Suffolk Police Commissioner to Testify at U.S. Senate Hearing on MS-13

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini requested tips in the murder of two teens on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016 (Long Island Press photo)

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini will testify Wednesday at a U.S. Senate hearing on MS-13, the street gang that investigators suspect committed a recent quadruple murder in Central Islip, officials said.

Leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs invited top Sini to discuss the gang at a hearing titled Border Insecurity: The Rise of MS-13 and Other Transnational Criminal Organizations.

“The purpose of the hearing is to examine the presence and activity of gangs and transnational criminal organizations in American communities and the nexus to border security,” the police department said in a news release. “Commissioner Sini has been asked to provide insight on the impact of MS-13 activity in the Suffolk County, NY community, describe the police department’s initiatives in eradicating gangs and make recommendations to the Federal Government on how it can further assist in these efforts.”

Sini is one of three witnesses scheduled to speak at the hearing about trends he’s seen relative to the gang, contributing factors to its rise and challenges in combating them. The other two are Montgomery County Police Department Chief J. Thomas Manger, of Maryland, and Scott Conley, a detective, in the Criminal Investigative Division of the Chelsea Police Department in Massachusetts.

The invitation comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions recently visited Long Island to announce a nationwide crackdown on MS-13. Brentwood and Central Islip, two communities with large populations of Hispanic immigrants that MS-13 targets as recruits and victims, has seen 11 murders since September, with most attributed to gang violence.

Sini, who was confirmed by the county legislature to be police commissioner last February, announced this month his campaign to run as a Democrat for Suffolk County district attorney. Since assuming the title of commissioner, the former federal prosecutor has worked to repair relations with the FBI and other federal agencies—relationships that suffered under the regime of James Burke, the former police chief who is serving prison time for beating an inmate and trying to cover it up.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.