Republican State Senate candidate Elaine Phillips has released a plan to combat gang violence in the wake of the deaths of four Brentwood High School students — all suspected victims of gang violence.
Phillips, who is facing Democratic businessman Adam Haber in the Seventh District, would increase state funding for community-based anti-gang programs, including doubling the number of Nassau police officers assigned to Problem Oriented Police units.
Phillips, mayor of the Village of Flower Hill, also would increase state funding for programs that help police intercept illegal guns at state lines and for anti-gang education programs in local schools. Her plan also calls for increasing criminal penalties for gang activity, including recruitment near schools and for using a gun in the commission of a crime.
“Our dedicated police officers want to get out of their cars and back on the beat in communities and schools, and we need to support them, as well as engage parents, educators and the entire community in combating gangs and violence,” Phillips said. “My plan includes the tools we need to keep our communities, and especially our children safe, and these initiatives will be a priority for me in the Senate.”
Earlier this week Haber released a gun-control platform, calling for tougher storage laws, microstamping of shell casings and denying firearms licenses to individuals on the federal no-fly list.
“Adam Haber has put forth a strong anti-gun violence plan that doesn’t pander to the NRA and corporate gun lobby — one that would give law enforcement the tools they need to convict violent gang members who commit these crimes, strong background checks and keep guns away from children,” said Haber spokesman Jonathan Heppner.
Last month, Suffolk police found the skeletal remains of Miguel García Morán, 15, of Brentwood, in an industrial area of Brentwood, near the area where the remains of Oscar Acosta, 19, of Brentwood, were found Sept. 16. The remains were found a few miles from the location of the suspected gang killings in mid-September of Nisa Mickens, 15 and Kayla Cuevas, 16.
Phillips and Haber are vying to replace Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury) who is vacating the seat to run for Congress.