By G. Michael Dobbsnews@thereminder.com
SPRINGFIELD – Assistant District Attorney Anthony Gulluni believes the Hampden Country district attorney must be a leader in the effort to prevent crime and reaching out to the community as well as trying cases in court.
The Springfield native and resident told Reminder Publications he wants to be district attorney because of the positive thing the office can do for the community.
A graduate of Western New England University School of Law in 2007, Gulluni served as an assistant city solicitor in Springfield before joining the staff of former District Attorney William Bennett. Since then he has tried hundreds of crimes ranging from armed robbery to home invasions.
He sees Springfield as a city with “great possibility” and added “the problems plaguing Springfield are about perception versus reality and are multi-faceted.”
Noting the downtown entertainment district didn’t have the problems of violence when he went there during college, Gulluni said he would advocate for a police sub-station there.
“I think there has to be a permanent and stable presence in Stearns Square,” he said.
He praised Mayor Domenic Sarno for how he has identified problem businesses in the district.
Gulluni said the district attorney’s office must be performing outreach efforts to prevent crime form happening as well as having the programs and resources to react quickly to crime.
He would also bring to the position his experiences working with the Salvation Army in a youth diversion program. “It’s important to our overall goal of community safety to provide programs for non-violent offenders that discourage recidivism and encourage productive participation in society.” Gulluni said. “Then, the District Attorney’s Office can focus on the swift and aggressive prosecution of those offenders that threaten our safety and security.”
Guns, gangs and drugs are driving the street violence, he said and he would punish criminal to the full extent of the law. To be successful, though the district attorney must have relationships with law enforcement.
He had high praise for the Holyoke police whom he said have done “extraordinary work.”
Recent media reports have called attention to the heroin trade in cities such as Holyoke. “I would exercise as much focus, energy and resources in stopping the drug trade in Holyoke as possible,” he said.
He understands the Hampden County courts and district attorney’s office doesn’t receive funding to match the number of cases it has and Gulluni said he would “certainly attempt to get as much money as possible.”
Hampden County Superior Court had 972 cases last year, the most of any superior court in the Commonwealth, but he said the budget doesn’t reflect the need.
Gulluni agrees the county need s new courthouse and would support the efforts to secure the funding.
For more information, go to www.gulluniforDA.com
or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GulluniForDA