Hate Crimes Portal for Law Enforcement Launched
Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah and Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced that a law enforcement portal for the reporting of hate crimes and bias incidents in Westchester County is now live and operating.
Developed by the District Attorney’s Office, the County Executive’s Office, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety and the Westchester County Department of Information Technology over the last year, with support from law enforcement leaders like the Westchester County Police Chiefs Association, the online portal will allow for swifter, more comprehensive and proactive investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes and bias cases.
DA Rocah said: “Law enforcement cannot tackle hate, bias and extremism if we don’t know about it. Utilizing technology, we can now access data for hate crimes and bias incidents across Westchester, conveniently consolidated in one place. Not only can this assist in our prosecutions, it will enhance our collaboration with police.”
County Executive Latimer said: “I commend our Department of Public Safety and our Department of Information Technology for working together with the DA’s Office to create a system for reporting that is accurate, effective and inclusive. Fighting hate cannot be done by one entity, it needs collaboration and I am confident that with the right people at the table this portal will be a powerful tool to stop hate from spreading in Westchester.”
Westchester County Human Rights Commission Executive Director Tejash Sanchala said: “Westchester County continues to proactively fight back against hate and extremism in all its forms. Centralizing reports of hate crimes and bias incidents will enable us to track patterns and trends and focus our energies on areas of emerging need. The Human Rights Commission encourages reporting by anyone who has experiences or witnessed an incident of hate or bias.”
To date, nearly 80 percent of local and state law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in Westchester County have registered for the portal. Eastchester, Harrison, Larchmont, Village of Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Pelham Manor, Village of Pelham are among the local police departments.
The portal’s launch supports the robust efforts by DA Rocah to adequately address hate crimes in Westchester County. She installed a Senior ADA and hate crimes analyst as part of the DA’s Office Hate Crimes Unit, and implemented year-round legal trainings for law enforcement and “upstander” presentations in schools and the community with local government partners.
Agencies can contact the Westchester County Department of Public Safety to set up registration for the portal.
Anyone who may be a victim or witness to a hate crime or bias incident is encouraged to report it to their local police department. The public can also file a complaint or send in tips to the DA’s Office at (914)955-TIPS (8477); language assistance is available in Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, French and Haitian Creole.