Sen. Foley Kicks-Off Major Anti-Gun/Gang Initiative
Foley is joined by community activists, clergy, and law enforcement officials in unveiling “Operation SNUG” in Central Islip
State Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) was joined by community activists, clergy, and law enforcement officials in unveiling a major initiative that will take on illegal guns and gang violence in Suffolk County and throughout the state. “Operation SNUG” is an innovative approach to eliminating gangs and gun violence that uses techniques that have already proven successful in other parts of the country. As part of this year’s budget, the State Senate appropriated $4 million towards this effort; a major investment that finally places real resources towards ending violence and uplifting our communities.
“There is no place in our communities for illegal guns and gang violence,” said Foley. “By putting real resources towards innovative initiatives that take on the culture of gangs and guns, we are safeguarding neighborhoods and saving precious lives.”
Through outreach, prevention and intervention techniques, Operation SNUG will pay specific attention to ways in which we can keep young New Yorkers age 14 to 25 out of gang life and away from illegal guns. Funding will be distributed throughout communities through a competitive grants process that qualified community-based organizations with after-school programs.
“Gun violence affects us all: white or black, rich or poor. Illegal guns terrorize neighborhoods and tear apart families. For too long, the deadly specter of illegal guns has gone unchecked. In cities across the state, our children are dying at the hands of gun violence, but through our commitment to SNUG and the efforts of my Senate colleagues like Sen. Brian X. Foley, we can put a stop to that deadly trend now and return our streets to their rightful owners, the people of New York,” said Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith.
Operation SNUG will work with young people in a highly targeted way that focuses on communities particularly affected by the scourge of gun violence and gangs. In Suffolk County, communities like Central Islip, Brentwood, and others impacted by gun violence will be the focus of these efforts and will benefit from the funding associated with the program.
SNUG stands for:
S: Street intervention and stopping the violence
• violence interrupters and outreach to high-risk youth
• support for and coordination with police and law enforcement
• clearly communicating community values against shootings and violence
• engaging schools and educators as part of the solution
N: National, state and local funding support
• funding for all alternatives
• legislation to help implement solutions
• public and private support for intervention and prevention as part of the response
U: Use of celebrities and centers
• development of a comprehensive public relations effort, including celebrity PSAs and materials
• reopening and revitalization of existing community centers, creation of new bunkers and community “safe haven” storefronts for youth
G: Gangs, guns, gainful employment
• real-world gang awareness and prevention initiatives
• new efforts to stop the spread of illegal guns, including new law enforcement efforts targeting “middlemen” and gun-running
• connections to employment and economic alternatives
“I am proud to work with Senator Foley on this critically important issue,” said Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D – Central Islip). “Together, we will stand up to illegal guns and gang violence and work tirelessly to take back our neighborhood and protect our communities.”
Sen. Foley engaged in a spirited discussion with audience members representing a broad cross-section of Suffolk County advocates. In addition to Foley, who hosted the event a the Touro Law Center in Central Islip, the keynote panel included Touro Law Center Dean Lawrence Raful; Co-Chair of Operation SNUG Charles Fisher; Pastor Angel Falcon of the Faith Alive Ministries; Inspector Patrick Cuff from Suffolk County Police Dept.; and Donna Jones, Superintendent of the Brentwood School District.
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