Johnson And Sweeney Secure $200,000 To Fight Gangs

Owen H. Johnson

January 26, 2006

State Senator Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District, Babylon) and State Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney (11th Assembly District, Lindenhurst) announced at a press conference held at the Wyandanch Youth Center that they have secured an additional $200,000 in funding through the New York State Budget for the Suffolk County Police’s 1st Precinct’s Gang Task Force. The funding comes from the State Division of Criminal Justice Services via federal pass-through money from the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, formerly known as the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program.

This new round of funding will enable the 1st Precinct’s Gang Task Force to continue their highly effective efforts in combating gang activity throughout the Town of Babylon. From December 1, 2003 through August 31, 2005, the Johnson/ Sweeney funding of the 1st Precinct's Gang Task Force produced very impressive results.

Highlights include:

  • 1,227 criminals arrested
  • Illegal firearms seized
  • Joint operations conducted with the FBI, US Marshall’s Service and Suffolk County DA
  • Targeted criminal activity: gang violence, drugs, prostitution, robberies and illegal gun violations
  • Increased gang awareness in schools and community
  • Gang graffiti identified, photographed and removed

Senator Johnson said, "Tougher laws, stronger enforcement and early intervention are the best ways to fight gangs; this funding will help make sure we win this fight by putting more cops on the street."

Assemblyman Sweeney said, "We must do everything we can to stop kids from falling into the trap of gang violence. The funding that we are providing will help to defeat street gangs by promoting strict penalties, smart police work and vigorous prosecutions."

Supervisor Steve Bellone said, "I applaud the efforts of Senator Johnson, Assemblyman Sweeney, the 1st precinct and the Town of Babylon’s Anti Gang Task Force. I believe that it is necessary that we have all entities working together for the betterment of our communities. We will not tolerate gang activity in our Town and it is through education, police action, and intervention that we can rid our communities of gang activity."

The Johnson/Sweeney funding represents the second round of funding they’ve secured for the First Precinct’s Anti-Gang efforts.