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Matt Denn Sworn in as Delaware’s Attorney General

Date Posted: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
Categories:  Department of Justice DOJ Press Releases

“It is time to get some things done”

 

WILMINGTON, Del. (Tuesday, January 6, 2015) – Today, surrounded by his wife Michele, and twin sons Adam and Zach, Matthew P. Denn was sworn in as Delaware’s Attorney General, pledging “action and a sense of urgency” in addressing the state’s violent crime.

 

After being sworn in by Delaware Superior Court President Judge Jan R. Jurden at the Wilmington Police Athletic League, Attorney General Denn talked candidly about his vision.  “This is not going to be a long speech because when it comes to this problem of violent crime in our state, there has already been too much talk,” Denn said.

 

“Delawareans know that violent crime won’t disappear from our streets overnight; they don’t expect that.  But they do expect action and a sense of urgency from their elected officials.  An urgency that does not wax and wane with the prior week’s headlines.  It is time to get some things done.”

 

In his speech today, Attorney General Denn laid out just a few of the immediate plans he has for addressing these concerns:

 

  • Putting visible law enforcement officers in our most violent communities: Denn has presented the City of Wilmington’s elected leaders a proposal to apply jointly with his office for $650,000 from the state’s Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund to pay for six additional foot patrol officers to walk the streets of Wilmington’s most dangerous neighborhoods at night from the beginning of March through the end of the summer.  Officers from the New Castle County and Delaware State Police would help the city’s police provide coverage for the patrols and provide advice on tactics.

 

  • Passing legislation addressing illegal possession of firearms: Working with the General Assembly, Denn will be moving quickly to create a legal framework where violent offenders – including teenagers – who illegally carry guns face sure punishment and are not turned back out onto our streets to engage in more illegal activity.

 

  • Helping our communities and our neighbors: Denn is committed to providing children chances to learn and stay out of trouble, devoting the resources necessary to tackle the crisis of addiction, helping those who are integrating back into our communities after leaving our corrections system and understanding that human lives are precious and human potential is limitless.

 

 

While he was sworn into office today in Wilmington, the issues the Attorney General and his team will be working on are statewide.  “Violent crime may be concentrated in certain areas of our state, but it affects our whole state,” Denn said.  “When businesses don’t want to come here or stay here because of our violent crime rate, it affects all of us.  When many of our state’s children can’t excel in school because they return home to neighborhoods full of chaos and despair, it affects all of us.  Drug trafficking and the violence that so often accompanies it has found its way into every corner of our state.  And even if violent crime didn’t affect all of us, addressing it would be the right thing to do.  Because people in every neighborhood of this state, rich or poor, have a right to live free of fear.”

 

Attorney General Denn was introduced at the event by Valerie Swanson, a 30-year employee of the Department of Justice.  The invocation was delivered by longtime friend, Apostle Thomas Wesley Weeks, Sr. of New Destiny Fellowship.  Trawana James-Taylor of Seaford sang the National Anthem.  The Attorney General was joined by family and friends, colleagues from the Department of Justice, legislators and law enforcement officials from all over the state.

 

Attorney General Denn concluded his remarks saying that in protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens – children, senior citizens, and Delawareans with disabilities –advocating for consumers, representing our state agencies and investigating wrongdoing, his goal is for Delaware to become the standard by which other Attorney General offices are measured.

 

“Ten years from now, what I have said today won’t matter,” Denn said.  “What will matter is what we do in the weeks and months to come.  We will be judged by our actions.  Did we put aside ego and politics to do the things we all know must be done?

 

Did we do what was needed to secure for this state’s children the opportunities that we received, the opportunities that are their birthright?  Were we our brothers’ keepers?

 

Together, we can set this state on the right course, a course that will allow our neighbors to live in peace and security, and all this state’s children to have the opportunity to live out their dreams.  If we do the right things.  Our work begins today.”

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