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DA DiFiore Speaks to Somers League of Women Voters

SOMERS, N.Y. – More than 50 members of the Somers League of Women Voters gathered for their annual fall luncheon on Monday, October 10 at Le Fontane Restaurant . The guest speaker was Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore .

“The mission of the district attorney’s office is to deliver justice services to everyone,” said DiFiore. “This includes tax-paying residents, visitors to the county, and even undocumented individuals. It is our responsibility to dispense justice even-handedly.”

DiFiore said the district attorney’s office “is no longer about handcuffs and prison. We do make certain that criminals are held appropriately accountable, but we also try to prevent people from committing crimes. We identify public safety needs, then build initiatives and monitor them for efficiency and effectiveness.”

She cited suspected child and senior abuse as one such example. Assumed victims of child abuse used to be interviewed by five or more agencies before any action was taken, she said. But now, she said, alleged victims are seen by a single individual, who coordinates with the rest of the team.

“The criminal justice system is a harsh place for a victim,” DiFiore said. “We try to relieve the weight a victim sustains by creating minimal stress.”

DiFiore added that the office has bank tellers who watch for telltale signs of financial abuse of the elderly. “We’re very satisfied with this program,” she said. “It has led to a number of investigations.”

The district attorney’s speech was followed by a question and answer period, which in turn was followed by entrees and dessert.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that “concentrates on informing people about current issues,” said its current president, Fran McLoughlin. The Somers chapter has more than 100 members – but the group isn’t made up solely of women. Member George Leib said, “These people are wonderful. They work very hard and accomplish lots and lots of things. It’s not just social. They’re known for their accomplishments.”

The Somers League of Women Voters meets at 9:30 a.m. on the second Monday of every month, except for February, in the Somers Library .

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