Thomas C. Ridges
Special Counsel to the District Attorney
Thomas C. Ridges was born and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, and has resided on Staten Island since 1988. He began his career in law enforcement with the New York City Police Department. He was assigned to various commands, including the 88th Precinct, the Brooklyn North Task Force, the City-Wide Street Crime Unit, and the elite Emergency Services Unit (ESU). As a member of the Street Crime Unit, Ridges was part of a plainclothes team that had city-wide jurisdiction and monitored high-crime areas in an effort to thwart street violence, including gun possession and robberies. During his time with the Emergency Services Unit, he was assigned to counter-assault teams, handled emotionally disturbed persons, executed numerous search warrants for guns and drugs, and extracted armed and barricaded perpetrators.
While working full-time as a New York City Police Officer, Ridges earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1995, and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998.
After graduating St. John’s University School of Law, Ridges joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. There, as a trial attorney, he worked in various units including the Assault on Police Officer Program, where he handled cases involving law enforcement officers who were shot or seriously injured. He also prosecuted approximately 50 homicides in the Homicide Bureau and worked on several high-profile cases, including the murders of P.O. Dillon Stewart, who was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to pull over a car, Detective Patrick Rafferty and Detective Robert Parker, who were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect on a domestic violence complaint,and college co-ed Imette St. Guillen, who was brutally raped and murdered by a nightclub bouncer.
Most recently, Ridges was the Bureau Chief and Supervising Attorney in Charge of Trial Bureau 5 Orange Zone, responsible for prosecuting crimes within the confines of the 62nd Precinct (Bensonhurst), the 73rd Precinct (Brownsville), the 77th Precinct (Crown Heights), the 78th Precinct (Park Slope), as well as criminal activity in N.Y.C.H.A. housing developments and the transit systems within those police jurisdictions. He oversaw all legal and non-legal staff assigned to the Trial Zone, and also interacted with the commanding officers of each precinct as well as the civilians living within that precinct regarding community concerns.
During his time in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Ridges trained newly hired ADAs and experienced prosecutors on subjects such as “Witness Preparation”, “Opening Statements”, “Direct Examination”, “Cross-Examination” and “Closing Arguments.” He has also conducted various training programs for police officers and supervisors assigned to the New York City Police Department. Ridges has also taught as an adjunct professor at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.