Vance defended his advocacy of rehab instead of prison time in some cases, saying that does not translate into soft on crime. He calls it just smart public safety.
"Where we can reduce crime by intelligent application of re-entry programming, alternatives to incarceration, utilizing programs that reduce crime, those go hand-in-hand with achieving public safety," he said.
In the last couple of weeks, Vance was faulted by some for hiring several top lawyers who once worked for Eliot Spitzer. Actually, it's only two out 11 top staffers, but still, Vance said he's glad to have them.
"Well Governor Spitzer hired a number of great people in his administration, and I think their talents are independent of his problems," Vance said.
Vance's priorities include a crackdown on white-collar crime, like the massive Ponzi scam run by Bernie Madoff. He also wants a new focus on domestic violence. And he wants his office out and about in the city, which is one reason why the ceremony was held at City College in Harlem.
"I don't know if it signals a change in how this office operates, but it certainly reflects my view that the Manhattan DA's office represents and serves all of Manhattan," he said.