The FBI Meets with Congressman Steve Israel and Suffolk County Community Leaders to Discuss an Increase of Gang Activity on Long Island
|FBI New York April 09, 2010|
This evening, Congressman Steve Israel provided opening remarks and an introduction of the FBI’s New York Office Special Agent in Charge (SAC) George C. Venizelos for a meeting between Suffolk County community leaders, legislators, council members, and local law enforcement officials. Suffolk County Police Chief Robert Moore was also present for the meeting, which was followed by an informative question and answer session. The group met to discuss the increasing problem of gang violence in Suffolk County, Long Island and the efforts of all partners involved in mitigating these threats.
The FBI views gang violence, in addition to all other major crime problems, as a barrier to both our communities and our national security. SAC Venizelos addressed the rising violent street gang problem throughout Long Island and the increased levels of violent crime just this year alone, in addition to the future plans of the FBI’s New York Office and our partners to deal with these issues. After briefly outlining an operational plan, SAC Venizelos discussed the importance of the FBI’s community outreach activities. These activities, in conjunction with local police, government components, and school districts, have been designed to show teenagers and young adults who are thinking about joining a gang the opportunities available to them if they take a different route and the consequences that will await them should they decide to enter into life as a gang member. SAC Venizelos said, “We come together this evening with a common purpose and a mutual concern for the well-being of our youth, our society, and the strength of our communities. The FBI has worked extensively with our partners from the Suffolk County Police Department, local officials, and community leaders to address the rise in violent gang activity throughout Long Island. Cooperation with our local law enforcement partners will be sustained as we continue to provide additional resources and support to this growing problem.”
Congressman Israel added, “It’s going to take a united front between our law enforcement and our community leaders to put a stop to the gang violence that’s hitting Long Island communities. I’m grateful to the FBI for their commitment to this effort. I look forward to continued cooperation with all of our law enforcement partners as we persist in our efforts to prevent violent crime and protect the Long Islanders.”
In March of this year, in a coordinated law enforcement operation, the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and Suffolk County Police Department Special Operations Team arrested eight suspected Latin King Gang members in Huntington Station and Deer Park, New York on various federal charges. Two additional subjects were already being held on state charges. The task force consisted of the FBI, Suffolk and Nassau Police Departments, as well as the Hempstead Village Police, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Parole. This investigation was also worked in conjunction with the Suffolk County District Attorney. Close to a dozen arrests have also been made recently in Nassau County.
To find out more on the threats posed by gangs and how you can help spot and prevent gang activity, please visit our website at http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/ngic/violent_gangs.htm.
*****Sign up for FBI e-mail alerts at www.fbi.gov by clicking on the red envelopes.*****
Follow the FBI on Twitter@ FBIPressOffice