A collaboration of the Berkshire District attorney's office and the Pittsfield Public Schools is using $25,000 in seed money in hopes of growing a sustainable program for social emotional learning in the schools.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington made the announcement on Tuesday morning in front of the Boys and Girls' Club and backed by the county's two mayors, state officials, members of her office and school and law enforcement leaders.
It's been 100 days since the changing of the guard in the district attorney's office.
Andrea Harrington defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in November with a message of reform and change. To a large crowd at the Berkshire Museum, she took the oath of office on Jan. 2 and so began a new day in that office.
Domestic and sexual violence has hit a "crisis level" according to District Attorney Andrea Harrington.
On Tuesday, she announced a new countywide Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force that will focus on curbing what is now growing numbers of sexual and domestic violence cases. The task force will focus on outreach, securing new resources, and providing education and training throughout the Berkshires in an effort to prevent such crimes from happening.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington doesn't see her job as simply tossing people into jail cells.
Instead, she is seeking to create a culture and environment where causes such as drug or mental health problems are addressed in the community so the crimes don't happen again.
If Andrea Harrington wants to make the changes to the office that voters elected her to make, it is going to require the right team of staff members.
And that's whats Harrington has been spending her last month or so building. Harrington defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in the November election and since then the Richmond Democrat has been focusing finding people she believes in to take leadership rolls in the next incarnation of the district attorney's office.
District Attorney-elect Andrea Harrington added two more to her leadership team on Tuesday.
Richard Dohoney will be brought on as Harrington's deputy district attorney and Jeanne Kempthorne will serve as chief of appeals and legal counsel. Dohoney, of Great Barrington, is currently the city solicitor. Kempthorne is a former federal prosecutor working in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston for 11 years.
Andrea Harrington has started to build her team.
On Wednesday, the district attorney-elect announced Karen Bell as her first assistant district attorney. Bell is currently an assistant district attorney in Hampden County with some 20 years of experience. She's said to have worked in the appellate division, the district court, grand jury, and the superior court divisions.
The night hadn't been as late as many expected because, in just about every town, Harrington's numbers were above what Caccaviello could get. The race was over and while Caccaviello hadn't yet conceded, Harrington knew it and celebrated.
Amanda Hamilton didn't personally know William Catalano but she knew the family.
She said she knows Catalano's father very well and refers to the Catalanos close as family friends. Her father Tim Hamilton said the two families grew up together. Catalano was recently killed in a fight and they want justice.
It is the final week in the district attorney's race and those in Andrea Harrington's camp are as energetic as ever.
On Tuesday, the campaign held a rally exactly one week before the general election and the final push to get out the vote unfolds. The event was part fundraiser - donations were accepted but we whatever the supporter wanted to give - part organizing - as campaigner staffers sorted out volunteers for sign holding on election day - and a part rally to energize the supporters.