Charles “Joe” Hynes, Brooklyn district attorney since 1990, has announced that he will be running for re-election this year, hoping to hold the office for a seventh term.
Hynes, a Democrat who has presided over a striking drop in crime in his 23 years as the borough’s prosecutor, reinvented the office by developing a litany of alternative programs intended to decrease recidivism as well as to provide positive alternatives that can help steer young people away from gangs and other negative influences.
Standing on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall earlier this month, Hynes recalled, “When I took office in 1990, there were 765 murders. To many, Brooklyn was the murder capital of the world. Last year, there were 149, the lowest number since 1960.”
The borough’s longest serving district attorney, Hynes is credited with a wide range of innovations, including gun buyback programs, programs that aid the formerly incarcerated who need to be reintegrated into society, and a wide-ranging domestic violence program, the ground-breaking Family Justice Center, that provides victims with the opportunity to get virtually all the services they need under one roof.
“While many in law enforcement embrace the lock the door and throw away the key approach to law enforcement, my office has embodied a comprehensive and progressive set of policies centered around not only law enforcement but reduction in recidivism rates and an aggressive effort to re-acclimate and assimilate those who are coming back home,” Hynes remarked.
Hynes, who was unopposed in 2009 (he ran on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Working Families lines), beat back a challenge in 2005, when he bested State Senator John Sampson by a little over 5,000 votes in a four-way race.
This year, he faces a challenge from declared candidates Abe George and Kenneth Thompson. The Democratic primary will be held in September, 2013, with the general election to be held in November.