County Officials Addressed Gang Violence at Community Meeting in Central Islip

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Image courtesy of Peter Vesey

At a community meeting on Tuesday, April 18th at Knights of Columbus Hall in Central Islip, Suffolk County Police Chief Timothy Sini appealed to the crowd of over 300 people for information that will lead to the apprehension of the perpetrators of the murder of four immigrant boys last week. In an emotional plea, Sini said, “I guarantee you that there is somebody in this room who has information on these murders.” He promised that “we will do anything that you need to help you come forward.”

Sini, who has been at the forefront of Suffolk’s efforts to eliminate gang-related violence in the Brentwood and Central Islip area, said that the police would protect witnesses who gave information against the killers, including offering them police protection and even witness relocation if necessary. Sini also promised to assist undocumented immigrants who provided evidence with obtaining legal status. The immigration laws allow witnesses who cooperate with the police to obtain temporary status through the U-Visa, which can later be used to become a permanent resident.

Although the full motives of the killer or killers are not known, this crime is believed to have been committed by MS-13. “Our goal is to solve these murders as quickly as possible and to eradicate this gang,” Sini said.

The packed room also heard from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Legislator Monica Martinez, and other elected officials, including Congressman Peter King who said he would hold a hearing in the area on the violent gang. King told the audience that the streets had to be made safe again and MS-13 driven out, adding King said, “I’ve been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security [and] with the FBI, and they assured me they are giving full cooperation with the commissioner.”

Sini said that people who are afraid to come forward on their own may want to speak to their priest or minister or to someone from a local community group. He said that arrests in the past were made based on tips from the community and that ending the violence in the area is dependent on people coming forward with information.

Chief Sini said that anyone who provided evidence leading to the arrest of the murderers of the four young men is eligible for a $25,000 reward as well. Those who want to provide information anonymously can do so the following ways:

By Telephone: Dial 1-800-220-TIPS to anonymously submit tips.

By Text Message: Text tips anonymously by texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637).

By Email: Visit www.tipsubmit.com for anonymous tip submissions.

Even those who give information anonymously may still be eligible for the reward.


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