Former Gloucester Commonwealth’s Attorney returns to private practice
Robert D. Hicks left his post as Gloucester Commonwealth’s Attorney on Jan. 1 after 17 years as the chief county prosecutor. He is returning to private practice, taking with him administrative assistant Dinah Carver who has spent twice Hicks’s tenure in the Gloucester CA’s office. The two recently reflected on their experiences in the local criminal justice system.
Hicks and assistant prosecutor Joy Long were both part-time employees when Hicks was first elected commonwealth’s attorney in 1994. When he left, he was assisted by three full-time and one part-time prosecutor. "My own case load didn’t really change, but now there’s 4½ lawyers’ worth of cases," Hicks said.
"Most of it is a function of population increase. We’re a lot less rural than we used to be. There’s always been the usual mix of burglaries. Now there are more businesses to steal and embezzle from. Then there’s the drug trade and everything that goes with that. But the murder rate has not been affected. We are seeing more robberies and more armed robberies," said Hicks.
Hicks has also seen the drug trade shift. "We started getting crack cocaine in the mid 1990s and it became prevalent. Now we’re seeing a resurgence in heroin, which had kind of disappeared 15 years ago. We’re also seeing the new synthetic drugs, synthetic marijuana or ‘spice,’ and bath salts."