BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s top prosecutor is set to be sworn in as the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, making her the first Black woman to serve in the role.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday that she expects to receive her official commission from President Joe Biden by Friday and that she’ll take the oath of office to become U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts on Monday.
Rollins, a Democrat, was narrowly confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. As a district attorney, she pushed for progressive criminal justice reforms, arguing people shouldn’t be jailed for crimes that result from mental health or addiction problems, and said she wanted to focus her attention on serious crimes, like homicides.
In her letter to Baker, Rollins touted the drop in violent crime in Boston over the last three years, saying that it’s one of the only major cities in the country were those crimes, including murder, are down.
“This has everything to do with the thoughtful and strategic community policing approach employed by the many dedicated law-enforcement partners working together throughout Suffolk County,” said Rollins, who has served as district attorney since 2019 and previously was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. The Suffolk district attorney’s office covers Boston and a handful of its suburbs.
She also defended controversial positions that Republicans in Congress hammered her on during the U.S. Attorney nomination process.
“My platform was clear: Divert our overwhelming attention away from the non-serious, non-violent crimes so we could focus our limited resources on prosecuting and preventing the most serious violent crimes,” Rollins said.
Baker, a Republican who has said he won’t seek a third term as governor, must now appoint a new district attorney to serve out the rest of Rollin’s term, which ends later this year. A spokesperson said he’ll name one soon from a pool of qualified applicants, without elaborating.
Rollins has said she received violent and racist threats against her and her children as a result of her nomination. She said the U.S. Marshals Service denied her request for a security detail as an incoming U.S. Attorney, deeming she was at low risk.
Rollins’ office on Wednesday deferred questions about the security concerns to the Marshals Service, which didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.