Letter To The Editor From Chad Lupinacci
For over a decade, peace of mind on Long Island has been threatened by increasing concerns about violent crime. In wake of the many gruesome and tragic crimes that have occurred throughout the downstate region, this topic has moved to the forefront of political discussion – and rightly so.
In recent weeks, we have seen the U.S. Attorney General make an emergency visit to Suffolk County to discuss how to better combat area gang violence. We have also heard the President cite Long Island communities like Central Islip as examples of the effects of gang violence on the nation. The current administration is now willing to facilitate this crackdown and work alongside our county police to curb the reprehensible actions of organized criminal organizations that seek to terrorize our communities, intimidate our law enforcement agencies and do harm to our residents.
I applaud the federal government’s intent to help the Suffolk County Police Department crack down on violent crime. Not only will this cooperation benefit the regions most affected by gang violence, but increased enforcement will, in turn, make Long Island and the future of our communities a safer place.
It is time that the State of New York steps up and does its part to protect our families. With this in mind, I have introduced the Criminal Street Gang Abatement Act of 2017, which will provide law enforcement agencies the tools they need to identify crime trends, disrupt gang activity and fight street violence at its source.
This plan includes increasing critical funding for our local school districts to address gang recruitment in school, while offering young people better and safer alternatives to participating in criminal activity.
The New York State Senate has recently passed a similar anti-gang measure which would mandate enhanced sentences for felonies committed during gang activity, form a criminal street gang prevention fund, subsidize non-profits which focus on gang deterrence and create a “gang prevention curriculum” for implementation locally. I am proud that our Senators have led the way, and it is now time for the Assembly to follow suit and take swift action to protect Long Island neighborhoods.
With attention on this matter at an all-time high, we must embrace the solutions at hand to combat crime throughout our region. The government’s principle duty is to protect the people. It is time that the governor and Assembly fulfill this obligation and take immediate action – our safety, peace of mind, and quality of life depend on it.
Chad Lupinacci- NYS Assemblyman