On May 30, Mike Kavanagh appeared on Cameron Rylance & Taylor Bruck’s weekly show on Kingston Community Radio. Here are some of the things they talked about:
Why is Mike Running?
“The work is what attracts me, the service. When you have a major case, it’s remarkable the impact it has on the victims and their families’ lives. You make a difference to people, and that’s what attracts me to the job.”
How Can We Make Ulster County Better?
“COVID is no longer the emergency it was just a couple of weeks ago. I really think we need to bring the opioid crisis back in. I think the DA’s office in its prosecutions should be victim-focused. I think the DA’s office should be here to serve the community and stand for victims. I don’t necessarily believe that’s the case right now.”
What Do We Do About the Opioid Crisis?
“What we’re doing are things like drug court and opioid court. Where if somebody gets arrested for a drug-related offense, it’s non-violent, the system gives them an opportunity to go through a very regimented and difficult probationary period.”
Thoughts on Community Policing
“I’m a big proponent of community policing. Getting the police out in the community and interacting with people, you have the opportunity for witnesses to come forward. You have to have trust built.”
Experience Under Holley Carnright
“I was his chief assistant for four years, and I was in the office for almost nine. I’ve worked with him a lot, and he gave me tremendous discretion. I was responsible for some of the most serious cases that came in.”
Meeting the Challenge of New Discovery Rules
“I think all offices have struggled a little with that. I think others have struggled significantly. I’ll leave it to others to decide… the state has given the District Attorney’s office over $760,000 to hire personnel to deal with discovery.”
Restoring Confidence in the Criminal Justice System
“People are afraid to come forward. Part of my goal is to restore confidence in the criminal justice system.”
Restorative Justice in the County Court
“Any time somebody comes into the criminal justice system and they’re accused of a crime. If they can leave in a better position than when they entered, then the system is working.”
Independence as a District Attorney
“I think it’s really important being non-affiliated. I think that office should be independent, and should not be influenced by politics at all.”