SU Alumna Carla Freedman Settles Into Her New Role As US Attorney For New York's Northern District
Syracuse University alumna Carla Freedman is settling into her new role as the area’s top federal law enforcement officer. When she was sworn in in October, she became the first woman confirmed by the Senate to become US attorney for New York’s sprawling Northern District. The office and work are familiar…she’s been an assistant US attorney since 2007, and a lawyer for 33 years. Freedman grew up in Syracuse, and says her knowledge of the region will help her and the community.
"As I'm driving around the 32 counties, and I am doing a lot of driving, I got this bizarre maternal feeling. It's like this is my home, all of it, and I'm now responsible as the chief law enforcement officer for keeping the community safe."
She and thousands of federal agents and prosecutors across the country have their hands full with the suspects involved in the January 6th attack on the US Capitol building. Freedman says while the Washington, DC office is spearheading the entire investigation, they’re all playing supporting roles.
"We have assisted with the execution of search warrants, drafting search warrants, when those people have been charged; handling the initial appearances on those people, as well as their detention hearings, before they're ultimately transferred to the DC circuit, where they'll ultimately be prosecuted. We've handled those cases both in our Syracuse office and our Albany office."
Freedman says one of her assistant US attorneys from Plattsburgh is just returning from Washington after spending the past seven months assisting with the case. Meanwhile, she says her office will continue working with local agencies on reducing gun crime, which she says she’s worked on for years.
"It's really a question of us figuring out what's the best way that my office can come in and not just make arrests and prosecutions. My goal is not to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions. But how can we make a difference? What I want to look at the end of my term or even month to month is, are we reducing violent crime? And I think the way to do that is not to arrest everybody. But it's to strategically figure out who are the people that are the biggest problems causing the most violence in these particular neighborhoods that are suffering so badly."
Freedman says community outreach, education, and prevention are also part of a comprehensive strategy. Of course, Freedman says public corruption cases will continue to be a top priority in her office and every US Attorneys office.
She spoke to WAMC’s Jim Levulis in Albany. He's an SU and WAER News alumnus.