NY Police Called For Backup In Gang-Plagued Hempstead

New York State police
New York State police

New York State and local law enforcement agencies are joining forces in a new effort to combat a spate of recent gang violence in the Village of Hempstead, where multiple village police commanders were recently arrested.

State police will patrol the village, send technical resources to help village police, and the state will assign a full-time investigator to the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force. Authorities also will form a new task force targeting gangs in the area and increase scrutiny on parolees who are known gang members.

“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,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. 

This isn’t the first time state police have been called in to help local police patrol gang-plagued neighborhoods on Long Island. They started doing the same in Brentwood and Central Islip in 2017 after a string of high-profile MS-13 murders there.

“Families in the Village of Hempstead deserve a safe neighborhood to raise their children in,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who asked Cuomo for help with Hempstead. 

In addition to patrols, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is sending technical advisors to Hempstead police to assess their needs for License Plate Readers, video cameras, social media analysis, and training. DCJS, Nassau County, and Hempstead village authorities will also form a task force to create longer-term goals to combat gang violence in the village.

That’s in addition to the FBI’s task force, which the state will assign a full-time investigator to from its Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Office of Special Investigations (DOCCS) to enhance gang enforcement activities in the community. DOCCS will also establish specialized gang caseloads for individuals with known gang affiliations on LI who will be placed under intensive supervision.

“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,” said Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan.