Fighting Crime

Combating Gun Violence

After the death of an innocent child by a handgun, District Attorney Soares emphasized the prosecution of those using illegal guns in perpetrating their crimes. Though Operation Speeding Bullet, the District Attorney’s Office prioritized the prosecutions of offenders using illegal handgun.

Offenders are obtaining tougher state prison sentences and are also removed from the community faster which minimizes opportunities for ongoing intimidation tactics. Through outreach efforts of the ENOUGH programs, over 400 illegal guns have been removed from the streets thereby reducing the pool of illicit weapons on our streets.

Every time one bullet finds a victim, two families must deal with the tragic consequences. One family will either spend time in a local hospital or arrange funeral services for a loved one while the other family will have to watch helplessly as their child is prosecuted and sent to state prison.

The citizens of Albany County have had ENOUGH – ENOUGH fear, ENOUGH bloodshed, and ENOUGH death resulting from gun violence in our community.

Friends and family of homicide victims, law enforcement officials, service providers, ex-offenders, community leaders, businesses and youth must collectively, with one voice, demand that youth involved in urban warfare immediately disarm and break the ‘cycle of recycled violence,’ by saying ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
The ENOUGH initiative is completely confidential and anonymous and was developed to achieve the goal of disarmament by giving our youth three choices:

Voluntary Surrender: Pastor Charlie Muller will continue to accept guns anonymously with no questions asked in exchange for gift certificates.

Withdrawal: Youth who have had ENOUGH of the gang lifestyle can call the hotline and be connected with experienced counselors and reformed ex-offenders who will provide information and guidance to help begin the process of leaving the violent street culture behind.

$500 Reward and Incarceration: An account has been created to reward $500 cash for responsible citizens who provide information to the ENOUGH hotline leading to the removal of a gun and the arrest of an individual in possession of that gun. All information remains anonymous on this confidential line.

The urban violence in Albany is the direct result of a proliferation of handguns on our streets and a culture of youth that is all to willing to use lethal force to settle disputes. It is time for our community to unite, and take back the streets of Albany County. The ENOUGH Initiative will provide the resources and support to make that happen.

Offender Watch

District Attorney Soares is pleased to provide OffenderWatch® for the citizens of Albany County. OffenderWatch® is the nation’s leading registered sex offender management and community notification tool with hundreds of leading agencies in dozens of states utilizing it.

Albany County’s law enforcement utilizes OffenderWatch® to manage and monitor the whereabouts, conduct and compliance status of the registered offenders in Albany County. OffenderWatch® provides the most accurate and timely information available and now this information is available to you.

OffenderWatch® is updated instantaneously throughout the day as offender addresses and other offender information is updated in the office. You may enter any address in the county and see real-time information on the publishable offenders within the specified radius of the address you enter.

Offenders move frequently, so instead of having to check the maps on a weekly basis, the best way to stay informed is to take advantage of our free email alert system.

You may confidentially register as many addresses in the county as you wish, and the office will continuously monitor the addresses and send you an email alert if a new offender registers an address within one mile of any address you register. There is no cost for this service and no limit to the number of addresses you can register – your email address and physical addresses are all confidential. Register your home, school, work, gym, day care, park, soccer field, parents or children’s homes.

Battling Cruelty to Animals

District Attorney Soares has fought, and continues to fight vigorously to protect those most vulnerable to harm including animals. Studies show a very strong correlation between animal abuse and escalating violence, and spousal abuse is commonly found in homes where family pets are abused. Animal abuse is not tolerated by District Attorney Soares.

Maximum sentences are most often sought for individuals who intentionally harm companion pets. Since taking office, District Attorney Soares has assigned a felony prosecutor from the Special Victims Unit to oversee all cases involving animal abuse. Felony level animal abuse cases are indicted quickly and plea offers are strict. The Office of the District Attorney shares all animal abuse case information with local humane society groups to further increase public awareness.

Protecting Our Economy

Mortgage Fraud has destroyed lives and many local economies. Albany County was not immune. District Attorney Soares focused on assisting local victims of mortgage fraud.

District Attorney Soares launched an investigation that led to the arrest and prosecution of Aaron Dare and Maria Montiero, who were involved in fraudulent transactions with over dozens of properties were sentenced to years in state prison.

Holding Our Elected Officials Accountable

Applying one standard in administering justice, District Attorney Soares has demonstrated the importance of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office and its place in ensuring accountability in New York State.

District Attorney Soares ushered in the wave of accountability by holding responsible former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi and former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello.

Through the prosecutions of political cronies, law enforcement, judges and government employees, the District Attorney’s Office is recognized by many as a truly independent office holding everyone to the same standard.

Protecting the Elderly

Recognizing that many victims do not report crimes based upon fear of reprisals or embarrassment, District Attorney Soares has created several outreach programs designed to encourage reporting of crimes perpetrated on the elderly.

Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) is designed to encourage the reporting of crimes by seniors.

Once notified, a prosecutor, an investigator, and a victim advocate specialist, will travel to the home of the senior. There is a team effort approach to bring justice to every senior who are preyed upon in Albany County.

Combating Drug Supplies

District Attorney Soares has maintained a tough and smart balance in protecting Albany County from the many drug distribution networks seeking to establish a foothold in the Capital Region. As a vociferous opponent to the draconian Rockefeller drug laws and its focus on low level offenders, District Attorney Soares has focused the energies of the office into moving up the food chain and dismantling the drug pipelines supplying the streets of Albany.

Through collaborations with local, state, and federal authorities, thousands of pounds of marijuana, dozens of kilos of cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs have been intercepted prior to hitting the streets. By targeting profiteers, the thousands of dollars that have been seized are returned to the community in the form of prevention programs designed to engage and educate youth, investing in law enforcement equipment throughout the county, especially in rural areas.

Special Victims Unit

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault cases are perhaps the most challenging cases to prosecute. Previous administrations refused to prosecute these cases based upon chances of success.

District Attorney Soares has fought, and continues to fight vigorously to protect those most vulnerable to harm. Since taking office in 2005, District Attorney Soares has committed double the amount of resources towards protecting those most vulnerable in our community.

The Special Victims Unit is comprised of Prosecutors, Investigators, and Crime Victim Specialists with an expertise in addressing harm to women, children, and seniors.

Protecting Entitlement Programs

While the national discussion has focused on abolishing entitlement programs, Albany County District Attorney David Soares has made it a priority to protect entitlement programs for those who rely on these benefits to survive tough economic times.

The New York State Welfare Investigators honored the Albany County District Attorney’s Office for its investigation and prosecution of four local convenience stores charged with grand larceny in a “Cash for Cards” scheme amounting to over $6 million.

Through collaborations with the NYS Insurance Fund, Albany County DSS, NYS Department of Labor, Albany County has recouped millions of tax dollars and is ranked sixth in the state for the state wide tax prosecution known as Crimes Against Revenue Program.

Tough on DWI

Albany County is recognized by the NYS Stop DWI for its tough and smart approach to combating DWI. The local chapter for its service to victims and families during the course of prosecutions.

Albany County is currently ranked 17th in the state for prosecutions of DWI. Prior to taking office in 2005, Albany County was ranked 61st out of 62 counties on DWI enforcement and prosecution.

District Attorney Soares created the Vehicular Crimes Unit and established a comprehensive strategy that involved tougher prosecutions, education and prevention.

District Attorney Soares, in partnership with the New York State Police, the State Liquor Authority, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and NYS Restaurant and Tavern Association created training programs for law enforcement, alcohol distributers, and restaurateurs resulting in less service of alcohol to minors and more efficient arrests.

Bars and nightclubs that were notorious in their marketing of teens were targeted and shut down. Tougher policies coupled with increased training for law enforcement has resulted in improved rankings compared sister counties.