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Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Attorneys Fuel Ideas for Portland, Maine's Neighborhood Prosecutor

May 22, 2012
Portland's neighborhood prosecutor, Trish McAllister - a police department employee who tackles issues such as nuisance crimes, graffiti problems and disorderly home issues - is looking forward to a conference call today with two lawyers who paid a visit to Portland last week.  Prior to their recent meeting, McAllister had never heard of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, an organization that the two men work for. She'd gone to Google, to see what community prosecution efforts were being conducted in other locations, and came across the organization through the search engine. McAllister - a woman who exudes energy, and is the type of person who doesn't hesitate to act - contacted the group after reading about them. She heard back from them very quickly. Enter Robert Hood and Steven Jansen. The two are attorneys from the association and in their role provide free services for evaluation to communities. McAllister invited them to visit Portland and they spent Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15 and 16 in the city. In the couple of days they were here they were able to see how the city's Neighborhood Prosecutor's office is set up and to get a sense of the city. The Department of Justice picked up the entire tab for their visit, McAllister said. The two attended the Chief's Community-Police Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday, May 16 and gave the group a PowerPoint presentation outlining what they're all about. Jansen told the group, "We're here to assist Trish and the Chief. We're here as a resource to assist." Their two-day visit to Portland was crammed full of things to see and people to meet. They attended the weekly CompStat meeting; met with the District Attorney's Office; went to the Portland Downtown District; and met with business leaders. Several meetings were held with Police Chief Michael Sauschuck and a couple more were spent with McAllister, who also drove them around Portland. Hood said that Portland is unique to have the community prosecutor working out of an office in the police department. Other jurisdictions they've visited have that position as a part of the District Attorney's Office.