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Assistant U.S. Attorney Katayoun M. "Kat" Copeland '85 has been selected to fill a vacancy as Delaware County District Attorney for the remainder of newly minted Judge Jack Whelan's term.
"I am honored to be chosen by the Delaware County Board of Judges as the next District Attorney," Copeland said in a prepared statement. "For a quarter of a century, I have made the pursuit of justice my life's work, and look forward to continuing those efforts by leading the brave men and women of law enforcement, our committed prosecutors and our partner community agencies, who are all dedicated to serving the residents of Delaware County."
Copeland, 50, is a longtime Radnor resident and graduate of Baldwin, Bryn Mawr College and Temple University's Beasley Law School. She previously served for 19 years in the Delaware County District Attorney's office, stepping down as Deputy District Attorney in 2011 to take a post with the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia, according to a release from the county.
Copeland, a registered Republican, joined the District Attorney's trial division in 1992 and became chief of drug enforcement in 2000. She was promoted to Deputy D.A. in 2004, where she continued overseeing drug enforcement, as well as terrorism-intelligence concerns.
At the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Copeland was assigned to the Narcotics and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Section, where she prosecuted matters involving international drug operations, armed robberies, large scale RICO conspiracies and attempted murders. She also successfully defended such convictions before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Copeland was instrumental in establishing the county's drug treatment court and veteran's court, according to the release. She has also been an instructor for the Delaware County Municipal Police Academy, Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association, and more recently worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and El Paso Intelligence Center training programs.
Copeland has received numerous accolades and awards for her work from various agencies, including the Media, Marple and Upper Darby police departments, the Pennsylvania State Police, Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division and a Special Achievement Award for successfully prosecuting a large-scale drug ring in Philadelphia.
"It is my intent that every resident come to know that this office is their office, with no bounds in serving and protecting them," said Copeland. "Whether that means addressing the growing threat of the opioid epidemic and seeking treatment for those suffering from life-threatening addictions; combating the violent crime that affects our quality of life; or safeguarding the continued well-being of our senior citizens, the office of the District Attorney will continue to support our treatment courts and battle injustice."