Gun Violence Suppression Bureau will consolidate resources as DA targets violent offenders
New bureau to be headed by Chief Patrick O'Connor
The new bureau is intended to improve the DA office’s response to gun violence by consolidating resources under one bureau that will work closely with law enforcement agencies to collect evidence, and training prosecutors how to overcome “often-difficult” hurdles in gun violence cases.
“With the recent and worrisome spike in gun violence, we must innovate and strengthen our response to all cases against those who carry lethal weapons on our streets,” Gonzalez said. “The new Gun Violence Suppression Bureau will provide a laser-like focus of our resources and expertise in targeting the small number of individuals who are responsible for most of the gun violence in our community.”
The bureau will also look to focus on drivers of crime and will track patterns in an effort to identify potential retaliation scenarios. It will also come up with a formula so the office is more consistent in offering plea deals to defendants.
To head the bureau, Gonzalez tapped Chief Patrick O’Connor, a Harvard Law School graduate who has been with the DA’s office since 2014, first in the Gangs Bureau until December 2018 when he became the head of the Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau. O’Connor also served 19 years in the Queens DA’s office and has tried more than 100 felony cases during his career.
O’Connor was the prosecutor in the murder case of 6-year-old P.J. Avitto, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked elevator attack in East New York in Dec. 2018 while he was with 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, who was also severely wounded.
O’Connor will be replaced as bureau chief of the Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau by Assistant DA Aaron Nottage.
Nottage, a Brooklyn Law School graduate who joined the DA’s Office in 1994, has most recently served as the deputy chief of the Crime Strategies Unit. Previously, he served as a field coordinator for the launch of the Legal Lives program and an intake interviewer for the Alternative Sentencing Unit. He has held several supervisory roles within the Brooklyn DA’s Office including Deputy Bureau Chief for Criminal Court, Grand Jury and Supreme Court.
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