The Westchester County District Attorney’s office Community Affairs Unit is an integral part of the Bureau of Strategic Planning and Crime Control Strategies. The Unit serves as a critical communications link between the District Attorney’s Office and the people of Westchester County.
The staff of Community Affairs Unit is augmented by Assistant District Attorneys from every Division in the Office. Each year, Assistant District Attorneys take part in over 450 public speaking events throughout Westchester County.
The majority of the public speaking events are to school audiences.
- The Pro-Law initiative places prosecutors in high schools across the county. As guest lecturers, Assistant District Attorneys work with students on relevant legal issues, including; drugs & alcohol, teen pranks, and search and seizure.
The Unit also runs specialized school programs that are regularly requested by parents, teachers and administrators.
- Among the most popular are Internet Safety presentations. Prosecutors well-versed in cyber crime brief audiences on economic threats, child predators and bullying.
DA representatives regularly speak to coalitions and schools about the dangers of substance abuse by teens and detail preventative and prosecutorial steps the District Attorney’s office takes to combat it.
- Topics addressed include social host laws and parental liabilities, the abuse of prescription drugs and household chemicals, drunk & impaired driving, and binge drinking.
Community Affairs staff also meet regularly with community groups.
- The Senior Crime Busters program, a joint venture with the Department of Consumer Protection, briefs senior citizens on their economic and personal rights, and educates family members and support providers to recognize signs of abuse and neglect.
The District Attorney’s office also provides training and education for various assistance groups within the County.
- A prosecutor works with Student Assistance Services on a yearly basis providing training for their substance abuse counselors.
- Alcohol vendors are invited to training and familiarization sessions on New York State’s Alcohol Beverage Control laws.
- Prior to the start of prom and graduation season, limousine drivers are briefed on their rights and responsibilities.
In addition to direct work with citizens, the Community Affairs Staff meets on a regular basis with governmental partners on a variety of initiatives.
- Prosecutors lecture each basic recruit class at the Westchester County Police Academy.
- Westchester County’s Stop DWI program regularly hosts anti-teen drinking events with a prosecutor present.
- Several local police departments host VIN etching events attended by assistant district attorneys.