In 24 years as a Massachusetts county prosecutor, Kevin M. Burke made a name for himself by protecting the rights of crime victims, providing alternative punishment for youthful offenders, and devising crime prevention strategies, says the Boston Globe. Now Burke, 60, is the state’s secretary of public safety. A top prority is adding 1,000 local police officers to the streets. “We are working hard to come up with a way to do that, particularly to pay for that,” Burke said.
Gov. Deval Patrick is “putting together a package of legislation and other ideas relating to gun use and distribution to see if somehow we can do a better job of controlling that,” Burke said. He supports Patrick’s decision to rescind an agreement then-governor Mitt Romney had reached with federal authorities to allow state police to arrest undocumented immigrants. Romney’s approach was “shortsighted from a public safety point of view,” Burke said, arguing that it would have diverted state police from their primary function and also could have deterred immigrant communities from working with police.