ADA Daniel Mulhern Receives Quinn Award at UMass Boston’s 26th Community Breakfast
March 29, 2012
One man is a prosecutor who tries to keep city kids out of the courtroom through early intervention. The other promotes volunteerism and the values of being a good neighbor.
Both were honored at the 26th annual UMass Boston Community Breakfast on Tuesday.
Chancellor J. Keith Motley honored Assistant District Attorney Daniel P. Mulhern, chief of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Gang Unit and Safe Neighborhood Initiative, with a Robert H. Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership.
Mulhern, a Dorchester resident, has been a prosecutor for more than ten years, with his primary caseload consisting of gang-related homicides in the City of Boston. He works regularly with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as a diverse group of grassroots, faith-based, and nonprofit violence prevention and anti-crime organizations to keep the streets safe through his belief in early intervention.
“It’s clear to us in law enforcement, it’s clear to the district attorney and any Boston police in the room that we can’t do it alone,” Mulhern said of his efforts. “We don’t prosecute in a bubble. We have an enormous obligation to do many things before a young person arrives before us in a courtroom.”
The Quinn Award was established in honor of Robert H. Quinn, a former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, former attorney general, and former chair of the UMass Board of Trustees. The award is presented annually by UMass Boston to honor individuals whose contributions have significantly improved the quality of life in the Greater Boston area.
“Dan Mulhern is a hard worker,” Quinn said. “His job is to make sure the people know that government, particularly police and the district attorney’s office serves the people. He’s done that.”
Close to 300 people attended the community breakfast, which took place at UMass Boston’s Campus Center, including Boston City Councilors Frank Baker and Felix Arroyo, State Representative Russell Holmes, and Quincy City Councilors Margaret Laforest and Brian Palmucci. The Park School Inspirational Freedom Youth Choir also performed.
"I’ve said this before: The University of Massachusetts Boston is not, cannot, and never will be isolated from the communities around us. Nor would we ever want to be!" Chancellor Motley said. "The give and take between our community and our students, faculty, staff, and administration is what keeps us going – and what helps us accomplish great things together."
Also honored was Carlos Vargas, president of Vargas & Vargas Insurance Agency, Inc., who received the Chancellor’s Award for Longstanding Community Commitment and Service. Vargas and his staff partner with many local charities and nonprofit groups to help support their work and to educate the public on how they can support these organizations in their communities.
Vargas and his staff have partnered with educational institutions such as the Elizabeth Seaton Academy, the Ella J. Baker House in Dorchester, and Dorchester Academy. He and the agency are founders of the Boston’s Best Neighbor (BBN) Award, honoring an individual in the city of Boston who volunteers their time and demonstrates special care and concern in making their neighborhood better, safer, and friendlier.
“In quoting last year’s winner, every single one of us has the ability to influence our communities for the better,” Vargas said. “It’s not just an opportunity. It’s our responsibility.”