President, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City
Richard M. Aborn is president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, a non-partisan non-profit organization with multidisciplinary expertise that works to improve public safety through innovation. At the Crime Commission, Mr. Aborn advances strategies to improve the justice system, strengthen gun policies and practices, prevent youth gun violence, and prevent cybercrime. Under Mr. Aborn’s leadership, the commission has been instrumental in passage of a comprehensive gun violence reduction package, known as the NY SAFE Act, and legislation increasing the penalty for carrying an illegal loaded firearm in the state. Mr. Aborn led the design and implementation of New York City’s “Project Fast Track,” bringing together the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the NYPD, the NY Office of Court Administration, local prosecutors and others to swiftly investigate and prosecute firearm offenders. Mr. Aborn is frequently relied upon by the media and government officials as an independent and objective expert on criminal justice issues. He has held appointments on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Wrongful Convictions, and the transition teams of the New York State Attorney General, NYPD Commissioner, an more. In his role at the Crime Commission, Mr. Aborn draws on his extensive experiences in law and policy. Mr. Aborn began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's office where he prosecuted major felonies, including homicides, from 1979 until 1984. While serving as president of Handgun Control, Inc. from 1992 to 1996 (now the Brady Campaign), the leading gun control advocacy organization in the United States at the time, he was one of the principal strategists behind the passage of the landmark Brady Bill mandating background checks on firearm purchasers and legislation banning assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines. At the same time, Mr. Aborn also served as president of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, where he worked with the New York City public school system to develop a first-of-its-kind program to reduce gun injuries as part of the curriculum. Mr. Aborn has played a central role in several campaigns and investigations. In 1999, Mr. Aborn was commissioned by New York City to conduct an investigation of the New York City Police Department's (NYPD) disciplinary system, as well as its response to civilian complaints of misconduct. This multi-year investigation resulting in numerous recommendations to reduce police misconduct received extensive media coverage and support. Mr. Aborn was also commissioned to investigate the NYPD's disciplinary decisions concerning the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed individual shot 41 times by police. In addition , Mr. Aborn serves as president of CAAS LLC, which advises police departments, criminal justice agencies, corporations and other organizations in the United States, Latin America and Europe on criminal justice policy, violence reduction and Rule of Law issues.