Anti-crime Advocates Call for Tips in Hempstead Stabbings

The Law Enforcement Alliance held a press conference in Hempstead on Monday. From left:
The Law Enforcement Alliance held a press conference in Hempstead on Monday. From left: Valerie McFadden, a Uniondale school worker, retired NYPD inspector Corey Pegues, retired NYPD detective Dennis Jones and civic leader Reggie Lucas.

A newly formed anti-crime advocacy group is urging anyone with information to help Nassau County police find the suspect who stabbed two people over the weekend in Hempstead, one of them fatally.

The Law Enforcement Alliance, a two-month-old collaboration between local civic leaders and former NYPD investigators who live in the village, issued the latest in a series of calls for tips Monday on Lawson Street, where the stabbings occurred.

“We want to bridge the gap between the community and the police,” Corey Pegues, a recently retired city police inspector who lives near the crime scene, told reporters Monday. “There’s just not enough police…they can’t be everywhere.”

Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation into the Sunday morning stabbings that left a man dead and an 18-year-old woman hospitalized in critical condition. Neither victims’ name was released, nor have police announced any arrests in the case.

The alliance, which also called for tips in the recent murder of a Hempstead teenager and the Valley Stream rape cases, is teaming up with clergy, schools and like-minded groups to form crisis response teams designed to help victims through the aftermath of such crimes.

“The neighborhoods don’t take care of each other the way they used to,” said Valerie McFadden, a Uniondale school worker. “We need to work together. Everyone plays a role.”

Dennis Jones, a retired NYPD detective and co-founder of the alliance, acknowledged that the group is facing an uphill battle as they also plan an online campaign to combat the “stop snitching” mentality that stymies police investigations by discouraging witnesses from coming forward.

“We’re not blind to the fact that people in these communities don’t want to talk to the police,” he said. “Now it’s time to make sure that we fix this place.”

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