Cite, release program, family violence prevention incoming DA's top priorities

Joe Gonzales sworn in as District Attorney

SAN ANTONIO – With a packed courtroom of supporters looking on, attorney Joe Gonzales was sworn in as Bexar County district attorney Tuesday in ceremonies at the Bexar County Courthouse.

Gonzales was administered the oath by Senior Judge Ron Rangel.

He won the post in the November election after upsetting incumbent District Attorney Nico La Hood in the Democratic primary election last spring.

During the campaign, he promised not only to be tough on crime, but to be smart on crime.

A promise he repeated Tuesday.

“The DA’s office, like everywhere else, has limited resources and we want to make sure that we’re focusing our resources on the truly violent offenders, the people we need to get off the street,” Gonzales said. “The people that need to go to prison.”

Among the ways to accomplish that, he said, is with a cite and release program for minor drug offenders.

Another priority will be restructuring the family violence unit.

“We’re going to increase the number of prosecutors, and hopefully investigators, that are working these kind of cases because that is important to us to keep our community safe,” Gonzales explained.

Though he officially assumed the job, Gonzales said that he’s been at work since the day after the election.

“We’ve been working around the clock to prepare for this day,” he said. “One of the things I did immediately is to assemble my senior staff with attorneys who have prosecutorial experience.”

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