Staff Reports On: 10:30AM / Thursday February 27, 2014
David Capeless, pictured here at a 2011 press conference, will be seeking re-election in the fall of 2014.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District Attorney David Capeless will seek re-election.
Capeless announced his intent Thursday morning in a statement outlining initiatives he had begun during his last ten years in the position.
"I am proud to have served the citizens of Berkshire County as their District Attorney for the past ten years, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to bring justice to our neighborhoods and communities," said Capeless.
"While my office's bullying-prevention initiative may have received the most public attention, the efforts of our community outreach and education program to create communities of respect and acceptance within our schools have been widely greeted by school administrators and teachers as model programs. We are especially proud of the accomplishment of our high school Youth Advisory Board for their success in civic engagement and mentoring projects with young students as well as the growth of our Peer Mentor Leadership program, now in twenty middle schools, both public and private, in the County."
In his statement, Capeless said he has "put a number of important initiatives in place" to raise community awareness and strengthen law enforcement activities. He says he plans to continue with the programs to reduce bullying in schools, safety of senior citizens and combat prescription medication and heroin epidemics.
As for seniors, the TRIAD program was cited as a "highly successful partnership" with Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler and local police departments.
"District Attorney Capeless and I both care greatly not only about the safety of our seniors, but also about improving the communication between seniors and those of us in law enforcement, and the TRIAD program allows us to achieve both of those worthy goals," Bowler said in a prepared statement.
To combat heroin and prescription medication addiction, he said he became a member of the Oxycontin-Heroin Commission holding hearing across the state and proposing legislative initiatives. He says he has also worked with the medical community, schools and other community groups to raise awareness.
"District Attorney Capeless was one of the first to sound the alarm about the problem of prescription medication abuse leading to heroin addiction, and he has done more than nearly anyone else in the Commonwealth to highlight this problem and work to find effective and long-lasting solutions," state Sen. Benjamin Downing said in the release.
The Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force was also created headed by Capeless. That group consists of multiple law enforcement agencies to combat an array of crimes - from drug distribution and burglary rings to homicides.
"Very few law enforcement communities nationwide work collaboratively at such a high level of effectiveness as the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force," said Bowler. "It's a remarkable achievement that has led to many successes in achieving peace and justice for our citizens and District Attorney Capeless is justly proud for bringing us all together."
The seat is for four years and Capeless ran unopposed in 2010. He is the first to announce a bid for the seat. He was appointed to the position in 2004 by then Gov. Mitt Romney following the death of former District Attorney Gerard Downing.
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