Majority Aims To Dramatically Reduce Gang Violence
Anti-gang legislation establishes gang suppression, assessment,
intervention and prevention program
The Senate Democratic Majority, in an effort led by Senator Brian X. Foley, passed legislation (S8308) to address the gang related problems faced by communities across the state. The bill creates a coordinated law enforcement response through the state police to curb gang related criminal activities.
Gangs pose serious threats to the safety of communities and the proper development of area youth. This bill requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to establish a gang assessment, intervention, prevention and suppression program to assist the many communities that are overwhelmed by gang violence and criminality.
"In the last few years Long Island, and my senate district in particular, has seen an increase in gang violence," said Senator Foley (D-Blue Point). "We must do everything we can to protect our communities and our residents from these groups that seek to destroy our neighborhoods. Over the last few months, federal law enforcement agencies have had some success on cracking down on gang activities in Suffolk County. The program that this legislation creates will provide communities with greater support for combating the gang problems they are facing."
“Gang violence is a very real and serious issue in our state,” Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson said. “As we continue working toward prevention and suppression of gang violence, it is important to provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to protect innocent people. I am proud to support this legislation as it provides at-risk communities with much needed support.”
“When it comes to gang activity law enforcement officers and prosecutors need to be empowered to take back our streets,” said Senator Antoine Thompson (D-Parts of Erie and Niagara Counties). “Gang violence is on the rise, but this piece of legislation is a pro-active approach to keeping our communities safe.”
The gang assessment, intervention, prevention and suppression program will:
- Allow the New York State Police Superintendent to work with local and federal law enforcement to develop a plan to suppress gang activity and create a centralized location where information relating to gangs operating in the state will be kept; and
- Authorize the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Commissioner to award grants to district attorneys to help stop gang activity.
In a display of their dedication to ensuring a safer and more successful future for the youth of the State, this legislation comes on the heels of several pieces of legislation passed by the Majority earlier in the week aimed to enact real reforms to New York’s Juvenile Justice system.
This legislation has also passed the Assembly and awaits action from the Governor.