Queens district attorney establishes new intelligence unit to improve public safety

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz creates a new intelligence unit to improve public safety. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the creation of a new Crime Strategies and Intelligence Unit to improve public safety by focusing prosecutorial resources on proactively reducing and preventing criminal activity, particularly violent criminal activities and gun trafficking.

Katz appointed Shanon LaCorte as the unit’s director.

By analyzing data and intelligence from law enforcement and community partners, CSIU can inform prosecutorial decisions such as alternative sentencing, and can more effectively focus law enforcement resources on drivers of violent crime to improve public safety.

“The creation of our Crime Strategies and Intelligence Unit keeps us on the cutting edge of modern prosecution in Queens Count,” Katz said. “This unit will enhance the way we use analytic tools and data science to identify crime trends and opportunities to reduce violent crime by rooting out those individuals most responsible for driving these offenses. At the same time, we can ensure that appropriate, nonviolent offenders are afforded opportunities for interventions and/or rehabilitative services.”

The unit will also provide assistance to individual prosecutions and investigations by supplying context, evidence and actionable intelligence across all divisions within the district attorney’s office. Prior to leading the CSIU, Assistant District Attorney LaCorte was Special Counsel at the New York State Attorney General’s Statewide Organized Crime Task Force.

LaCorte previously served in the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau.