Albany- New York State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), a former New York City Police Officer, was joined by his colleagues today in announcing the introduction of legislation, (S. 7929), the Criminal Street Gang Enforcement and Prevention Act, at a news conference held in the State Capitol.
The bill would set forth new penalties and sentencing enhancements for participation in criminal gang activities and would create a fund and require the forfeiture of monies from criminal gang activities to be placed in it. The legislation would also create the Criminal Street Gang Registration Act, modeled on the sex crime offender registration, and allow the Division of Criminal Justice Services to create a Criminal Street Gang Database.
Additionally, the legislation would provide for the transfer of gang kingpins out of state pursuant to the existing interstate compact. The bill would create the Gang Prevention Program in the New York State Education Department which would include in-service training for school personnel, as well allowing for the establishment of a dress code regarding gang-related apparel by school districts.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “As a former New York City Police Officer, I know firsthand that the presence of gangs on the streets of New York have, and continue to, destroy communities, destroy schools, and destroy families. It is time that we create stricter penalties, along with educational programs, so to reduce gang violence across New York State. We must not only work to prevent the formation of gangs, but we should penalize them, track them and educate them, so the dangers they cause on our streets can be eliminated.”
“Gang violence, particularly among our teens, is a growing problem that is making its way into schools, putting students and staff at risk,” said Senator Andrew Lanza (R–Staten Island). “The only way to stop violent, drug dealing gangs from recruiting our children with threats, intimidation and violence is to enact tough laws against them -- which is just what this package of legislation does.”
The legislation, which has been referred to the Senate Codes Committee, also creates the Criminal Street Gang and Violence Prevention Partnership grant program to provide services and activities to prevent or deter at-risk youth from participation in gangs, criminal activity or violent behavior. A new Office of Criminal Street Gangs and Youth Violence at the Department of Criminal Justice Services would also be created if this bill becomes law.
Senator Golden concluded, “The message we are sending to the youth across the Empire State today is that nothing good comes from participation in a criminal street gang. This legislation will go far to change the pattern we have witnessed as it relates to gangs. By addressing the problem of gang violence today, we are enhancing the safety of all cities, counties, towns and villages across New York State.”