July 23, 2019

Tonkin to head statewide DA association


HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA) announced its newly elected officers for the 2019–2020 business year. The election took place during the Association’s annual business meeting. The new officers are:

  • President:    Hon. Raymond J. Tonkin, Pike County District Attorney
  • Vice President:   Hon. Michael Piecuch, Snyder County District Attorney
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Hon. Kelly Callihan, Cambria County District Attorney

“Through the PDAA, district attorneys throughout Pennsylvania can engage in important policy discussions, share ideas and work together to improve the criminal justice system,” said Tonkin. “I am honored to help lead this discussion and look forward to advancing innovative ideas and best practices that support public safety, stand up for victims of crime and protect the integrity of the system.”

Tonkin was first elected district attorney in Pike County 11 years ago after serving eight years as an assistant district attorney in the office. He gained national attention when he prosecuted Eric Frein, who was convicted of killing Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass at the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks in Blooming Grove.

Committed to addressing some of the modern-day challenges faced by the criminal justice system in Pike County, he has worked to develop the Pike County Children’s Advocacy Center, created a Domestic Abuse Response Team and initiated the Pike CARE program, a treatment-centered approach to divert non-violent offenders with underlying addiction to drugs or alcohol get them on the road to staying crime free for the betterment of the community, themselves and their family. Mr. Tonkin currently serves on the State Victim Services Advisory Committee, a position he has held through the appointment of two governors. Before becoming a prosecutor, Mr. Tonkin was a local police officer for seven years. Tonkin graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, after earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Scranton.

Throughout its history, PDAA has been a leader in matters of public safety. Most recently, the Association helped enact legislation to better enable vulnerable victims to testify against their abusers, successfully worked to pass Clean Slate legislation, as well as new laws related to credit card skimming and elder abuse. The Association has also worked to reform civil forfeiture, update DUI laws, make strangulation a stand-alone crime to better protect victims of domestic abuse, fix Megan’s Law and pass legislation governing the use of body cameras for police officers.

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