Nassau County, Long Island, NY D.A.'s Office

COTA is a grass-roots movement developed by Suffolk County’s Deputy Police Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis in 2008 while she was working as an assistant District Attorney for Nassau County. It is a response to communities that are economically or socially repressed – often both – and works to change the mindset of residents through council meetings where members can discuss the week’s events and evaluate what needs to change. Mention-Lewis says she hopes COTA becomes a grassroots movement that changes the culture of communities where drug dealing, gang violence and prison sentences are common problems.

Your thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become character and character becomes destiny.