LAWRENCEVILLE -- Stan Hall, a fixture in the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office for more than three decades, is retiring at the end of the year.
Hall has served as the director of the DA office's victim witness program since 1998, a role District Attorney Danny Porter said Hall excelled in.
"He really was kind of reluctant at the beginning because he was a cop at heart," Porter said. "But once he took the job, he's really done amazing things with our victims program. He's really taken it places that I never envisioned that it would go."
Originally a patrol officer, Hall joined the DA's office in 1987 as an investigator helping prosecute child abuse cases. There were a few other stops along the way, but Hall ultimately took the reins of the victim witness program, at the time a fairly unique concept that gave victims of violent crime a voice.
Prior to its existence -- it's believed Gwinnett's was just the second ever in Georgia -- the family and friends of those killed by crime were kept out of the loop, and largely unaware of the prosecution of suspects "until they read it in a newspaper one day."
"It does something that had never been done before in law enforcement," Hall said, "in that it literally gives crime victims a voice in the system."
Hall is leaving the program to pursue and opportunity with the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau. He said he'll primarily be working to help bring more "major sports events" to the county. It's a far cry from what the rest of his life's work, but, then again, that's exactly what Hall said he wanted.
"I wanted to do something absolutely and totally different," Hall said. "If I was going to stay in (law enforcement), I would never leave this office."
Porter said Hall would be succeeded by Candace Pitman, a supervising victim advocate in the victim witness program and Hall's long-time "second in command."
"Working with (Hall) had been tremendous," Porter said. "I know this is a great opportunity for him, but it's going to be different around here."