We complete our series of profiles on the three candidates running for Broome County District Attorney: Republican Paul Battisti, Democrat Debra Gelson and Libertarian Mike Korchak.
Battisti is a lifelong resident of Broome and a criminal defense and family law attorney.
He says it all comes down to leadership.
Paul Battisti says the only way to reduce crime is through new plans, new ideas, teamwork and a thorough understanding of our area.
He says he wants to make certain Broome County is a safe place for his five children to grow up in.
“People are scared, crime is not going away. We’re losing the battle. And the only way that we are going to be successful is if we all come together. It’s no surprise that the community partners, the law enforcement, the agencies, the advocates. They support me because I know I can do this and, more importantly, they know I can,” he said.
Battisti touts a long list of law enforcement endorsements including Sheriff Dave Harder and many local police chiefs, former District Attorneys Jerry Mollen and Patrick Monserrate and the unions representing the New York State Police, Broome County Sheriff’s Deputies and multiple local police agencies.
Battisti says he’s handled cases in federal, state, county and municipal courts throughout his fourteen year career.
He’s an instructor on business law at SUNY Broome, Chairman of the Board for GHS Federal Credit Union, Past President of the Broome County Bar Association and a boys high school soccer coach.
Battisti says the opioid crisis is leading to an increase in crime and he thinks a Mental Health Court could address the problem.
“A lot of individuals are battling mental health, they’ve never been diagnosed, they go untreated. If we can address the root of the problem, the end result, the addiction, will go away. Through appropriate treatment, immediate treatment and treatment that is long enough to be successful, we can begin to win this battle”
Battisti says a recent report by the state shows an increase of crime in Binghamton during the first six months of this year versus the same period last year.
Rapes are up over sixty percent, drug arrests up over fifty percent, domestic violence arrests up over twenty percent and car thefts up over fourty percent.
He says the only way to bring the numbers down is by working collaboratively with local law enforcement.
“People don’t feel safe in Broome County. Be the change you want to see in the world. I’m committed to doing that. I’m doing this for no other reason than I want to make Broome County the best and safest it can possibly be. What we’re doing is not enough, we must do more.”