Town Board set to restore anti-bias task force

03/18/2015 2:00 PM |
After several attacks in the downtown Riverhead area this year — most of which have targeted Hispanic males — the town will revive its dormant Anti-Bias Task Force, a group 'meant to be a proactive agency in promoting tolerance and understanding.' (Credit: Carrie Miller)

After several attacks in the downtown Riverhead area last year — most of which have targeted Hispanic males — the town will revive its dormant Anti-Bias Task Force. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

The Riverhead Town Board is expected to officially restore Riverhead’s anti-bias task force at tonight’s meeting.

The task force was created in 1998, but had become dormant in recent years. Officials sought to re-establish it last year in the wake of a series of violent attacks on Hispanics in Riverhead. 

The reconstituted task force is led by chair Bonnie Lassandro of Baiting Hollow and vice chair Noreen LeCann of Riverhead and has 18 members, including Police Chief David Hegermiller and Councilman John Dunleavy, who are ex-officio members. It will meet every third Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

The task force’s purpose is to assist the town in identifying issues related to prejudice or bias and advise it on ways to combat bias, according to officials. Ms. Lassandro said the group plans to partner with the Riverhead schools as well.

“If we can get to our children, that’s the first step in trying to eradicate racism and discrimination and bias,” she told the Town Board at Thursday’s work session.

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