in a variety of ways, whether because you, your child or a friend or family member has been charged with a crime, or you, your child, or a friend or family member is the victim of a crime. No matter your situation, when affected, the District Attorney and those in his or her employ will be paramount figures in your life.
The unfortunate truth about Collin County is that the level of crime is increasing and the nature of the crimes are worsening. We are seeing crimes committed in Collin County that, in years past, we might have only “heard” about happening in Dallas or other cities or states. We are on the verge of leaving the description of Collin County as a rural county behind us and taking on the description of an urban count and it is happening at lightning speed. In large part, this growth made me decide to campaign for this office. As a fiscal conservative living in Collin County and watching my county tax assessment increase each year, I have a vested interest in making certain that each taxpayer’s dollar is being spent wisely. As one example, we should not be spending valuable resources prosecuting crime that doesn’t need to be prosecuted and further we should be efficient in recognizing and disposing of cases of this nature.
Being “raised” as a Tarrant County prosecutor, I learned much about what a larger city needs to incorporate into its best practices in a district attorney’s office. Tim Curry held the district attorney position in Tarrant County for over 20 years. One of many excellent practices he put into place was to hire excellent lawyers, and let them do their job, free of micromanagement that stifles progress. Secondly, he incorporated teaching and training into our daily lives as assistant district attorneys empowering us to be prepared to handle the tough crimes that came our way, and also to recognize defendants and crimes that might not need to be prosecuted.
For those crimes that did not need to be prosecuted, he gave us alternatives in the interest of justice or prosecutorial discretion that were efficient, fair and let us use our own judgment. We were taught to be smart, prepared and wise in our decision making, using our hearts when necessary as much as what we learned in our books. There is a saying that “just because something can be prosecuted under the law, doesn’t mean it should be.” That is a saying that one may not understand or appreciate until they themselves or a loved one is faced with a criminal charge, but one you would want your District Attorney to understand, and one I do understand.