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Community Engagement

It is of great importance to the District Attorney that this office fosters and maintains positive relationships with the communities it serves. Natalie Lesh, Chief of Community Engagement, serves as the primary liaison between the District Attorney's Office and the residents of Erie County. Special Assistant Lesh is responsible for attending block club meetings and other community engagement forums to answer questions and gather information on constituent concerns.

Volunteer Opportunities

We strive to both serve and connect with our community. Special Assistant Lesh coordinates volunteer opportunities for the office, including organizing school supply drives, serving hot meals to those in-need during the holidays, and participating in neighborhood clean-ups and beautification projects at municipal housing complexes, etc. 

School Outreach

The School Critical Incident Initiative, established in February 2018, assigns an Assistant District Attorney to each public school district in Erie County to ensure a fast, comprehensive investigative response to any circumstance that presents a threat to students, staff or school property.

As part of our efforts to educate our youth and prevent crime, the DA's Office provides presentations for students on various issues impacting schools such as cyberbullying, threats, driving while intoxicated, and gun violence. The program is open to any school located within Erie County. To request that a prosecutor speak with students on a criminal justice-related issue, please contact Natalie Lesh.

Crime Prevention & Restorative Justice 

Our office seeks to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies, public officials, community-based organizations and community members to address issues impacting residents in our communities and enhance public safety. We are focused on creating innovative community justice programs to prevent crime and reduce recidivism. 

The Erie County DA's Office has collaborated with law enforcement agencies and several community organizations on these projects, including: the Restorative Justice Youth Pilot Program, a three-part series for eligible youth involved in the criminal justice system, and the Gun Violence Prevention Panel an open discussion with panelists from a variety of backgrounds who share their experiences in an effort to deter young people from engaging in criminal behavior.

Other Community Prosecution Programs

High-Risk Youth Team Intervention Program

Community Dispute Resolution Program