Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ferman Elected President of Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association

Montco DA Risa Vetri Ferman/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
Congratulations go out to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, the county’s top law enforcer who will now lead the professional association that provides training for prosecutors and information on legal and legislative issues.
   Ferman was elected by her peers this week to the post of president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association for the 2015-16 business year. Ferman’s election took place during the association’s annual business meeting in Harrisburg.
    During the annual meeting, Lebanon County District Attorney David Arnold was elected vice-president of the association while Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was elected secretary-treasurer for 2015-16.
    Ferman, previously vice-president of the association, said she was honored to be elected by her colleagues as president.
    “As a prosecutor for over two decades, I have dedicated my career to ensuring the fairness and integrity of the criminal justice system, to developing and implementing the best investigative and prosecutorial practices, and to the protection of all crime victims. I am honored that my colleagues chose me to serve in this important leadership role of our association,” Ferman said.
    “My fellow district attorneys and I believe in the criminal justice system and the ethical standards our oath demands.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on legislative and law enforcement issues in order to ensure that our system – and all those it is meant to protect – is the best it can be and reflects the times we live in,” Ferman added.
Montco DA Risa Vetri Ferman/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
    Ferman will serve as president of the association at least until January when her term as county district attorney comes to an end. Earlier this year, Ferman announced she will not seek a third term as district attorney, instead setting her sights on a seat on the county bench. In November, three new county judges will be elected.
    “I think, fundamentally, the reason I made the decision is I need a new challenge. I love this place, I love the Montgomery County law enforcement community and I love the work that I do every day. But after 23 years on a job, and I’m turning 50 this year, I realize that I was looking for a change, looking for something new, looking for a new challenge, or a new adventure,” Ferman said earlier this year, explaining her decision to campaign for judge.
    Ferman will face fellow Republicans Stephen Heckman and Gregory Cirillo and Democrats Natasha Taylor-Smith, Todd Eisenberg and Dan Clifford during the election for the three judicial posts.
Montgomery County Courthouse/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association has a long history of identifying reforms of the criminal justice system and establishing best practices for prosecutors statewide.
    In a press release, association officials said the PDAA successfully led efforts to: reform Pennsylvania's child protection laws; establish historic, first-time state funding for children's advocacy centers; create a statewide prescription drug return and disposal program to help fight prescription drug abuse; and administer the distribution of life-saving naloxone to municipal police departments.
    The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association is comprised of approximately 1,000 members and is charged with providing uniformity and efficiency in the discharge of duties and functions of Pennsylvania’s 67 district attorneys and their assistants. Founded in 1912, the association sponsors extensive training programs and reports legal and legislative developments of importance to Pennsylvania prosecutors.
Montco DA Risa Vetri Ferman/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
Ferman, a Republican and career prosecutor who spent 15 years climbing the ranks in the district attorney’s office, was elected the county’s first female district attorney in 2007. In 2011, Ferman was re-elected to serve a second term.
    Ferman began her career with the district attorney’s office in January 1993 and cut her prosecutorial teeth in the pre-trials division, ran the sex crimes unit, oversaw homicide, wiretap and grand jury investigations and supervised the trials division as a deputy district attorney before being appointed second in command by former District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. in 2002.
   A 1983 graduate of Abington High School, Ferman received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and graduated from Widener University School of Law in 1992.
   Ferman was an intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1991.
   Ferman, who lives in Abington, also is a founder of the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, which provides pro bono legal representation for children who are victims or witnesses of abuse. She also helped lead the effort to open “Mission Kids,” a non-profit child advocacy center for abused children.  
    In 2011, Ferman wrote a children’s book called “The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone,” designed to introduce concepts of internet safety to young children. 

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