Joint State Police-Nassau County Police Patrols in the Village of Hempstead
State, Nassau County and Village of Hempstead Will Form Joint Task Force to Assess Law Enforcement Technology Needs and Provide Technical Training
New State Correction Investigators Join Long Island Gang Task Force
Creation of Specialized Gang Caseloads for Parolees in Long Island
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new efforts and state resources to combat the recent gang violence impacting the Village of Hempstead on Long Island. The plans include a comprehensive, multi-agency effort to reduce gang violence, expand inter-agency collaboration and develop policing strategies to enhance public safety.
"The situation here is not unique but it is unacceptable: it's guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them and it's gang violence," Governor Cuomo said. "Job number one for government is to keep people safe, and the village, county and state are working together as one team to coordinate strategy and resources. In the short term, we are deploying additional State Police personnel to supplement local law enforcement's patrol force, and in the long term the state and county will work with the village to ensure it has the most up-to-date technology and training resources available to tackle this issue in a comprehensive way."
"With the horrific shootings and lives lost across the country, we're committed to ensuring the safety of all New Yorkers," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "These new efforts to combat gang violence in Nassau County – including increased police patrols and the creation of a tech task force – will provide additional resources to help end senseless violence on Long Island that is tragically affecting our communities. We will not tolerate any form of hate or violence in our state, and we stand together in our fight to protect the lives of our children and families."
New York State is providing resources to support the following initiatives:
Joint State Police-Nassau County Police Department Patrols
New York State Police will deploy their Mobile Command Center to direct operations and assistance to the Village of Hempstead with adjusted deployments as needed. The State Police will also increase their patrols to provide two daily patrols with two State Troopers per car to serve both as support for county and local police, as well as a visual deterrent against further criminal activity in Hempstead.
Law Enforcement Technology and Technical Assistance
The Division of Criminal Justice Services has committed to sending technical advisors to the Hempstead Village Police to assess their technological needs with respect to License Plate Readers, video cameras and social media analysis. DCJS will also provide Hempstead Village Police with the most up-to-date technical training to enhance their policing strategies in accordance with evidence-based law enforcement policies and best practices. This technical assistance will include guidance on the most effective utilization and deployment of law enforcement technologies and resources.
Additionally, New York State, Nassau County and the Village of Hempstead, with DCJS, have agreed to form a joint Task Force to create longer-term goals to combat gang violence in the village, which might include community engagement, hot spots policing, investigative strategies, and deployment of technology.
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Office of Special Investigations Membership in Long Island Gang Task Force
DOCCS will formally join the FBI-led Long Island Gang Task Force through its Office of Special Investigations. The Long Island Gang Task Force comprises more than 30 members of federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and helps agencies combine intelligence and other resources to conduct comprehensive investigations into gang activity. OSI will assign a full-time Investigator to serve on the Task Force to enable local law enforcement to access DOCCS' wealth of criminal intelligence, as well as coordinate gang enforcement activities in the community.
Under this partnership, OSI will serve as a liaison between the Task Force partners, Community Supervision offices, DOCCS facilities, DOCCS Crisis Intervention Unit, and other law enforcement agencies. OSI has maintained an active working relationship with the Task Force and has provided assistance for several cases, and this action will further solidify and strengthen the state's collaboration with our local and federal partners.
The situation here is not unique but it is unacceptable: it's guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them and it's gang violence.
Specialized Gang Caseloads for Parolees in Long Island
In an effort to enhance community safety, Governor Cuomo has directed DOCCS to establish specialized gang caseloads for individuals under community supervision with known gang affiliations in Long Island. This will include the establishment of two new gang caseloads in Nassau County for heightened monitoring for gang and firearm activity.
The criteria for a parolee to be placed on a gang caseload would include a history of being an identified gang member, a criminal history of violence or weapons possession, and a review of their adjustment to Community Supervision. Each gang caseload would be comprised of 25 identified gang members to be placed under intensive supervision.
Parolees placed on the gang caseload would be required to abide by a series of special conditions, including but not limited to: not associating with known gang members, abiding by a curfew and travel restrictions, not wearing clothing identifying the individual as a gang member, as well as other restrictions imposed by the parole officer.
Parole officers assigned to gang caseloads will be responsible for closely monitoring the activities of each parolee by engaging in the following activities: conducting frequent curfew checks, conducting regular searches of the parolee's residence, frequently monitoring the movement of parolees placed on GPS monitoring, and conducting surveillance on parolees suspected of engaging in criminal behavior.
Combatting Gang Violence on Long Island
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the total investment committed to comprehensively combat gang activity on Long Island is over $45 million.
Since 2017, the Governor has directed the State Police to deploy resources on Long Island to help combat gang violence, including 25 Troopers to conduct high visibility patrols in Brentwood and Central Islip, as well as undercover operations specifically targeting and saturating neighborhoods known to have high levels of gang activity.
The Governor also created and deployed the Gang Violence Prevention Unit, consisting of 10 State Troopers. The unit will work to identify early warning signs of gang activity and coordinates closely with the Suffolk County Police Department on an "Educate the Educators" program to help teachers and faculty recognize the early warning signs of gang involvement and recruitment and provide training to students on the dangers of street gangs.
Senator Kevin Thomas said, "Our children have a right to grow up in safe neighborhoods, free of violence. I fully support a collaboration between Village, County, and State Police. This solution will provide the additional resources and support needed to crack down on violent crime and keep Hempstead residents safe."
Assembly Member Taylor Darling said, "I welcome New York State sending resources to the Village of Hempstead to deter the rising violence in our community. Additional police presence is a start to combat this issue. But the real solution starts with providing a sound education for our children while providing resources that render more desirable outcomes than joining a gang. We also welcome economic development opportunities to break patterns of poverty and economic insecurity. This is important because where there is poverty there is usually crime. I look forward to partnering with all layers of government to continue working towards a happy, healthy Hempstead."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the residents of the Village of Hempstead. I reached out to the Governor's Office for support and thanks to the decisive leadership of the Governor, we're now deploying the necessary law enforcement resources to restore a sense of calm to the community. Families in the Village of Hempstead deserve a safe neighborhood to raise their children in. Nassau County will continue to work collaboratively with our partners at all levels of government to build on the progress we've made driving major crime to historic lows."
Village of Hempstead Mayor Don Ryan said, "Safety is of paramount concern to the Village of Hempstead, the Hempstead Police Department, and Hempstead residents. We are pleased that the New York State Troopers will be furthering their partnership with the Hempstead Village Police Department in the interests of ensuring the security of our neighborhoods and the safety of our families. We are confident that with our cooperation with Nassau County, New York State, and Federal law enforcement authorities, Hempstead will continue on the track of improved safety for this Village. We are grateful for any additional resources that the State of New York may provide us, whether financially or with patrol cars, and look forward to working side by side with the state's extraordinary law enforcement officers."