Braden Angel focuses on behavioral health, community outreach in district attorney campaign
KEYSTONE — Braden Angel is pushing to create better community relations, expanded restorative justice programs and nurture a more supportive and diverse group of litigators in his campaign to become the next Fifth Judicial District attorney.
Angel is one of two candidates Summit County voters will have a chance to support in the upcoming Democratic Primary on June 30, going toe-to-toe with current Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum.
“I want the job for our community,” Angel said. “I’ve been prosecuting for more than 12 years throughout the district, and I’ve never lost my roots as being an advocate for the people and for victims of crimes. I believe I could bring a lot to this office that could really be beneficial.”
Angel is originally from Columbus, Ohio, but has been living in the Eagle Valley since 2007. He earned his undergraduate degree at Miami University of Ohio and moved to Colorado to attend law school at the University of Denver.
In 2007, Angel started as an intern at the Fifth Judicial District attorney’s office, where he later took on a role as a deputy district attorney. He left the office in 2012 to join the Mountain Law Group, and started the Angel Law Firm of Colorado in 2015.
Angel also has served as the municipal prosecutor for the town of Blue River since 2013 and has worked with Advocates for Victims of Assault, helping to create the Justice for Victims Project to provide trauma attorneys to victims of crimes.
In his campaign for district attorney, Angel said he would focus on reducing turnover in the office, and prioritizing youth engagement and outreach in the community. He said he believes employee retention in the office is a concern, and said he would combat the issue by creating a more supportive environment to keep attorneys onboard through merit-based promotions, bringing in more law students through internship programs, and providing better guidance and training to young attorneys.
Angel also voiced a desire to reach out to youths in the community through programs like mock trials and anti-bullying programs in schools, and to better connect with minority populations to create more cultural equity in the office, working with community partners to dig into the disproportionate number of Latinx individuals being prosecuted.
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“There’s not a representative makeup of our community,” Angel said. “There are things we can control, and there are things we can’t. But one thing we can do is seek out members of our Latinx community and others where we see a disproportionate number of people coming to court nationwide … and be inclusionary in your office and your sphere of influence to make sure that population is represented, and that you’re listening.”
Angel said he also would seek to expand restorative justice programs, such as the district’s current diversion programs, along with pushing to establish new behavioral health initiatives through the courts to help individuals dealing with mental health issues stay out of the criminal justice system.
Angel continued to say that while he would work to build good relationships with local law enforcement, he also understands the necessity to prosecute any violations of the law appropriately and consistently, including when police officers are offenders.
Finally, Angel said he believes he has the experience and conviction to serve the community as its next district attorney.
“What I bring to the table is consistency within the office, based on my experience and the fact that I have tried dozens of successful trials throughout our jurisdiction,” Angel said. “I’ve had the opportunity to serve in all of our counties and to meet a lot of our constituents. I love our jurisdiction. That’s why I raised my family here. And I think my experience speaks for itself.
“I know how to do what is necessary, and I will absolutely listen and make reasonable decisions in every case.”
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