The role of district attorney is crucially important in our civil society. It offers a unique opportunity to protect citizens, help people when they need it most, and build a community that is both secure and humane.
That’s why I’m supporting Rob Galibois in the race for Cape and Islands district attorney. I believe he provides a rare combination of sound judgment, competence, and respect for due process.
Security and compassion, accountability and a belief in rehabilitation — these are core values that can and must stand side by side. We need a district attorney who understands that and can bring us together by building faith and trust in the law enforcement community, the judicial branch, and the community at large.
Many voters don’t realize that the office of Cape and Islands district attorney has existed only since 1975. Before that, the Cape and Islands were part of a bigger district that included New Bedford — and was dominated by it. Only two people have ever served as Cape and Islands D.A.: Phil Rollins, who served for 32 years, and Michael D. O’Keefe, who is currently in his fifth term and has announced he is retiring.
The challenges we face have become more complicated since 1975. Our next D.A. needs to face them with strong, creative leadership. That means understanding how almost all criminal activity is in one way or another related to drugs and alcohol, how opioids have destroyed lives, and how all of us — and especially children — need to be protected from those scourges.
Galibois has proposed specific programs and structures to get to the root of these problems, with treatment and intervention when possible and punishment when necessary. He understands there are times when locking people up is required. But with recidivism as high as it is, we have proof positive that prison alone is no answer.
Here on the Cape and Islands, we have so many creative leaders in health care, social services, education, and the clergy who help turn lives around. Wouldn’t it be great if they had a district attorney they could partner with every step of the way? Rob Galibois will be that partner.
I know that District Attorney O’Keefe did not embody the compelling spirit and essence of this community’s core values, balancing prosecution and compassion with professionalism. Now we have an opportunity to grow and improve, for everyone’s benefit.
It is important to note that being a district attorney should have nothing to do with political party affiliation. In the courtroom, representing all of us and the Commonwealth, one’s political party could not matter less. What matters is competence, placing evidence first, practicing due process and fairness, and running an office full of people who aspire to the same standards.
As I’ve gotten to know Rob Galibois, I’ve become convinced that he will honor this crucial public trust. As the campaign unfolds and you learn more about him, hear his philosophy, understand his experience, and see him in action, I think you’ll agree.
Dan Wolf, the founder of Cape Air, represented the Cape and Islands in the Mass. Senate from 2011 to 2017. He lives in Harwich.