Garbarino: Budget Must Include Funding For Long Island Law Enforcement Fighting Ms-13 Gang

February 1, 2018

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I,Ref-Sayville) is calling on the Legislature to include funding to support local Long Island communities in their efforts to combat the influence of MS-13. Garbarino, who sits on the Assembly Committee on Codes, said the funding proposed for state police in fighting MS-13 was a start, but feels this does not do enough to help equip local communities currently dealing with this gang.

“I appreciate that the proposed budget contains allocation for staff at the state police to help manage and combat the MS-13 gang, but we can do better. The governor’s proposal does not do enough in the area of equipping, training and supporting local law enforcement to help contain and eliminate the reach of this insidious gang on Long Island,” said Garbarino. “MS-13 and other gangs have made our communities feel less safe. They target the young and vulnerable for recruitment. An effective plan to weaken MS-13’s influence will require cooperation between local, state, and federal authorities, as well as school districts.”

MS-13 has been responsible for multiple violent murders and attacks on Long Island. Its members have taken tactics to threaten young individuals to join the gang, and unaccompanied migrant children are often most vulnerable to their recruitment tactics. MS-13 has been present in Suffolk County roughly a decade, with the gang being linked to 25 homicides on Long Island since January 2016. It was just last year when MS-13 killed four in Central Islip. The members have also been involved with human smuggling, drug and weapons trafficking, assault, kidnapping, theft and more.

The governor’s budget proposes $8 million in funding for the state police to address MS-13 gang prevention. It does not, however, have any funding for local municipalities to help support local law enforcement in gang prevention. Garbarino is asking his colleagues to consider funding to be specifically earmarked for Long Island law enforcement to fight the MS-13 gang.