COTA’s goal is to change the culture of communities where drug dealing, gang violence and prison sentences are common problems.
Amityville, NY - May 16, 2018 - Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory was on hand to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Council of Thought and Action and honor the organization’s founder on Thursday, May 10 at Farmingdale State College.
The Council of Thought and Action (COTA) is a grass-roots movement developed by Suffolk County Deputy Police Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis in 2008 while she was working as an Assistant District Attorney for Nassau County.
The organization’s goal is to change the culture of communities where drug dealing, gang violence and prison sentences are common problems.
COTA serves as a resource for communities that are economically or socially repressed and works to change the mindset of residents through council meetings where members can discuss the week’s events, share ideas and evaluate what needs to change. Since its inception, over 1,000 Long Island residents have come to COTA to connect with resources and improve their communities.
COTA helps the formerly incarcerated, presently charged, and at-risk move their lives forward in a positive manner, and accomplishes this mission by connecting its members to a network of resources and service providers in areas including: anger management, chemical dependency, employment, education, housing, mentoring, and mental health services, as well as helping to develop social, parenting, and vocational skills.
“On behalf of the residents of Suffolk County, I would like to thank our Deputy Police Commissioner, Risco Mention-Lewis, for her tireless work helping to build strong relationships between communities, former offenders and law enforcement,” said Presiding Officer Gregory. “The COTA program has shown strong results, and I look forward to seeing it grow under the guidance of Deputy Commissioner Mention-Lewis in the coming years.”