About Chris Gaal

Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal

Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal

Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal is committed to fair and equal justice before the law, while professionally serving the needs of crime victims. Gaal has been a driving force behind several ground-breaking local partnerships to address important public safety issues that have enhanced the quality of life in the community.

In 2009, Gaal organized the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), helped create a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at I.U. Health Bloomington Hospital, and designated a sex crimes deputy prosecutor to specialize in handling challenging sexual assault and child sex abuse cases. Gaal also developed several sexual assault prevention efforts focused on educating Indiana University students about “consent.” One such program, “Blame it on the alcohol”, won a leadership award from the I.U. Commission on Personal Safety.

Gaal worked to develop a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) to serve the needs of children in Monroe County, and was successful in helping Susie’s Place to open its doors in 2010. Susie’s Place now provides a trained professional to conduct forensic interviews of child victims and witnesses in a comfortable, neutral, child-friendly environment. The Prosecutor’s Office continues to participate in a multi-disciplinary team to ensure that cases involving child abuse and neglect are thoroughly investigated using best practices. The creation of a child advocacy center to serve the local community has significantly strengthened our ability to nurture and protect children by ensuring that professionals and agencies work together effectively to provide comprehensive services. Gaal is currently working with the local medical community to expand the SANE program to provide forensic pediatric examinations for cases involving child victims of sexual abuse.

To better respond to youth at risk of dropping out of school, Gaal proposed a Truancy Court. This effort won the 2009 Educator of the Year Leading Light Award as an outstanding and innovative program that enhances the local education community. Gaal also created the “Live Better” campaign to help young people appreciate the many benefits of high school graduation. He helped organize a local dropout prevention summit and an ongoing community coalition to better coordinate resources serving youth and to boost local graduation rates and help kids prepare for successful futures. Gaal also created the “Children & Technology” guide to help parents develop their own rules for safely monitoring and setting limits on the use of technology by their children. Gaal developed the “Never Leave a Child Unattended” campaign to address the potential harms including the threat of abduction, heat stroke, wandering off, and drowning.

Another major focus for Gaal has been issues affecting the elderly. Gaal produced educational materials designed to prevent financial exploitation, home improvement fraud, identity theft, and also to assist in hiring an in-home caregiver and establishing adult guardianships. Along with the Area 10 Agency on Aging, in 2015 Gaal helped develop a Volunteer Guardianship Program to meet the needs of indigent adults who lack the capacity to manage their own affairs – such as those with dementia or developmental disabilities. Gaal is currently active as a leader at the state-level to encourage Indiana to fix a broken Adult Protective Services (APS) system that is overworked, understaffed, and underfunded.

Gaal created the “Get a Ride!” prevention campaign to discourage drinking and driving, and worked with I.U. Health Bloomington Hospital to develop an expedited blood-alcohol testing protocol to better enforce drunk driving laws. Gaal also led the creation of the Monroe County Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Program to provide a safe method to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs – including controlled substances. This program received the 2013 AIC Local Government Cooperation Award.

Gaal worked to address the needs of criminal defendants suffering from serious mental health issues through the Mental Health Review Team coordinated by the Prosecutor’s Office. Gaal worked with others in the local criminal justice system and in the community to expand this team into a Mental Health Court in 2014. This important partnership now provides problem-solving resources to better address the needs of mentally ill criminal defendants in need of intervention, treatment and ongoing supervision.

In 2015 Gaal worked with community stakeholders to expand the Prosecutor’s Office Child Support Program to include new problem-solving resources to better address job training and employment skills, and mental health issues including drug/alcohol addiction treatment. This initiative was recognized with an award for “Outstanding Outreach Efforts” by the Child Support Division at the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Chris Gaal places the highest priority on preventing crimes of violence, including domestic violence, public safety issues affecting children and the elderly, and improving the criminal justice system’s response to those suffering from mental illness.

Gaal received the 2014 Sharon Brehm Alcohol Awareness Award from Indiana University, the 2010 Outstanding Legal Professional Award from the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA), the 2009 Visionary Leader Award from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, and the 2008 Outstanding Service Award from the IU Campus-Community Commission on Alcohol.

Chris Gaal is a member of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC) Board of Directors, and the IPAC Elder, Delinquency, Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes Committee. He served as chair of the IPAC Board of Directors from 2012 to 2013 and received an award for Outstanding Leadership in this capacity. Gaal has also served on the Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools Board of Directors, and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s Franklin Initiative Advisory Board.

Resume & Awards

Awards:

2016 Haines Turner Award

Prosecutor Chris Gaal receives the 2016 Haines Turner Award from the Community Justice and Mediation (CJAM) Center in recognition for “contributions to justice that heal and restore the Monroe County community.”

2016 Haines Turner Award

2014 Sharon Brehm Alcohol Awareness Award

MEDIA RELEASE
April 23, 2014
Contact: Chris Gaal
Office of the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney
(812) 349-2670
www.monroeprosecutor.us

PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE RECEIVES I.U. AWARD
FOR ALCOHOL AWARENESS EFFORTS

GAR2014

Bloomington, Indiana – Each year the Indiana University Division of Student Affairs recognizes outstanding contributions that promote the goals of the university. The Sharon Brehm Award specifically recognizes an outstanding community contribution that “exemplifies best efforts to reduce underage and dangerous drinking.”

The community Brehm award for outstanding service was bestowed this year on the prosecutor’s office. Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal accepted the award at the Division of Student Affairs Annual Awards Reception at the Indiana Memorial Union Frangipani Room.

The prosecutor’s office was nominated by Jackie Daniels, director of OASIS, a program of the I.U. Health Center and Division of Student Affairs that provides alcohol and drug information and counseling services.

The prosecutor’s office has partnered with OASIS and the Division of Student Affairs to promote alcohol awareness and sexual assault prevention efforts on campus. Programs have included live presentations, hosting an interactive activity booth during Welcome Week, and distributing cards with emergency contact information including crisis hotlines and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at I.U. Health Bloomington Hospital. The “Got Consent?” public service announcement targeting students has received over 10,000 hits on You Tube, and is available on the prosecutor’s office website. (www.monroeprosecutor.us)

The prosecutor’s office is currently working with OASIS to distribute a new version of the “Get a Ride!” drunk driving prevention initiative on campus, which includes contact information for the I.U. Safety Escort, and I.U. Night Owl Bus services, as well as the three local taxi companies e2, Red Tire Taxi, and Yellow Cab.

As I.U. prepares for Little 500 weekend, the new version of the “Get a Ride!” poster has been placed in various locations around campus, including academic buildings, and Greek organizations. Card displays are also on tables in the dining areas within each residence hall.

BrehmAward

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2013 AIC Local Government Cooperation Award

2013 AIC Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Karen Avery
(317) 829-3656
kavery@indianacounties.org
www.indianacounties.org

Monroe County receives statewide award

SWITZERLAND COUNTY (Sept. 25, 2013) — The Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) announced Wednesday that Monroe County received the 2013 Local Government Cooperation Award. The award recognized Monroe County’s Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Program.

The Monroe County Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Program collects and properly disposes of unused, unwanted or expired pharmaceutical drugs and controlled substances. The program strives to reduce the risk of illegal diversion, drug abuse, overdose and environmental risks resulting from improper disposal.

Monroe County Prosecutor, Chris Gaal created a partnership among the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, the Monroe County Triad and the Prosecutor’s Office to offer two secure collection boxes with accessibility around the clock. The program was created in 2011.

The program is unique in Indiana because it accepts controlled substances. Additionally, it offers public access to dispose of medications 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

AIC presented the award during its Annual Conference, the state’s largest gathering of county officials. The four-day conference included an array of workshops and breakout sessions designed specifically for county officeholders. Officials met in Switzerland County along with representatives from public agencies and private entities. Conference topics addressed a variety of issues concerning local governments, including: how federal health care reform affects counties, government administration, funding county services, and taking full advantage of road dollars.

The conference concluded Thursday. For more information about AIC or the Annual Conference, please contact Karen Avery at kavery@indianacounties.org

For a high resolution image, visit: http://www.indianacounties.org/egov/images/1380201906_50037.JPG. Pictured: Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal.

For video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFs9_CnViyk.

About the AIC: The Association of Indiana Counties, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 1957 for the betterment of county government. The various functions of the AIC include lobbying the Indiana General Assembly on behalf of counties, serving as liaison among counties, state and federal agencies as well as providing technical assistance and training to county officials and employees.

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2012-2013 Award for Outstanding Leadership as Chairman of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council Board of Directors

IPAC Leadership as Chairman Award

2010 Outstanding Legal Professional – Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA)

Contact: Erik M. Scheub
Director of Media/Public Relations
Phone: (317) 423-0233, ext 17
E-mail: escheub@incasa.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault Announces Outstanding Service Awards, honors local individual for exemplary service

March 23, 2010 Indianapolis, Indiana – There are times when someone in a local community goes above and beyond the call of duty. Each year, the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA) recognizes professionals and volunteers across the state for their efforts to eradicate sexual assault; award recipients were honored last Friday, March 19th at the Indiana State Conference on Sexual Violence.

It’s our pleasure to announce that Chris Gaal, the Monroe County Prosecutor as the Outstanding Legal/Court Professional of the year. Leila Voyles-Wood of Middle Way House nominated Mr. Gaal. Mr. Gaal has a long history of public service in Monroe County. Mr. Gaal served on the Bloomington City Council for five years, and has served as the Monroe County Prosecutor since 2007. Mr. Gaal improved survivor services by hiring a team of victim assistants’ that have experience working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence and created a sex crimes prosecutor position in his office.

“It’s great to honor such a worthy candidate with this award,” said Anita Carpenter, CEO of INCASA. “The dedicated work done by Mr. Gaal shows his commitment to eradicating sexual assault in Monroe County,” added Carpenter.

The two-day conference was held at the Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Topics included Sexual Assault in the Military, HIV and Sexual Assault, Investigation on the College Campus, Internet Safety and Stalking, prison rape, and much more.

For more information regarding the conference, or award winners, please contact Erik with INCASA at (317) 423-0233, ext 17, or by email at escheub@incasa.org.

55 Monument Circle, Ste. 1224 . Indianapolis, IN 46204 . Phone (317) 423-0233 . Fax (317) 423-0237 . www.incasa.org

2010 Leadership in Personal Safety Award – Indiana University Commission on Personal Safety

Personal Safety AwardTerri Guhl, Rebecca Veidlinger and Chris Gaal of the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office accept the 2010 Leadership in Personal Safety Award from the Indiana University Commission on Personal Safety for the “Blame It On The Alcohol” program.

2009 Visionary Leader Award – Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce

Winner of the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Visionary Award:
Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal, for his initiatives on community issues such as truancy, sexual assault, and check deception.
Chamber of Commerce Visionary Leader Award

2009 Educator of the Year Leading Light Award – Franklin Initiative

2009 Educator of the Year Awards
November 12, 2009 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm
Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center

Since 2000, the Franklin Initiative has recognized and supported excellence in education with the annual Educator of the Year Awards ceremony. Each year we recognize the best teachers and programs in accredited schools across Monroe County, including MCCSC and RBBCSC.
2009 AWARDEES

OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARDS: These individuals were selected from a record number of nominees from across Monroe County. In addition to earning a $500 donation for their school from Bloomington-based Solution Tree, they will also receive an all-expenses paid Solution Tree inservice training.
• Peggy Chambers, MCCSC Asst. Superintendent for Human Resources & Personnel
• Lauren Copeland, Social Studies Teacher, BHS North
• Robert Courtney, Social Studies Teacher, Jackson Creek MS
• Sheri Curry, Art Teacher, Clear Creek Elementary
• Amanda Fisher, Language Arts Teacher, Edgewood Junior High
• Kevin Gallagher & Rise Reinier, K-6 Team Teachers, Templeton Elementary
• Diane Hanks, Assistant Principal, Tri-North Middle School
• Cindy Mitchell, Kindergarten/1st Grade Teacher, Edgewood Primary
• Greg Mongold, Math Teacher, BHS North
• Linda Plaford, MCCSC Speech and Language Pathologist
• Lynn Uhls, 5th Grade Teacher, Edgewood Intermediate

LEADING LIGHT AWARDS: For programs that demonstrate outstanding service and dedication with innovative or exemplary programs that enhance our education community:
• Energize – Monroe County YMCA
• Monroe County Truancy Court Initiative
• RBBCSC School Foundation

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: For one individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding commitment to the field of education:
• Dr. Jeannine Butler, MCCSC School Board

Congratulations to all award winners!!!

2008 Outstanding Service Award – Campus-Community Commission on Alcohol

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2008
For More Information, contact:
Chris Gaal, Office of the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney, 349-2670

PROSECUTOR RECEIVES OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD FROM I.U. COMMISSION ON ALCOHOL

Bloomington, IN — The Indiana University Campus-Community Commission on Alcohol presented the Fifth Annual Sharon Stephens Brehm Outstanding Service Award 2008 to Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal. The Brehm Award is bestowed annually upon a person or program that exemplifies best efforts to reduce underage and dangerous drinking on campus and in the community. It is named after Dr. Sharon Brehm, who came to I.U. as Chancellor and is now a Professor of Psychology and President of the American Psychological Association.

Outstanding Service Award Gaal was recognized for promoting several initiatives to prevent the dangers associated with alcohol abuse, including the “Get A Ride!” campaign – a public education project intended to reduce drunk driving. Gaal developed the campaign in collaboration with I.U. Division of Student Affairs, I.U. Department of Applied Health Sciences, Ivy Tech Bloomington, and the City of Bloomington. The original orange logo featured a stylized Bloomington downtown skyline with the slogan “Get a Ride! Call a Cab. Take the Bus. Just Don’t Drink and Drive.” The message was displayed on city and I.U. buses, taxi cabs, on posters throughout campus and the community, and repeated on several radio and television public service announcements.

According to data from the Core Survey, a scientific poll administered under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, the number of students who self reported “driving a car while under the influence” declined from 39% in 2006 to only 25% in 2008.

“We believe that a decline as significant as this, fourteen percent, reflects a change in student attitudes resulting from the social marketing effect of the Get a Ride! campaign,” said Dee Owens, Director of the I.U. Alcohol and Drug Information Center.

“I’m pleased that the Get a Ride! campaign has had a measurable positive effect,” said Gaal. “It shows how community-based education efforts can promote public safety.”

In addition, Gaal also worked with Bloomington Hospital to create a new expedited procedure for police to obtain blood draws in drunk driving cases, not only reducing the amount of time police must spend in the emergency department waiting room, but assisting in the conviction of drunk drivers.

In response to seeing a number of cases involving students with dangerously high blood alcohol levels, the Prosecutor’s Office also began requiring more intensive alcohol education and treatment as a condition of the pretrial diversion program in those cases.

Gaal hopes to continue further collaborations with the university and community groups to address the link between alcohol and sexual assault through a future public education campaign.

2003 Award for Distinguished Leadership by an Elected Official, Indiana Planning Association

Indiana Planning Association Award

Trainings:

National College of District Attorneys:
Trial Advocacy Training

National District Attorneys Association:
Executive Program Course
Career Prosecutor Course
Evidence for Prosecutors
Homicide
Successful Trial Strategies
The Digital Prosecutor
Prosecuting Sexual Assault & Related Crimes

Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council:
Lethal Weapon: OWI Homicide
Toxicology for Prosecutors
Prosecuting the Drugged Driver
Standardized Field Sobriety Testing for Prosecutors

Indiana Trial Advocacy College, 1999.

Organizations:

Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC)
Board Chair (2012)
Vice Chair (2011)
Board Member (2010)
Elder, Delinquency, Domestic Violence, and Sex Crimes Committee

Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools, Board Member.

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Franklin Initiative, Advisory Board Member.

Monroe County Community Corrections Advisory Board.

Monroe County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Regional Service Council, Department of Child Services.

Bloomington City Council, At Large Representative 2004-2006, District VI 2000-2003. President 2002-2003, Vice President 2001.

Miller & Gaal, Attorneys at Law, 1998-2006.

Kelley School of Business, Instructor in Business Law, 2004.

Bloomington Plan Commission, 2001, 2005, 2006.

WFHB Bloomington Community Radio, Board of Directors 2001-2003.

Monroe County Solid Waste District, Board of Directors, 2000.

Bloomington Environmental Resources Advisory Committee 2000-2006.

Jack Hopkins Social Services Funding Committee, 2002-2006.

Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, 2002-2003.

Education:

Graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington.
Bachelor of the Arts, Indiana University, Bloomington.