The Suffolk County Police Department, along with State Police, U.S. marshals and the FBI, vowed Monday to step up their patrols and presence in the Third Precinct in response to recent fatal shootings in Central Islip.
Suffolk County Police Chief of Department James Burke read from a prepared statement in announcing details of enhanced procedures after the three shootings occurred in a span of 39 hours last week.
Two of the shootings are suspected to be gang-related, a law enforcement source said.
The third fatal shooting is not believed to be connected.
The additional steps include assigning a group of detectives to the Organized Crime Bureau; these detectives will target gang members in the Third Precinct, Burke said.
The Narcotics Squad and the Warrant Enforcement Unit will receive more responsibility in gang matters, he added.
Burke also said 10 additional double-marked units will be deployed on the patrol side within the Third Precinct, with support from the Emergency Services and Canine units.
Also, the precinct will utilize a gang patrol team of a sergeant and eight officers, and the Community Response Bureau will have additional school resource officers.
Burke said law enforcement has not only the obligation to fight crime but also the fear of crime.
"Everyone has a right to work and live in a community free of fear," he said, surrounded by members of the various law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI and state troopers. "A community that is afraid cannot be an effective partner in fighting crime."
With Gary Dymski