Ryan, Noone tout law enforcement endorsements

Deb Ryan

While Democratic District Attorney Candidate Deb Ryan hailed a first-ever endorsement of a Democrat by Chester County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 11 late last week, the Republican in the race, Mike Noone, sought to do damage control by pointing out his own law enforcement endorsements from the likes of Chester County Police Chiefs Association, the Phoenixville Police Association, the County and State Detectives Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers Association, and the International Police Association for Region 13.

Both Ryan and Noone are seeking to replace GOP District Attorney Tom Hogan — and it is noteworthy that Chester County has not had a Democratic District Attorney since before the Civil War.

Ryan did make history this past week by being the first Democratic candidate for DA ever endorsed by the Chester County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 11, an organization with over 800 members.

FOP Lodge 11 President Steven Plaugher released the following statement:

“Ms. Ryan has proven her commitment to the citizens of Chester County and will lead the District Attorney’s Office with fairness, integrity and compassion. She has demonstrated a strong allegiance to, and support for, the law enforcement community, police officers and their families in both her personal life and legal career. The law enforcement community holds her in high regard.”

This is the first time the FOP has ever endorsed a Democratic candidate for District Attorney in the county’s history. Ryan was also endorsed in April by the Pennsylvania State Police, Lodge 66, an agency with hundreds of members, another landmark victory for a Democrat.

Ryan stated that she is honored by the endorsement.

“I am grateful for the support of the two largest law enforcement agencies in Chester County,” she said in a statement. “Their endorsement absolutely sends a message that they believe change is necessary and they have faith that I will usher in a new era with integrity.”

Ryan said she felt that her powerful message resonated with law enforcement.

“Change is needed in the District Attorney’s Office,” Ryan said. “We have seen fractured relationships with law enforcement, failure to treat victims with the respect and dignity they deserve, and an alarming opioid and child abuse crisis. I hope to change that once elected.”

In an endorsement letter that he wrote to Ryan, former Chester County DA, Joe Carroll, agreed when he stated, “I think your most valuable quality is your understanding of the responsibility that goes with the office. You realize that the power you hold as District Attorney belongs to the people you serve and must only be exercised for their benefit. You have a commitment to justice that requires fair, unbiased treatment under all circumstances.”

Ryan said she decided to run for DA out of a desire to work for the community and to make Chester County a better place.

“I became a prosecutor because I care about making the community a better and safer place. I have always stood up for what is right, even when it’s difficult. I will continue to be tough on crime when it’s warranted, but also know the importance of working toward expanding our treatment courts and diversionary programs to provide people the help they need so we can reduce the recidivism rate, prevent further crime, and save lives. You risk your lives every day for your job, and my job is to support and work with you to ensure the safety of our community.”

Noone, seemingly in response to Ryan’s announcement, quickly pointed out his own share of law enforcement endorsements.

“The multiple endorsements I have received from local, county, and state-wide law enforcement agencies are a result of my close working relationship with police throughout my career,” Noone said in a statement.  “I have worked with law enforcement to protect victims, prosecute violent offenders, and keep our community safe, and these agencies believe that I am the best choice for District Attorney.  I have been endorsed by the Chester County Police Chiefs Association, the Phoenixville Police Association, the County and State Detectives Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers Association, and the International Police Association for Region 13, which covers Pennsylvania.

“These law enforcement organizations represent a wide variety of police officers including local police officers, police chiefs across Chester County, and narcotics officers and county detectives across the state.  This wide-ranging support is a testament to my career as a proven prosecutor and the mutual respect that has developed throughout my career working with police.

“Whether it is working on an investigation or trial with a local police officer, working on a department-wide policy with a police chief, or working with law enforcement officials across the state to fight the opioid epidemic, I have a proven track record of working together with police to ensure justice is served.

“I have worked hand-in-hand with police to prosecute murderers, rapists, child abusers, drug traffickers and others who would harm innocent, law-abiding citizens.  As co-chair of the Chester County Overdose Prevention Task Force, I have worked with police across the county to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic.  As a member of the Executive Committee of the Elder Abuse Task Force, I have worked with police to protect our seniors.  As an experienced trial attorney, I have personally prosecuted child murderers and child sex traffickers.  As First Assistant District Attorney, I have worked with police to develop best practices for eyewitness identifications, body cameras, officer involved shootings, and other topics to ensure the integrity of the criminal justice system.

“Law enforcement is the ultimate team endeavor.  I am grateful and humbled by the support of police and their recognition of my unwavering commitment to justice.  Police and prosecutors work together to keep our community safe.  My close working relationship with police at all levels, as evidenced by my multiple endorsements, makes me the most qualified candidate to be the next District Attorney of Chester County.”

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