(Yaphank, NY-July 25, 2012) Today, County Executive Bellone announced he will nominate Acting Commissioner Edward Webber as the new Police Commissioner of Suffolk County. Bellone also tapped Risco Lewis-Mention, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department.
Acting Commissioner Webber, raised in Brentwood, and a resident of Bay Shore, is a 40 year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department with over forty commendations for exemplary service. He has served a number of roles in the SCPD, including serving as Acting Commissioner since January.
Mention-Lewis, a resident of Wheatley Heights, has served as a Nassau County Assistant District Attorney for the past 19 years and has received numerous awards and accolades for her work first as a prosecutor and most recently for her innovative programs to reduce crime by breaking the cycle of recidivism. Mention-Lewis will be the first woman and first African American to hold the Deputy Commissioner spot in the history of the Suffolk County Police Department.
The nomination of Commissioner Webber emanates from the Police Commissioner Search Committee chaired by Long Island Association President and CEO Kevin Law. The search committee vetted over 75 applicants and interviewed approximately 11 candidates. The committee provided Bellone a handful of candidates to review with Webber being the top choice of the committee members.
“Edward Webber was an outstanding candidate for the position of Police Commissioner due to his diverse background and his particular budgetary expertise,” said Kevin Law,” President and CEO of the Long Island Association. “Webber is the perfect fit at the perfect time to lead the Suffolk County Police Department.”
“Edward Webber is the right person at the right time for this job,” said County Executive Bellone. “Under Commissioner Webber’s leadership morale is up, costs are down and we have begun to implement a number of important initiatives to fight crime. I am confident Commissioner Webber will continue to serve to serve Suffolk County residents with honor and lead the police department in the right direction.”
Working together with Chief of Department James Burke, Acting Commissioner Webber has begun to implement a number of new initiatives, including intelligence led policing which has identified a number of pattern crimes throughout Suffolk County, renewed focus on community policing, decentralizing gang units back to precincts and combating prescription drug abuse. Because of Acting Commissioner Webber’s budgetary expertise, all of this has been accomplished at the same time that police overtime has been reduced by more than $2 million compared to the same period in 2011.
“I would like to thank Kevin Law and his committee for their part in the selection process, and County Executive Steve Bellone for choosing me to be the 12th Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department,” said Acting Commissioner Webber. “It is truly an honor and a privilege. Our police mission will be, as it has always been, to serve and protect all the people of Suffolk County, while enforcing the law with impartiality, respect, and compassion.”
The nomination of Risco Mention-Lewis as Deputy Commissioner compliments the skill sets and initiatives of Webber and Burke. Mention-Lewis has devoted the past 12 years to developing and implementing effective intervention strategies, working with individuals and communities to change lives and dramatically reduce the rate of recidivism.
“The cycle of recidivism is driving crime, undermining communities and costing taxpayers,” said Bellone. “Risco Mention-Lewis has developed groundbreaking programs to break the cycle of recidivism which reduces crime and saves taxpayer dollars. With her leadership, the police will now be leading a comprehensive crime reduction strategy which will incorporate all elements of the government.”
“I am excited about working with the Suffolk County Police Department to reduce the cycle of recidivism,” said Lewis. “The partnership of Webber, Burke and myself will serve as the foundation to reducing crime and addressing the issues that affect recidivism.”
(l-r-SCPD Chief Jim Burke, SCPD Deputy Commissioner Nominee, Risco Mention-Lewis, County Executive Steve Bellone, SCPD Commissioner Nominee Ed Webber, PBA President Noel DiGerolamo, Detectives Association President Bill Plant, Superior Officers Association President Tim Morris)