Jan. 9-With a pledge to continue his work building partnerships with local law enforcement and diverse community organizations to combat crime, Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams has set his sights on serving a fifth term as the top prosecutor.
Adams said there is still much to accomplish.
"We will continue to work as a team with local, state and federal officials to get dangerous criminals off our streets," the Cumru Township Democrat said. "We will continue to hold people accountable for committing crimes in our community."
But Adams said he understands there are complex reasons that lead individuals to commit crimes that cannot be solved simply by locking away more people in jail. That is why he said his office works with local agencies and organizations to find creative and proven methods to tackle some of the root causes of crime and implement early intervention strategies.
"I will continue to work to find solutions for those people who have been affected by the opioid and mental health crises," Adams said. "Our treatment court programs, including drug treatment court, mental health court and veterans court, serve to help people rather than just putting those individuals in jail."
The 61-year-old said that as a result the prison population has decreased significantly under his leadership, saving taxpayers thousands upon thousands of dollars.
"We cannot arrest our way out of these problems, so we need to have an open mind and look for alternatives to incarceration for some offenders while recognizing that violent offenders need to face significant penalties for committing violent crimes in our community," he said.
Prior to being elected to the post in 2008, Adams began his career in law enforcement as a probation officer. He then served as an assistant district attorney before leaving to work as a criminal defense attorney.
Adams said that when he first ran for office residents across the county told him that they wanted a hardworking district attorney who would focus on making the county a better place to live - not a politician. He said that over the past 15 years, he has attempted to do just that by being a diligent and effective public servant.
"I am grateful to the citizens of Berks County for placing their trust in me to serve as their chief local prosecutor and top law enforcement official," he said. "I have assembled a great team in the district attorney's office and we are committed to our mission to make Berks a safer place. I am anxious to continue our work to accomplish this goal."
Adams is the first candidate to announce intentions to run for the office.
The primary is May 16.
Meet the candidate
Candidate: John T. Adams, 61, Cumru Township.
Position sought: Berks County district attorney.
Background: Adams has served as the district attorney since 2008. He is a member of the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association and serves on its executive committee. He also serves on the advisory board of Crime Alert Berks County, the corporate board of the YMCA, the Berks County Chiefs of Police Association and is a member of Local #71 of the Fraternal Order of Police.