Suffolk County, NY - October 1st, 2013 - In a continuing effort to reduce crime, the Suffolk County Police Department will host a two-day peer exchange workshop to introduce the Council of Thought and Action (COTA) to government agencies from Chicago, New Orleans and Pittsburgh on October 2 and October 3.
COTA, a program first introduced in Nassau County when Suffolk County Police Deputy Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis worked as an Assistant District Attorney, is now being implemented in Suffolk County. The program will be shared with representatives from three major cities experiencing a rise in gang violence.
The initiative is intended to break the cycle of crime and violence by reducing recidivism and providing alternatives to criminal activity and gang membership in communities prone to violence. The National Network for Safe Communities touted the initiative as “an innovation in criminal justice beyond reentry.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber will also be at the workshop to discuss why intervention is important to the police department. The participating agencies are expected to brief Suffolk officials on what programs are working in their communities.
“Officials in cities that are utilizing this violence reduction strategy realize they need more than effective suppression, they also need effective intervention,” said Deputy Commissioner Mention-Lewis.