Dan Dow’s Veterans Treatment Court has changed lives

Dan Dow’s Veterans Treatment Court has changed lives

sanluisobispo.com | April 18, 2014

Seated on a sun-soaked back deck interviewing Dan Dow, a candidate for San Luis Obispo County district attorney, a reporter quickly learns that Dow’s top priorities include protecting kids from heroin pushers and locking criminal gang members away long term.

Minutes into the dialogue, Dow, father of two and a major in the California National Guard, makes clear one of the achievements he is most proud of during his eight and a half years as deputy district attorney: helping establish the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) in 2013.

The court serves veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological complications brought home that directly contribute to their involvement with the criminal justice system.

The county’s VTC is the 15th in California and, because Dow’s opponent, Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello, offered zero support when Dow was pushing for the court’s establishment several years ago, there is clear separation between the two candidates on that pivotal issue. (Editor’s note: At a recent debate, Covello credited Dow with leading the effort to create the Veterans Treatment Court and said that he and current District Attorney Gerry Shea have long supported the program; Dow said Covello was skeptical, not supportive, of establishing the court.)

Dow speaks without a lot of emotional inflection, but his word choices communicate razor-sharp messages that go well beyond campaign rhetoric.

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