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Suffolk County Police Department

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Alain Jean mugshot from SCPD

A 23-year-old homeless man was sentenced to 17 years in state prison Feb. 27 for stabbing another homeless man in an abandoned house in Port Jefferson Station last summer, according to a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. Alain Jean pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. He told police he confronted the victim, Joseph Panettiere, 23, because he believed Panettiere was spreading rumors about him. On June 11, 2016, Jean shot the victim four times with a .22 caliber pistol leaving him seriously wounded.

In addition to sentencing the defendant, Judge Timothy Mazzei issued a permanent order of protection for the victim.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, Jean shot the then 22-year-old victim multiple times shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Union Street, which is between Hallock Avenue and Route 25A, and the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Port Jefferson Station.

Panettiere was treated for serious injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital.

File photo

A Rocky Point man was ejected from his vehicle as a result of a crash in Port Jefferson Station Feb. 22 and transported to Stony Brook Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, according to Suffolk County Police. Sixth Squad detectives are investigating the two-vehicle crash.

Brian Carter was driving a 1975 Jeep westbound on Route 347 when he attempted to make a left turn onto Crystal Brook Hollow Road and his vehicle was struck by an eastbound 2009 Chevrolet at about 8:20 p.m.

Carter, 25, of Rocky Point, was ejected from the vehicle and was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The driver of the Chevrolet, Zachary Pisoni, 24, of Medford, was not injured.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

File photo

A motor vehicle crash Feb. 18 in Rocky Point killed a woman from Port Jefferson and seriously injured her husband. Suffolk County Police 7th Squad detectives are still investigating the incident.

Florin Tilinca was driving a 2014 Jeep on Route 25A and was preparing to stop for a red light at the intersection of Fairway Drive at about 12:20 p.m. when a 2015 Subaru traveling in the westbound lane of Route 25A crossed into the eastbound lane and struck the Jeep.

The driver of the Subaru, Lucio Costanzo, 73, of Port Jefferson, was airlifted via Suffolk County Police helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital in serious condition. His wife, Stephanie Costanzo, 73, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was transported to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson where she was pronounced dead. Tilinca and his 16-year-old son were transported to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson with non-life-threatening injuries.

The vehicles were impounded for safety checks. Anyone with information on this crash is asked to call the 7th Squad at 631-852-8752.

 

Police Commissioner Tim Sini and EMS Officer Jason Byron demonstrate how to administer Narcan. Photo by Kevin Redding.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini updated the community last week on the success of the department’s Ugly Truth program, a county-wide initiative designed to curb opioid use through community seminars that educate parents and teens, provide treatment options to help those in need of recovery, and shine a graphic light on what these drugs do to those who take them.

The commissioner and local officials took to West Islip Public Library Jan. 25 to champion the department’s Ugly Truth program.

“It’s very important that we recognize the problem, talk about the problem clearly and intelligently, and that we provide people with the tools necessary to get their lives back on track,” Sini said at the press conference that addressed what’s being done by the police to combat the county’s rising heroin and opiates problem.

Suffolk residents who attend the seminars also learn how to administer Narcan, the life-saving drug that reverses the effects of an overdose and helped save well over 200 lives in 2016.

“It’s very important that we recognize the problem, talk about the problem clearly and intelligently, and that we provide people with the tools necessary to get their lives back on track.”

— Tim Sini

Sini said the epidemic has climbed in the past year, with upwards of 346 fatal opioid-related overdoses in 2016 as opposed to more than 270 fatal opioid-related overdoses in 2015.

“We need to be invested in solving this problem…there’s no silver bullet here, we need to fight it on all fronts: on the law enforcement front, on the prevention front, on the treatment front, and recovery front,” Sini said.

Since the Ugly Truth program launched in March 2015, with an emergency medical services unit and the medical examiner’s office, 41 forums have been held with a total 3,500 participants. Nearly 700 attendees were between the ages 14 and 17; more than 3,000 have been trained to administer Narcan and 2,400 Narcan kits have been distributed.

A segment of the forum, “Operation: Medicine Cabinet,” teaches parents to make sure prescription drugs are properly disposed of to prevent their kids from rummaging through and finding anything that might be harmful. People in recovery who’ve experienced substance abuse disorders are also brought in to talk about how their addiction has affected their lives and those around them, and resources geared toward combatting addiction, including the Suffolk County Substance Abuse Hotline number, are made available.

The Suffolk County Police Department has also partnered with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and other organizations to help overdose victims get treatment.

After an overdose, the department gives the victim’s contact information to LICADD and other organizations, which then reach out to the victim about recovery options. In 2016, SCPD provided LICADD with information on 221 overdose victims; 59 of those victims were successfully contacted, and 26 of them were involved in treatment. According to officials these statistics are improving every year.

“If we don’t get personal, families suffer personally and that’s what the Ugly Truth is about,” SCPD Deputy Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis said. “It’s to be thought of as a personal relationship with members of the bureau, communities, parents and families to say ‘we know you’re suffering, you may not even know what to look for, but we can help you stop this as soon as possible.’”

Officials said nothing hits attendees — especially young ones — harder than when medical examiners and medical experts from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services show slides of some of the devastating physical effects of substance abuse. These graphic images include a side-by-side comparison of a normal heart to a yellowing deteriorated heart and frothing from the mouth and nose as a result of leaky blood vessels in the lung, both caused by opioid use.

“While these pictures are not for shock value, we are trying to scare them [teenagers] a little bit and show them some of the things we actually see in the medical examiner’s office,” Suffolk County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Caplan said. “I also want kids and families to know…it’s not just about the overdose; there are multiple other complications, diseases, and infections that can also be complications of addiction.”

“If we don’t get personal, families suffer personally and that’s what the Ugly Truth is about.”

— Risco Mention-Lewis

Sini and EMS Officer Jason Byron gave a brief demonstration of Narcan training that Ugly Truth program attendees receive. While the commissioner was quick to point out that Narcan doesn’t cure drug addiction and won’t wipe out the epidemic, he said it’s a step in the right direction.

“Each life we save with Narcan is a potential story of recovery,” he said. “It’s to be administered to the overdosing person as quickly as possible so they’re still alive when first responders arrive. If you administer Narcan, you must call 911 once the person is revived.”

Dr. Scott Coyne, chief police surgeon in the SCPD, has been instrumental in implementing Narcan in the department. He said he’s pleased with how successful it’s been so far.

“There’s just a dramatic number of people that are walking around now that would never have been walking around [without Narcan],” Coyne said. “Unfortunately there is a need for this. It’s a two-edged sword. It’s a great program, but it also points out the extent of the problem.”

The commissioner expressed optimism the prevention work of the program has been effective. Even though the county saw a record amount of deaths brought on by opioids in 2016, the average age of those overdosing is higher than it’s been in the past. He said it’s suggestive that the department’s awareness is getting through to young people.

“While the numbers don’t seem to be going down, there is that one silver lining,” Sini said. “This is a long-term investment that we need to be making. We’ve made a lot of progress on the treatment front. The next frontier has to be prevention and recovery. There has been a complete acceptance now that this is an epidemic that affects all communities, all races, and all demographics.”

Police Comissioner Tim Sini speaks at a press conference about the department’s success in 2016. Photo by Kevin Redding

“We are now safer than we have ever been before in Suffolk County and that’s because of the hard work of the men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department,” Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced recently.

Sini reported on the final 2016 crime statistics at SCPD Headquarters Jan. 6, which showed the county ended the year with the lowest levels of crime ever recorded in the history of the department — with the exception of homicides.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) joined the commissioner in presenting the historic crime drop.

“Public safety is my top priority,” Bellone said. “I know I speak for everyone in Suffolk County when I say we are proud of the police, proud of the work they do every day for us, proud of the courage and bravery they demonstrate and proud that they’ve clearly made the county one of the safest places to live anywhere in our country. These statistics speak very clearly about the work they’ve been doing.”

Image by Victoria Espinoza.

According to Sini, who just wrapped up his first year as the youngest SCPD commissioner ever appointed, compared to crime stats in 2015, violent crime (rape, robbery and aggravated assault) decreased by 10.9 percent and property crime went down 5.2 percent, with an overall 5.7 percent reduction of total crime.
“We see the crime going down and enforcement going up and that’s, obviously, not an accident,” Sini said. “We are a problem-solving police department. When [we] came into office here, my leadership team and I made it clear we’re going to be focused on opiate addiction, firearms and gang violence, as well as traffic fatalities.”

Under Sini’s leadership, the SCPD launched several initiatives and utilized 21st century policing methodologies that gave way to precision policing, intelligence-led policing and community-based policing.
In tackling the opiate epidemic sweeping Suffolk the last few years, Sini re-engaged a partnership with federal law enforcement officers, including five detectives, to target high-level drug dealers active in the communities.

He also loaded up on staff in the department’s narcotics section to roll out a hotline (631-852-NARC) where residents can anonymously report drug dealings going in areas where they live and even get cash rewards for any tips that lead to arrests. So far, since launching the hotline, the department has received more than 1,300 tips from anonymous civilians.

In a previous interview with TBR News Media, Sini said the hotline has led to a 140 percent increase in the amount of search warrants issued by August; 400 drug dealers have been arrested; the police department has seized more than $1 million in drug money; and is on pace to confiscate more illegal firearms than ever before.

Additionally, SCPD has saved approximately 779 individuals using Narcan, the anti-opiate overdose antidote.
Narcotics search warrants alone have increased by 118.2 percent — 192 in 2016 compared to 88 in 2015.
Sini said there’s been an initiative in partnership with the Highway Patrol Unit to help reduce distracted driving, aggressive driving and speeding, educate the public about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving and reach out to municipalities in relation to improving conditions on the road.

This has also proved effective.

Image by Victoria Espinoza.

Suffolk has seen a decrease in motor vehicle crashes by 2.5 percent, motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities by 29.9 percent and pedestrian fatalities by 29.4 percent.

SCPD Chief Stuart Cameron said the reality of Suffolk today in regards to safety has long been dreamed about.

“Throughout my 33 years with SCPD, I’ve heard people wistfully referring to the olden days of yore where you could leave your doors unlocked and things were much safer … as statistics bear out, we’re living in those times right now,” the chief said. “Not that I’m encouraging anybody to leave their doors unlocked, but crime stats have truly never been better. And without the public, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve these results.”

While homicides have risen, with 34 recorded in 2016 compared to 25 in 2015, Sini said that number can be largely attributed to heavy MS13 gang activity in areas like Brentwood, for which aggressive strategies have been enforced by Sini to “decimate MS13 and these other gangs.”
“We collect intelligence of known gang members in the county, assign gang officers and gang enforcers to particular [communities], and we’ve seen a dramatic decline in crime and gang violence since the initiative,” he said.

Through Sini’s creation of what he calls the Firearms Suppression Team — a mix of officers and detectives who have worked to prevent gun-related violence — SCPD has had a 50.9 percent increase in illegal firearms seizures, 507 recovered in 2016 compared to 336 in 2015, as well as a 4.4 percent decrease in shooting incident and trigger pulls.

By taking away a criminal’s tool of the trade — firearms — the commissioner said “you can make a significant dent in violent crime.”

Despite the uptick in homicides, he said preventing them is a top priority.
“If you look at all the hamlets and overall crime reduction, we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished but we’re not complacent,” Sini said. “One homicide is one too many and we’re going to keep doing what we have to do to ensure the safety of Suffolk County residents.”

License, registration and wish list please.

Suffolk County Police Officer Alberto Acevedo made several traffic stops throughout Patchogue this weekend, though drivers were surprised with a holiday plot twist.

“Good morning; I’m Santa Claus from the Fifth Precinct,” Officer Acevedo explained as drivers faces lit up.

The officer, dressed as Santa, gave drivers holiday cheer and smiles instead of tickets.

In the passenger seat of a Suffolk County Police vehicle, Officer Acevedo picked families to pull over with Officer Brianne Yarborough by his side. Together, they gave away several Target gift cards and candy to unsuspecting drivers.

“I was getting yelled at at first, then, I noticed it was Santa,” said John Campbell, of Patchogue. Campbell said the traffic stop made his family very happy. “It’s a good start to Christmas and with our son in the car; it’s great.”

The officers also enjoyed the un-routine traffic stops.

“For once it’s a great feeling to pull cars over,” Yarborough said.  “A lot of times we pull them over and we’re the bearer of bad news. To see the faces of these children, you can’t beat that.”

Acevedo explained in full Santa garb.

“We’re dropping them a $50 gift card  to Target just to say Merry Christmas from the Police Department,” he said.  “It’s nice to see the kids eyes light up and the smiles on their faces; it’s fantastic.”

Erik Westerlund, 33, of Deer Park is charged with driving under the influence of drugs after he collided with another driver Dec. 8. Photo from SCPD
Erik Westerlund, 33, of Deer Park is charged with driving under the influence of drugs after he collided with another driver Dec. 8. Photo from SCPD

A Port Jefferson Station man is being treated for serious injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital after a crash with a driver who was under the influence of drugs Thursday night, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. Police arrested a Deer Park man after the incident in Mount Sinai Dec. 8 at about 11:15 p.m.

John Barbera, 18, of Port Jefferson Station was operating a 2005 Hyundai eastbound on Route 25A when he attempted to turn left onto Echo Avenue and was struck by a 2006 Chrysler, headed westbound, operated by Erik Westerlund, 33, of Deer Park.

Barbera was transported to SBU Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Barbera’s passenger, Kuishon Glover, 18, of Sound Beach, was transported to SBU Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Westerlund was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He was treated for minor injuries.

Attorney information for Westerlund was not immediately available.

Both vehicles have been impounded for safety checks and the investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

Stony Brook Univeristy surgeon James Vosswinkel, left, is recognized prior to the Dec. 5 New York Jets game at Metlife Stadium. Photo from Melissa Weir

A lifelong New York Jets fan and Stony Brook University Hospital surgeon had the chance to take the field with the team.

The Suffolk County Police Department showed its gratitude to SBU Hospital Chief Trauma Surgeon Dr. James Vosswinkel at a surprise press conference at the hospital Nov. 29, with a little help from the Jets.

Vosswinkel, a Jets fan who saved the lives of two SCPD officers critically injured in the line of duty, said he was “completely overwhelmed” to learn that he and 20 members of his staff were to be honored at the Jets’ Annual First Responder Appreciation Night at Metlife Stadium before the game Monday, Dec. 5.

“I don’t think either one of us would be standing here today as full capacity police officers if it wasn’t for the doctor and his care.”

— Nicholas Guerrero

SCPD Commissioner Tim Sini and Military & First Responder Liaison for the team, Steve Castleton, along with members of the police department and staff from the hospital, were present to announce the news to the trauma surgeon.

Alongside members of police and fire departments from across the tri-state area including the SCPD, NYPD and FDNY, Vosswinkel served as honorary team captain and helped with the coin toss before the Jets squared off against the Indianapolis Colts on “Monday Night Football.” Unfortunately the Jets were defeated by a 41-10 final score.

Vosswinkel said the honor is as much about the efforts of the hospital as it is about him.

“I may be the guy that’s most visible right now, but this is not about me,” Vosswinkel said. “This is about Stony Brook. Stony Brook cares. It excels in so many areas. It’s a true team here that truly cares about their patients. They put the extra time in; we go out to the community to try to prevent trauma. Everybody deserves credit here. We’re very happy when our patients do well.”

L. Reuven Pasternak, chief executive officer at the hospital, said at the press conference trauma is the leading cause of death for all Americans before age 45 and, in terms of trauma care, every second counts.

Vosswinkel leads the hospital’s trauma program, which is the only Regional Level 1 trauma center for Suffolk County, according to the New York State Department of Health. The center has been recognized as the top-ranked center in the care of pedestrian trauma and has some of the highest survival rates anywhere in the nation and state.

The two SCPD officers are on their feet again thanks to the emergency surgery done by Vosswinkel. Mark Collins and Nicholas Guerrero made sure their surgeon was invited to the event as they wanted to do something special as a thanks for giving them a second chance at life.

“I don’t think either one of us would be standing here today as full capacity police officers if it wasn’t for the doctor and his care,” Guerrero said.

Collins said he and Guerrero are thankful for each day they wake up.

Guerrero, a four-year veteran of the SCPD, was under Vosswinkel’s care for weeks in a medically induced coma after suffering a critical head injury when a hit-and-run driver in Huntington struck him in September 2014.

According to Vosswinkel at the time of the officer’s discharge from the hospital, Guerrero had “only a one in three chances of surviving.” Collins, a member of SCPD’s gang unit and a 12-year veteran, was rushed to the hospital in March 2015 after he was shot in the neck and hip while pursuing a suspect in Huntington. He was discharged only four days after the shooting occurred.

If it wasn’t for the immediate action of Vosswinkel and his team, the injuries could have been fatal.

Nicholas Guerrero, left, and Mark Collins, right, honor James Vosswinkel, who performed life-saving surgery on each of the police officers, at a surprise press conference Nov. 29. Photo by Kevin Redding
Nicholas Guerrero, left, and Mark Collins, right, honor James Vosswinkel, who performed life-saving surgery on each of the police officers, at a surprise press conference Nov. 29. Photo by Kevin Redding

According to Sini, the partnership between the SCPD and SBU Hospital is integral to the law enforcement mission. He said the department relies on the hospital in the wake of unfortunate circumstances, and many officers wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for “the man sitting to my left,” referring to Vosswinkel.

“We call him Voss and he’s part of our family,” Sini said. “You’ve saved families from extreme tragedy; you’ve saved this department from extreme tragedy; and you’ve allowed two officers to continue to serve the department. We can’t thank you enough for that. What we can do is do our best to express our gratitude. But from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of the SCPD and on behalf of Suffolk County, thank you very much.”

Castleton was introduced to make the big announcement, which Sini referred to as a small token of appreciation.

Castleton said when the announcement was being planned, he heard some “crazy” stories about Vosswinkel, like he often wears a Jets shirt under his scrubs and even repainted his office in the team’s colors. He spoke on behalf of the Jets organization and said it was extremely important to recognize medical staff.

“A lot of people forget that doctors and nurses are first responders … it’s not just policemen, EMTs, and paramedics,” Castleton said.

According to Castleton, the Jets players were insistent that members of the surgeon’s staff join them in running out of the stadium tunnel before the start of the game.

 

SCPD Commissioner Tim Sini speaks at Charting the Course. Photo by Kevin Redding

The Suffolk County Police Department wants to help small businesses thrive and stay safe.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Suffolk County Legislature brought its business forum “Charting the Course” to LaunchPad Huntington, where local business owners engaged with elected officials, key government agencies and neighboring business professionals in order to gain valuable information and address any challenges they might be facing.

Among the panel of speakers was SCPD Commissioner Timothy D. Sini, who said he hopes to establish a partnership between law enforcement and the private sector through a series of new programs and services. For businesses to do well in the community, he said, the community needs to be safe and people need to feel safe.

The department recently rolled out a program called SCPD Shield, which serves as a partnership between the police department and local businesses, community organizations, houses of worship and schools.

SCPD Shield is an information-sharing and civilian training program that narrows in on particular locations or individuals that might be causing issues in the community, in terms of crime or quality of life. For example, if there’s a specific location that’s been a hotbed for violence, the police department will then partner with the town and county to take an all-comprehensive approach to fix the problem directly.

An extension of NYPD Shield, this localized program trains businesses on how to reduce the likelihood of being victimized by street crime, terrorism and active shooter scenarios. It offers innovative training opportunities and information regarding crime patterns and trends in the area, with a large focus on what is undoubtedly a business’s worst nightmare: burglaries.

“We need to make sure that we’re constantly putting facts out there so that people are educated about what’s happening. If everyone has a stake in succeeding, everyone’s working towards a common goal.”
—Tim Sini

Sini encouraged all business owners in the room to go to the website, sign up and join the partnership. He said businesses are key when it comes to increasing public safety and enhancing quality of life.

“Businesses are the best partners for the police department because we all have a true stake in the safety of our community,” Sini said at the event. “We need to make sure that we’re constantly putting facts out there so that people are educated about what’s happening. If everyone has a stake in succeeding, everyone’s working towards a common goal.”

The police department will also be offering a variety of video surveillance services, one of which will plug a business’s security camera feed directly into their headquarters, so if there is an emergency situation, the department’s communications staff will be able to press a button and see exactly what’s happening at a given location, or in the vicinity of that location.

The police commissioner said sharing video surveillance will be critical when it comes to giving intelligence to officers responding to a scene and, of course, solving crimes quickly.

When it comes to video surveillance in general, Sini said that it’s important to have a setup that’s of good quality, a point that might seem obvious, but one that a lot of business owners overlook.

“Oftentimes, businesses will get very excited and say ‘I have video’ and we’ll look at the video, and the only thing we can tell is that, ‘yes, someone was in the store,’” he said. “We can’t tell what the person is doing, can’t tell the identity of the person or their race or gender because the video is so poor. So we can give tips as to what kinds of video surveillance to buy, and where to place it in your location.”

Robert Anthony Moore, director of security at Astoria Bank in Huntington and former police officer, expanded on the importance of practical security strategies.

“I want to talk about support activities because that’s really where you have the greatest personal impact and the greatest responsibility in what you can do and choose to do,” Moore said. “As business people, we have to ask … What is the problem that we’re facing?”

Moore said all criminals have three needs when it comes to committing their crimes; they need to be invisible, they need to be anonymous, and they need to see an opportunity to strike at a location.

Lighting inside a store is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce invisibility, in the daytime and especially at night. If a business owner can’t see into his or her business, they are increasing the invisibility of the bad guys and the risk that something could happen, said Moore.

When it comes to anonymity, he explained that if a criminal walks into a store and sees themselves on a big monitor upon entering, it considerably reduces the likelihood that they will try anything. According to Moore, it doesn’t even need to have a recording system attached to it to be effective. Just the fact that they see themselves has a deterring effect.

Sini ended by saying that he wants local businesses to be successful and safe.

“We think, at Suffolk County Police Department, the police should play a vital role in that process and objective.”

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini speaks at an event in Huntington Station. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.
SCPD Police Comissioner Tim Sini listed facts like the ones above of officers curbing criminal levels in Huntington Station. Image by Victoria Espinoza
SCPD Police Commissioner Tim Sini listed facts like the ones above of officers curbing criminal levels in Huntington Station. Image by Victoria Espinoza

By Victoria Espinoza

Crime in Huntington Station is officially on the decline — and the Suffolk County Police Department has the numbers to prove it.

Law enforcement and town officials gathered at the 2nd Precinct Nov. 14 to update the community about decreasing crime in the area and efforts to help improve the quality of life for residents.

According to Sini, in the last 28-day period compared to the same 28-day period in 2015, violent crime decreased by 71.4 percent, and year-to-date, violent crime is down by 12.9 percent. Property crime is also down 11 percent year-to-date.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said intelligence-led policing and community policing are critical to their success in Huntington Station. He has focused on using crime and intelligence data to drive how the department allocates resources and develops strategies to make Huntington Station a safer place to live.

“It is impossible to achieve the results we’ve achieved without the true partnership of community members, local governments, county and state government,” Sini said at the press conference. “It’s very important we continue to collaborate to reduce crime and increase the overall quality of life for Huntington Station. We’re going to continue to be vigilant and fine-tune our community-led policing model.”

Sini said the statistics illustrate strides the department has made in the area.

“Those are significant numbers in isolation, but when you consider the fact that 2015 was a record low police districtwide, it’s very impressive,” Sini said.

Sini also stressed the importance of deploying enough county and state resources to Huntington Station to help curb crime.

“Me and my leadership team made a commitment to ensure that significant assets are deployed in the 2nd Precinct,” he said.

Assets include members of the Firearm Suppression Team, a mix of officers and detectives, who have worked to decrease gun-related violence, assets from the Highway Patrol Unit to increase traffic enforcement, members of the SAFE-T Team, which handles drunk driving enforcement, as well as additional foot and bike patrols in the area.

“This is a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous amount of resources put into this area,” Sini said. “It involved a lot of cooperation with our local officials, particularly at county, town and state level and of course engagement with the community.”

Sini said as a result of these additional assets from Aug. 8 to Nov. 12, there were 276 individuals arrested in Huntington Station, for a total of 398 charges. Greenlawn also has seen an impact from these efforts, with 25 arrests and 29 total charges. Nearly 1,500 tickets have been given out, 46 high-visibility checkpoints have been established — which helped lead to 10 arrests and 407 tickets. Ten targeted New York State liquor association inspections were carried out, which resulted in four arrests. The SAFE-T team alone responded on 41 occasions to the Huntington Station area for a total of 33 DWI arrests and five arrests for other charges.

Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said community members played a crucial role in the department’s success.

“Nothing would get done unless you collaborate,” Petrone said. “I think part of the reason that this is being done so well is because there is a community concern. There is community input. They are the eyes and the ears. They brought forth much information to us and the county. This is the only way we will really solve these problems.”

New York State Assemblyman Chad Luppinacci (R-Huntington Station) echoed Petrone’s statements.

“This is a very personal issue to myself, having been born and raised in Huntington Station,” he said. “I feel gratified that all the levels of government are working together. We also want to thank our businesses and civic associations who have been working along with us. We know Huntington Station is a great place to raise a family, for businesses to be welcome, and we want people to continue to feel safe.”

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