James P. Kennedy, Jr.
United States Attorney
United States Attorney’s Office – Western District of New York
Years in current role: 5
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The best part about the job is being tasked with upholding and breathing life into the very values that define us as a nation. Using the rule of law, our mission is to ensure that the moral and aspirational ideals that were set forth in our founding documents and that define us as Americans — principles such as Justice, Liberty, and Equality — have meaning in today’s world.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The past year’s greatest challenge was the increase in violence. The polarization we experienced as a community and country weakened our defenses to violence. Somehow, robust law enforcement and efforts to address the root causes of crime emerged as alternative — rather than complementary — solutions to violence. In fact, we need both. Schools can’t save kids if they are overrun with gangs and drugs; businesses can’t provide economic opportunities if our streets are shooting galleries. While law enforcement efforts alone won’t end violence, efforts to address the root causes of violence will fail in the absence of a respected law enforcement presence.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
Once again having things to look forward to.