Montesano Holds Safe Kids-Safe Streets Anti-Drug Forum

April 15, 2011

Pictured, left to right, the Honorable Anna Anzalone (Drug Treatment Court), Assemblyman Michael Montesano, Teri Corrigan, Esq. (Nassau County District Attorney’s Office), Dr. James Dolan Jr.(Director of Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities), and Dr. Joseph Avella (Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office).

Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) on Thursday held his first anti-drug forum at the Hicksville Community Center to raise awareness and promote cooperation between law enforcement, the district attorney’s office and the community.

“Nassau County suffers with a horrible drug problem that is having a detrimental effect on our youth,” said Montesano. “As a former police officer and detective, I am all too familiar with the detrimental influence drugs can have on individuals and communities. I believe it is important to hold events like this that bring together different parts of the community to discuss the problem.”

The event brought together community members, police officers, and legal and health experts to discuss drugs and its effects on the area.

“The District Attorney’s office and I believe it is important to take part in events in the community that promote awareness about drugs and drug-related violence. We welcome opportunities to work with elected officials like Assemblyman Montesano to deal with the issues facing Nassau County residents,” said Teri Corrigan, chief of the Street Narcotics and Gang Bureau and a member of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

A panel made up of representatives from the Nassau County Police Department, the district attorney’s office, the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities, and Drug Treatment Court spoke on various topics relating to the drug epidemic in the region. They discussed in length drug use among youth, the prevalence of heroin and the dangers it presents, as well as drug-related violence.

Members of the community brought to light many of their concerns and the challenges they face with the region’s drug problem. They were particularly worried about drug abuse among young people as well as the increased prevalence of more dangerous drugs such as heroin.

“I am glad that community members were able to share their concerns with law enforcement representatives. This exchange is positive and will only help to better serve and protect the people of Nassau County,” said Montesano. “One woman brought her son, and if this event convinced him to lead a life free of drugs, than it served its purpose. I cannot stress enough the dangers drugs pose to individuals and communities, and it is my hope that, by increasing awareness and cooperation, we may be able to combat the problem. Thank you to all that made this event possible.”