District Attorney Vance Announces Opening of New Washington Heights Office


March 19, 2015

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEW WASHINGTON HEIGHTS OFFICE 
Pictured: ADA Mayerling Rivera, Co-Director of the Immigrant Affairs Unit; Executive ADA Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau; Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.; Joselinne Minaya, Director of the Washington Heights Office; New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez; and Dr. Rafael A. Lantigua. 

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the grand opening of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Washington Heights Office, which will provide a convenient location for Northern Manhattan residents to speak with staff from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Located at 530 West 166th Street, Suite 600A, the Washington Heights Office will be a vital link between community residents and the District Attorney’s Office, better enabling prosecutors to serve local residents.

“Washington Heights is home to the some of the finest parks, museums and cultural institutions in the entire country – and now, it is home to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” said District Attorney Vance. “Our new Washington Heights Office will enable us to better serve the needs of Northern Manhattan residents and enhance public safety in the immediate area. With our West 166th Street location, members of the public will no longer have to travel downtown to report a crime or access vital services, saving time and money. On-site Spanish speakers and translation services ensure that we are able to serve all who reach out to us. Regardless of where you come from, what language you speak, or your immigration status, you are welcome here.” 

The Washington Heights Office joins the Harlem Office as satellites of the District Attorney’s Office dedicated to offering direct assistance to members of Northern Manhattan communities. Members of the public are encouraged to come to the Washington Heights Office regardless of their immigration status or language needs – on-site Spanish language services and additional translation services will be available. The Community Partnerships, Domestic Violence, Immigrant Affairs, and Witness Aid Services Units will each staff the Washington Heights Office on a rotating, weekly basis, serving residents by: 

Community Partnerships Unit

  • Building and sustaining partnerships with the community to prevent crime and enhance public safety;
  • Working with the community, schools, and law enforcement to address crime concerns;
  • Scheduling presentations about the criminal justice system and public safety issues; and,
  • Coordinating the High School Summer Internship Program, Saturday Night Lights Program, and Reentry Forums.

Domestic Violent Unit

  • Investigating and prosecuting crimes against family members and intimate partners;
  • Assisting victims by working with advocates and counselors through a multidisciplinary approach; and, 
  • Collaborating with the community through outreach, education, and training. 

Immigrant Affairs Unit

  • Receiving complaints that deal with criminal acts by notarios and fake attorneys, as well as employment and housing scams; 
  • Investigating and prosecuting financial fraud committed against immigrants; and, 
  • Educating the community about fraud to help residents avoid exploitation. 

Witness Aid Services Unit (WASU)

  • Meeting with victims, witnesses, and their families to assess their social services, emotional, and safety needs; 
  • Offering crisis intervention and individual counseling; 
  • Advocating for victims and referring them to organizations and screenings for government benefits; and, 
  • Providing victims with case information and answering questions about the criminal justice process. 

Joselinne Minaya will serve as the Director of the Washington Heights Office. Members of the public looking for more information about the Office, or whom would like to schedule an appointment, are encouraged to call (212) 335-3320.