John M. Ryan
Chief Assistant District Attorney
The Operations Division is responsible for a variety of functions from counter terrorism initiatives and witness protection to the day to day issues which must be addressed to allow the Queens District Attorney’s Office to operate in a smooth and efficient manner.
Security, Office Services, Facilities Management and the offices record keeping and retention function are also among its responsibilities.
The Queens District Attorney is a leader in prosecutorial efforts to address counter terrorism concerns at the local level in the City of New York. Subsequent to September 11, 2001, District Attorney Brown instituted a number of counter terrorism initiatives in collaboration with federal and state partners. The protocols established by DA Brown in those initiatives, particularly in the area of establishing fraudulent identification task forces, have been replicated throughout the state and have been recognized nationally as a model for state and local agencies. The responsibility for coordinating and implementing these efforts rests within the Operations Division.
An integral part of District Attorney Brown’s initiatives was the creation of the Crime Victim Advocate Program. This program is designed to provide crucial assistance to victims and witnesses of crimes at a time when they are most traumatized by their exposure to the Criminal Justice System. The Crime Victim Advocate Program falls under the purview of the Division.
For those individuals whose safety has been jeopardized as a result of being a witness to a crime, District Attorney Brown created a Witness Security Program, staffed by highly experienced detectives and prosecutors within the Operations Division. The program provides safe havens for witnesses during the pendency of a criminal action, and when necessary, relocation of those witnesses and their families. The program has been so successful that its services are requested by other District Attorneys Offices throughout the State.
One of District Attorney Brown’s first initiatives upon taking office in 1991, was transforming the Office into a 24 hour, seven day a week operation to better serve the people of Queens County. Integral to that initiative was the establishment of a 24 hour hotline, coordinated by the Operations Division and staffed by experienced personnel who monitor all activity within the County and dispatch Assistant District Attorneys to crime scenes and police facilities. These prosecutors render critical legal assistance at the earliest stages of the criminal process, thus assuring a more informed decision making process in the ultimate disposition of the criminal action.
The Queens County District Attorney’s Office processes in excess of 70,000 case files a year, staffs three separate office buildings, and maintains a communications system among all its locations and personnel. The staff of the Operations Division is responsible for overseeing and maintaining these functions, as well as providing redundant capabilities to operate the office in the event of an emergency.