About the DA
P. David Soares was elected Albany County District Attorney on November 2, 2004 and re-elected to a second term on November 4, 2008. He is now serving his third term as District Attorney in Albany County.
At an early age, David's parents instilled in him the value of family, education, hard work, and active participation within a strong community. Although David grew up in a rough neighborhood, loving friends and a strong community surrounded him. Neighbors kept an eye on one another's children and were quick to lend a hand. This upbringing encouraged David to believe in the goodness and potential of all people if given the proper guidance. His parents' emphasis on education provided a solid motivation for David's future goals in life.
Having handled thousands of cases in Albany County City Courts as an Assistant District Attorney, David witnessed the failings of the criminal justices system first hand. In 2004, David sought office to ensure Justice for Albany County residents and on January, 1 2005, David realized his goal of becoming Albany County District Attorney. Since taking office, David has continued to devote his energy to bringing "One Standard of Justice" to Albany County. He remains committed to leading an office that is Tough on Crime and Smart on Prevention by:
• Reducing street violence through creative, non-traditional means;
• Building hope for the people of Albany County by restoring communities;
• Dealing with the crisis of re-entry; and
• Emphasizing prevention over prosecution.
In partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, David has been successful:
• Kept neighborhoods safe by maintaining high conviction rates for violent crimes in New York State over the past 9 years;
• Created the Vehicular Crimes Unit to successfully bring Albany County from the abysmal rating of 61st in the state to currently 11th for DWI convictions;
• Assigned a Felony level prosecutor to oversee all Animal Abuse and Animal Hoarding cases and launched the Animal Cruelty Taskforce;
• Shut down drug houses through our Safe Homes, Safe Streets Program to improve the quality of life in
• Removed hundreds of guns, and the criminals willing to use them, from our streets with Operation Speeding Bullet;
• Destroyed illicit drug pipelines, including prescription medication and illegal steroids, flowing into our communities by targeting distribution networks;
• Created a Public Integrity Unit to hold government and law enforcement officials accountable;
• Created a Financial Crimes Unit and obtained millions of dollars in restitution for crime victims, government, and businesses, including the successful Crimes Against Revenue Program;
• Confiscated ill-gotten gains from criminals and used them to purchase equipment for local police departments and neighborhood associations through our Making Crime Pay Program; and
• Utilized a victim centered approach to fighting crime by creating Albany County’s first Crime Victims Unit to assist those directly affected by crime on their journey through the criminal justice system as they cross the bridge from victim to survivor;
• Developed the Frontpage website as a service referral and public awareness website for victims of Human Trafficking
• Expanded Alternatives to Incarceration through a thriving Community Accountability Board and Community Service Program for defendants charged with non-violent, quality of life crimes;
• Created Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, SALT, where our most vulnerable citizens can gain access to both law enforcement and the vast network of area service providers;
• Helped non-violent drug offenders and addicts receive relief by promoting Rockefeller Drug Law Reform and expanding the Drug Court, Veterans Court, and Alternative to Incarceration Programs;
• Introduced the ENOUGH Program, a two-fold initiative that offers anti-violence programming to local youth through programs like Conviction Step Team and NYPUM Mini-bike Program, while incorporating reward based programming for gun buyback and gang prevention outreach;
• Introduced anti-crime program Legal Lives connecting local schools with the courthouse, guiding hundreds of kids through diversion programs where they have a chance to learn skills and get the support to become productive citizens, and expanded these lessons through the WORDS Anti-Bullying Program;
• Assisted the development of School First, an anti-truancy initiative with local educational institutions and law enforcement officials in an effort to get more students to improve attendance records and graduate on time;
• Spearheaded Anti-Bullying Taskforce and Youth Advisory Board for students throughout Albany County in an effort to address and prevent youth crime; and
• Expanded the Music Mobile Program to 17 municipalities in Albany County for children to foster creative expression while learning about non-violent life choices and civic responsibility.
David’s commitment to labor and community justice were developed at a young age. On October 26, 1969, P. David Soares was born in Brava, Cape Verde, an island off the coast of West Africa. He is the youngest of five children born to Lucas and Lidia Soares. When David was six years old, his family moved to the United States and settled in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where his father found a vocation as a carpenter, and his mother worked at the local mill.
David witnessed the struggles of his parents as they did their best to provide for their family. His fathers union – Local 1196 IBEW - was instrumental in ensuring their family received a fair wage for the labor Lucas Soares provided as a mill worker. David has continued to support and honor the work of union labor by unionizing the investigators in his office to ensure they were being fairly compensated for their hard work and by prosecuting individuals who attempt to cheat workers out of payments they rightfully deserve.
The work ethic instilled in David by his parents became the foundation of his career. David worked his way through Cornell University, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. After Cornell, David attended Albany Law School and received his law degree in 1999. As he had at Cornell University, David worked his way through Albany Law School working at the Albany Airport Authority, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, AIDS Law Clinic and the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. He also interned at the District Attorney's Office, where he eventually became an Assistant District Attorney and Albany County’s first Community Prosecutor.
Since taking office, David has been the proud recipient of several recognition awards. Most recently, DA Soares received the Whitney M. Young Community Partner Award and was named a Top Ten Animal Defender of 2015 from the National Animal Legal Defense Fund.
David is a proud father and remains active in his community as a mentor by teaching students throughout Albany County about Acts of Kindness through the office's WORDS Program, and also through his service as a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany.