Berlin will seek third term as DuPage state's attorney

DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin says the county needs an experienced prosecutor to be involved in shaping new policy regarding criminal justice reform.

And he hopes to be involved in those discussions during the next 4½ years.

Berlin, 56, a Downers Grove Republican, announced Wednesday he will seek a third full term in office in 2020.

Berlin, a 32-year prosecutor in Cook, Kane and DuPage counties, said the campaign season has begun for the March 17 primary election with petitions set to be circulated in less than two months.

In his previous two terms, Berlin said he has worked to position his office to take advantage of diversion programs to free more resources to prosecute violent crimes.

"We're going through a period of criminal justice reform not only in the state but across the county, and I think it's important to have an experienced prosecutor, like myself, involved in policy-making decisions," Berlin said.

Should he be elected to a third term, Berlin said he will expand his efforts to promote school safety, protect and advocate for children and seniors, and create a cyber crime unit to investigate and prosecute the growing number of internet crimes.

"The reason I'm running again is because of my lifetime commitment to public safety. I've been a prosecutor for over 31 years now and I pour my heart and soul into this job," he said. "I believe in the job that we're doing and the difference we're making in DuPage County."

Berlin was appointed by county board Chairman Dan Cronin in December 2010 to replace Joseph Birkett, who retired to be a justice in the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin.

Berlin became an assistant state's attorney in Cook County in 1987 and went on to prosecute more than 60 felony jury trials, including 40 first-degree murder cases, before leaving in 2001.

During the following four years, he prosecuted more murders and felonies as chief of Kane County's priority prosecution unit, where he also was first assistant.

Berlin left Kane for DuPage in 2004 and worked in the areas of juvenile delinquency, felony trials and special prosecution before his appointment.

No other candidates have publicly announced their candidacy for the office.

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