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District Attorney

Community Prosecution Program

     District Attorney Hoovler has committed himself and the District Attorney’s Office to a program of community prosecution, to open lines of communication between the Office and the public. Through better communication, the District Attorney hopes to learn more about problems of crime in Orange County’s communities, and also about how the Office and communities might work together to try to solve those problems. Information flows in a circle between community, police, and prosecutor. Community prosecution is a strategy recommended by the National District Attorneys Association, specifically for dealing with gangs.

    The community prosecution program involves reaching out to municipal boards, police departments, school districts, anti-drug coalitions, and other community groups, and seeking input about crime issues and solutions to those issues. The approach is proactive, getting out ahead of the causes of crime, to remedy those causes before crime occurs.

    The District Attorney and representatives of his Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau annually participate in over 200 meetings and events with community leaders and groups, to solicit input into community prosecution strategies. Events include appearances at the annual National Night Out and several county-wide heroin forums that the District Attorney has sponsored.

     Community Advisory Board: District Attorney Hoovler established the Community Advisory Board (CAB) after his election in November 2013 and before taking office at the end of the year. The CAB is made up of community leaders and representatives who provide the District Attorney with advice on how a community prosecution program might work in Orange County. The CAB is made up of the following:           

KellyAnn Kostyal-Larrier   Safe Homes of Orange County
Chief Arnold Amthor   Town of Montgomery Police Department
Chief Dominick Blasko   Town of Crawford Police Department
Patricia Bodnar   Orange County Resident
Leah Canton   Orange County Assistant District Attorney
Sgt. Keith Conroy   Orange County Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association  
Darlene De Jesus    Orange County Assistant District Attorney  
Debbie de Jong   Mental Health Association in Orange County 
Timothy Dexter   City of Newburgh Fire Department 
Austin DuBois   Attorney – Blustein, Shapiro, Rich, and Barone
Paul Ernenwein   Attorney – Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider  
Michael Essig    Mid-Hudson Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #188
Tom Faggione    Orange County Legislator
Nick Gessner     Orange County Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association
Maria Gulari    County Director, NHS Human Services  
Christina Hale     Orange County STOP-DWI
Chief Robert Hertman   Town of Wallkill Police Department 
Allan Markoff    New York Security Systems, Inc.  
Michele McKeon   Nora Cronin Presentation Academy  
Benjamin Ostrer   Orange County Attorney at Law 
Harry Porr    Orange County Executive’s Office  
Michael Quinn    New York State Police 
Lisa Randazzo   Center for Developmental Disabilities
Stewart Rosenwasser    Orange County Attorney at Law 
Jason Sautter    Orange County Attorney at Law  
Kathy Somerville     Rape Crisis Advocate, Mental Health Orange County 
Scott Wilkinson   Orange County Resident
Chief William Worden   Port Jervis Police Department  
Chris Zaba   New York State Police
     The CAB has created seven regional boards, composed of a cross-section of community representatives in those regions, who discuss issues of crime and crime-prevention strategies in smaller areas of Orange County. Those regional boards meet approximately twice a year to discuss regional crime and prevention issues

      Community Prosecution Initiatives:The Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau administers several community prosecution initiatives:

The SMART Program: The SMART (Strategic Methods Aimed at Reducing Truancy) Program brings the District Attorney into cases involving parents of truant students, when the parents refuse to cooperate with school officials to remedy the causes of their children’s truancy. The District Attorney’s authority is used as further incentive for parents to accept assistance or services to address the child’s truancy. A parent who still refuses to cooperate could be charged with the crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Since the District Attorney began the program in the August 2014, no parent has been charged, and in every case where the District Attorney intervened, or could have intervened, the student has returned to a consistent pattern of school attendance..

Narcotics Eviction Program. In October 2015, the District Attorney inaugurated the Narcotics Eviction Program. The program seeks to remove drug dealers and others running illegal businesses on rental property.

Conviction Integrity Program (CIP). In October 2015, the District Attorney launched the Conviction Integrity Program (CIP), to review cases where a defendant claims to have been wrongfully convicted, or to have been convicted of a crime that was disproportionate to the conduct that the defendant committed. The Counsel to the District Attorney, who is in charge of the Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau, reviews those cases, and where a plausible claim is made, refers the case to a Committee of several members of the District Attorney’s staff, two police chiefs, and two criminal defense lawyers.

It’s On Us Orange County, N.Y.   It’s On Us is a campaign begun by the White House in 2014, to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. The initiative provides students, instructors, and administrators with tools to assist them in recognizing sexual assault as it is happening, and in intervening to prevent it before it occurs. In December 2015, District Attorney Hoovler inaugurated It’s On Us Orange County, N.Y., bringing together representatives of SUNY Orange, Mount Saint Mary College, and the United States Military Academy; the Orange County Rape Crisis Program; Orange County Safe Homes; the Orange County Department of Mental Health; school superintendents; business leaders; and law enforcement. In fact, Orange County was designated by the White House as the first countywide It’s On Us cite in the United States.

The Uncommon Athlete. The Uncommon Athlete is a program developed by Rachel’s Challenge and the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation, to impress on young athletes the values that will help them become adults who can lead and improve their communities – Perseverance, Relationships, Integrity, Courage, and Empathy – values represented in the acronym PRICE. Since March 2016, when District Attorney Hoovler first brought The Uncommon Athlete to Orange County, over 3000 school administrators, athletic directors, coaches, and student athletes have seen the program. The program is part of District Attorney Hoovler’s effort to reduce bullying and hazing in Orange County schools, and he intends to bring the program back to the County periodically.

Immigrant Affairs Initiative. In August 2016, District Attorney Hoovler launched the Immigrant Affairs Initiative, which assists immigrant victims of crime in navigating through the criminal justice system.

      Public Service Campaigns: The District Attorney has sponsored several public service announcement campaigns. Those campaigns have targeted, among other things, illegal drugs, driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, illegal guns, and elder abuse. Two of those campaigns have received international awards for their quality. In addition, the District Attorney established crime-tip hotlines for general crimes and labor-related crimes.