Pittsfield — All members of the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office staff are fully vaccinated to protect against severe illness from COVID-19.
For the safety of staff and community, District Attorney Andrea Harrington implemented a vaccine mandate for all Berkshire District Attorney’s Office employees in August, setting an October deadline. The mandate aligned with Gov. Charlie Baker’s Executive Order for all Executive Department employees.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office removed any employees who did not comply from the payroll. The office provided an opportunity for employees to apply for exemptions under medical and/or religious reasons. All new employees must be fully vaccinated.
The vaccines are shown to be effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19 and office-wide vaccination reduces the chance of a potential outbreak limiting the effectiveness and capacity for the office to live up to its obligations to the community.
“Recently instances of public agencies implementing temporary closures, seeking outside assistance, or potentially limiting services remind us that every organization is vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19. I want to assure the public that we are doing everything in our power to prevent the wheels of justice from slowing and that our public employees remain as healthy as possible,” Harrington said.
“I am grateful that our team members were eager to protect themselves, our public health institutions, our community, and are continuing to pour their heart and soul into delivering justice to victims of crime during these difficult times.”
Following the Supreme Judicial Court’s orders in March 2020, the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office immediately closed the office to all non-staff members and restricted the number of employees working in office to protect the community, limit the spread, and continue the operation. The District Attorney’s Office staff worked diligently throughout the pandemic to inform victims of the status of cases and represent the Commonwealth on arraignments, search and arrest warrants, dangerousness hearings, post-conviction appeals, and other immediate needs.
The Trial Court put its own protocols in place and resumed full operations in the fall of 2021, including the first local district and superior court trials in September.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office encourages all residents to protect themselves and the county’s public health infrastructure by getting vaccinated.
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office serves all 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. The office represents the Commonwealth in more than 7,500 criminal cases per year in Berkshire Superior Court, three district courts, three juvenile courts, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Supreme Judicial Court. The office works closely with the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and collaborates with local police departments across the county. A dedicated staff of more than 50 prioritizes public safety, empowering victims and witnesses through services and support, and building a safe community for everyone and especially the most vulnerable.