SPECIAL COUNSEL TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY  THOMAS C. RIDGES
SPECIAL COUNSEL TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY  THOMAS C. RIDGES

EXECUTIVE ADA FOR INVESTIGATIONS

THOMAS C. RIDGES

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Thomas Ridges serves as Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations at RCDA.

He oversees all narcotics arrests, long term investigations, Title III Wire Tap applications/investigations, as well as, investigations into overdose deaths through the Overdose Response Initiative (O.R.I.) He is also the Executive that oversees the Detective Investigators Squad and Crime Strategies Unit which monitors crime patterns, tracks “drivers of crime” and handle self-initiated investigations. Thomas Ridges duties also include being the Executive that oversees the Economic Crimes Bureau, Public Corruption Unit, Body Worn Camera Unit and all Critical Incident matters such as Police Involved Shootings and Internal Affairs Bureau investigations. Including his previous service with NYPD, Thomas Ridges has over 35 years of service in Law Enforcement. Prior to beginning his service with the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, Ridges was a Prosecutor with the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office. With the Kings County District Attorney’s Office he was privileged to serve in numerous and various assignments. Ridges was a Bureau Chief and Supervising Attorney in Charge of Trial Bureau 5 – Orange Zone. In that capacity he was responsible for supervising the prosecution of crimes that occurred within the confines of the 62nd Precinct (Bensonhurst), the 73rd Precinct (Brownsville), the 77th Precinct (Crown Heights), the 78th Precinct (Park Slope), as well as crimes occurring in and around N.Y.C.H.A. Housing Developments and the MTA Transit Systems within those police precincts. As a Bureau Chief he was also responsible for the overall supervision of all legal and non-legal staff assigned to the Trial Zone. In that capacity he was responsible for case evaluations, case assignments, charging decisions, plea offers and case dispositions which ranged offers of non-jail dispositions to terms of incarceration. He was also responsible for personnel decisions that included transfers, promotions, training, discipline, and performance evaluations. Prior to becoming a supervising attorney, Ridges was assigned as a Trial Attorney to various units within the Kings County District Attorney’s office, among which were the Assault on Police Officer Program, where he handled cases involving law enforcement officers who were shot, shot at, or seriously injured, and the Homicide Bureau, where in seven (7) years he prosecuted approximately 50 homicides and worked on several high profile and difficult murder cases, including the murders of P.O. Dillon Stewart, Detective Patrick Rafferty, Detective Bobby Parker and college co-ed Imette St. Guillen. Ridges also prosecuted the individual who shot P.O. Pete Garrido whose life was saved by his bullet-proof vest. He also prosecuted a violent street crew who shot two New York City undercover detectives, injuring one of the undercovers, as the undercover officers were trying to purchase firearms from the group. During his time in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Ridges was also responsible for training at various levels. He trained newly hired Assistant District Attorneys as well as experienced prosecutors on subjects such as “Witness Preparation”, “Opening Statements”, “Direct Examination”, “Cross-Examination” and “Closing Arguments”. He has also conducted various training programs for police officers and supervisors assigned to the New York City Police Department. Some of the topics have been, “Trial Testimony”, “Report Preparation” and “Evidence Gathering”. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Ridges was a member of the New York City Police Department, assigned to various police commands such as the 88th Precinct, the Brooklyn North Task Force, the City-Wide Street Crime Unit, and the “elite” Emergency Services Unit (ESU). As a member of the Street Crime Unit, hr was part of a plainclothes unit that had city-wide jurisdiction and was assigned to high crime areas in an effort to thwart violent street crimes ranging from gun possession to robberies. As part of the Emergency Services Unit, his duties included assignments to counter-assault teams, the handling of emotionally disturbed persons, executions of numerous search warrants for guns and drugs, as well as dealing with armed barricaded perpetrators and hostage situations. This police background has allowed Ridges to understand the day in and day out demands that are placed on police officers when doing their job to ensure that all communities are safe. Ridges was born and raised in the Bedford –Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. He grew up in the New York City Housing Authority’s Sumner Housing Projects and has resided on Staten Island since 1988. He earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1995, and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998; He earned both degrees while working full time as a New York City Police Officer. Ridges also sits on the Board of Directors for HelpUSA, a non-profit organization that assists homeless civilians and military veterans with transitional housing. Ridges has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at various institutions. He has taught at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus in their Paralegal Studies Program. He has also taught at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, teaching in both the Law & Police Science Department and the African-American Studies Department. As a member of the faculty for the New York Prosecutors’ Training Institute (N.Y.P.T.I.), Ridges lectures prosecutors from various counties throughout New York State on “trial strategy”, “trial tactics”, “witness preparation”; all with an eye towards ethical prosecution. He currently servs as a member on the New York City’s Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Appointments, as well as a member of the New York City’s Bar Association Criminal Courts Committee. Ridges has been honored with numerous awards and certificates, both as a police officer and a prosecutor for his enduring service to the community including the 2016 John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2018 Thomas E. Dewey Medal awarded to one outstanding prosecutor from each of the five counties in New York City. As a seasoned litigator, prosecutor and career law enforcement professional, Ridges brings professional, as well as, real-world and personal experience to his vocation. He believes in giving back to the community and has demonstrated this through his teaching and community involvement, as well as his over thirty-three years of public service.

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