Macomb County prosecutor sets office record for national awards

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido’s office has been recognized with seven Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) — the most awards the county prosecutor’s office has ever received at one time. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. It has been at least 13 years since the Prosecutor’s Office received such an award, possibly much longer according to the NACo website.

“This national recognition shows great things are happening in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office,” said Macomb County Commission Chairman Don Brown.

“We are making progress for crime victims, the public, and law enforcement,” said Lucido. “I am thankful to County Executive Mark Hackel, Board Chairman Don Brown, county commissioners, and our union staff for being part of the team that made these awards possible.”

The “good government” awards are issued nationally to recognize county programs that enhance services, improve county management or promote intergovernmental coordination.  

This year, Lucido’s office received seven NACo achievement awards:

• Detectives use prosecutor’s check-in kiosk for streamlined warrant authorization with Google Apps Script

• Prosecutor automates Discovery Unit and Warrant Division incoming faxes using new technology

• Prosecutor streamlines Requests for Investigator Assistance, improves service to crime victims, making it easier to manage Investigator services

• Prosecutor’s automated Retail Fraud Charge Calculator makes it easier to charge repeat offenders

• Prosecutor’s cloud tech puts court dockets in the pockets of county assistant prosecutors

• Prosecutor’s docket dashboard technology improves prosecutor’s district court case tracking

• The prosecutor’s office goes the extra mile to fight crime: free rides to court for crime victims

In addition to the seven Prosecutor’s Office awards, NACo awarded five other Macomb County departments, for a total of 12 to the county.

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement, and many more.

NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program, started in 1970, is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

The programs recognized by the NACo Achievement Awards are not the only improvements Prosecutor Lucido has made:

• School threats are taken seriously.  Lucido has authorized several school threat cases. “We promise to prosecute every one of these threats,” said Lucido. 

• Major Crimes Unit launched:  Prosecutor Lucido organized the top-ranked assistant prosecutors to focus on major crimes, and train more APAs.

• Conviction Integrity Unit launched.  This unit will investigate claims of innocence to determine whether there is clear and convincing new evidence that the convicted defendant was not the person who committed the offense and to review claims of factual innocence based on new evidence.

• Warrant Appeals Unit launched:  Victims and law enforcement officials are now given the right to have a second set of eyes to review cases where charges are denied, the first known unit of its kind in the state.

• Digital Evidence Management platform launched: Digital evidence increased tenfold in 48 months. Police agencies upload digital evidence, the Prosecutor’s Office reviews it, and defense lawyers can directly download the evidence.

• More assistant prosecutors, more justice.  Thanks to cooperation from the county executive and Board of Commissioners, Lucido has restored pre-precession staffing levels to the office.  

• Grant awarded to seek justice for drug crimes.  Lucido obtained a grant to cover half of the cost of an assistant prosecuting attorney to combat opioid abuse and divert citizens to immediate treatment rather than prosecution on low-level drug crimes..

• MDHHS contract for $450,000.  Lucido’s office was approved for a contract to provide the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with legal representation in parental termination, abuse and neglect cases.

• More interns mean more justice.  Lucido hosted over 30 law school students and over 40 undergrad students as college interns in 2021, more than has even been hosted in a single year by the office. Michigan Court Rules allow law students this exciting opportunity to handle court hearings under supervision. 

• Paperless crime victim rights:  Lucido implemented the county’s first paperless system for crime victims to request rights and notification. Crime victims may now request victim information entirely online via the Prosecutor’s Office website.

• Transparent deviation plea requests:  Lucido gave back to assistant prosecutors the authority to decide cases and created a system to track the pleas.

• Internet access for assistant prosecutors in district courtrooms.  Lucido is continuing the work with the Macomb County IT Department to implement access to the county network from every district court in the county. 

• Providing police training.  Ludico regularly sends assistant prosecutors to every police agency in Macomb County to provide training, including updates on recent court cases. 

• Physical improvements to the office.  Lucido partnered with the Anton Art Center, and others, to bring approximately 120 pieces of art and photographs, including from local artists, as a finishing touch to the newly remodeled and furnished office

 “My staff and I are working hard to make the Prosecutor’s Office great again,” said Lucido.