Editor’s Note: The following is an op-ed submitted to BeaverCountian.com by Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier. We are publishing his campaign announcement in full as written.
I would like to announce my intention to seek re-election as Beaver County’s District Attorney in 2023.
I first ran in 2015 as an outsider. I wasn’t invested in the “Beaver County way” and could make the substantial changes needed to improve access to unbiased justice for our citizens. I used my management experience from the Army, my mental health background from college, and my experience as a trial attorney in over 20 counties to reform the Office of the District Attorney. We started by changing the way our prosecutors prepared for their Preliminary Hearings. We insured that they had all of the records and resources they needed beforehand to better evaluate cases with the goal of making realistic pleas earlier in the criminal process. Working with the help of experts we introduced mental health and drug treatment solutions into our pleas to better address the underlying causes of criminal behavior and reduce recidivism. I hired attorneys from across Pennsylvania who could bring new ideas and new solutions. Together, we removed politics from prosecution and implemented tools to insure consistent results across similar cases. Beaver County citizens deserve efficient, timely and predictable “justice”. We did our best to meet that demand. I restructured the Anti-Drug Task Force to collaborate with state and federal agencies. I rebuilt the Emergency Services Unit (Beaver County SWAT) to meet national standards. Teaming up with law enforcement and school nurses we put Narcan in every police car and school—saving hundreds of lives in the process. I worked with the Drug Abuse Coalition and partners across the Beaver County to improve the availability of drug and mental health treatment in the community and in the jail. With better treatment as part of sentences, we could offer long-term pathways to individuals so they could rebuild their lives—and prevent future crimes. With municipal and law enforcement partners, I put Prescription Drug Take Back Boxes in over 20 police stations removing over 15,000 pounds of pills from the black market.
I did what I said I would do. So, in 2019, I asked Beaver County voters to stick with me for another four-years. Covid-19 shut down the world just three months into my second term—-but it did NOT shut down Beaver County or Beaver County courts. While 66 other county courts and DA’s closed their doors, I worked with the President Judge and the County Commissioners to maintain a daily court schedule while keeping officers, victims, witnesses, defendants and staff safe. While other counties were dismissing thousands of criminal cases because their courts were closed or backlogged, we stayed the course. We wore masks during hearings, we held court proceedings on Zoom, and we had in-person jury trials under Covid-19 protocols—but we never closed. Our police worked together to support departments which had Covid exposures. Our jail kept its population safe by controlling transports and using testimony via video. But we never closed and never dismissed a case because of a Covid-19 backlog.
Beyond Covid-19, we accomplished a lot over the past four years. We offered top notch training for police and attorneys. We worked to provide police departments with body-worn cameras to improve both officer safety and officer accountability. I sponsored the new License Plate Reading Cameras throughout the county. These tools dramatically accelerated investigations of major crimes and improved the solve-rate for every category of crime across the County. I provided the detective bureau with the most advanced forensic technology available so that we could better serve the many police departments we support. In 2022 we created the Special Victims Unit bringing together highly qualified prosecutors and detectives to improve the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and sex assault cases. We re-structed our prosecution of Juvenile cases to address the increasing number of violent juvenile offenders. I regularly work with the Beaver County Humane Society and its Animal Control Officers to secure animal safety and support the rescue of animals from the most horrid conditions.
I worked hard in 2021 and 2022 to secure over $3,000,000 in police technology grants that will come to fruition in 2023 and 2024. These federal earmarks and state grants will bring DNA technology to Beaver County, allow drug samples to be tested in Beaver County the day they are seized, put computers in police cars, and interconnect our police departments through the same shared Police Record Management System. Throughout 2022, I worked hard to lay the ground work for regionalizing our many smaller police departments into larger, full time, fully supported departments.
Working with my prosecutors, the courts, the Police Chiefs, and behavioral health professionals, we will continue to provide the best “justice” we can, keep Beaver County citizens safe, and ensure that our police officers can go home to their families at the ends of their shifts.
I ask the voters of Beaver County to allow me to continue this record of tough prosecution, efficient management of public resources, and implementation of the most modern technology available in the court room, in the forensic lab, and on the streets. Again, I humbly ask for your support.
David J. Lozier
Beaver County District Attorney
Paid for by Citizens for David J Lozier