Officials from the Town of Islip, Suffolk Police Department and local schools are invited to attend a Wednesday night forum aimed at brainstorming solutions to the gang violence plaguing Brentwood, Central Islip and Bay Shore.
The event — called “Critical Conversations: The State of the Central Islip and Brentwood Communities” — is expected to draw about 200 concerned citizens, said co-organizer Marcos Maldonado.
Four Brentwood teens have been found dead in the past two weeks, sparking a renewed call to address violent crime in the area.
The community was shocked when two teenage girls — Nisa Mickens, 15, and her best friend, Kayla Cuevas, 16 — were found beaten to death earlier this month in Brentwood.
Days later, skeletal remains of two Brentwood teenagers, Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel García Morán, 15, both of whom had been reported missing earlier this year, were found buried on the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center grounds. Both had been assaulted, and their deaths have been deemed homicides, police said.
On Sept. 2, David Arzu, 29, of Bay Shore, and Janelle Curella, 28, of Manorville were shot to death on Center Avenue in Bay Shore near the Long Island Rail Road station.
Police officials are investigating gang ties to the Brentwood killings and have made the cases a top priority. No one has been charged in connection to any of the killings as of late Tuesday.
Organizers of Wednesday’s forum will be handing out fliers that provide helpful contact information for various government agencies and officials — along with an explanation of the issues or concerns they handle, Maldonado said.
“We want to get people to know that they can talk to their officials, and here’s how you do it,” he said.
Last week, Brentwood school leaders hosted a forum to solicit input from crime-weary parents and residents. Several peace marches and a candlelight vigil have also been held over the past two weeks to bring awareness to the crime problem. The New York City-based Guardian Angels have been actively recruiting members in Brentwood for a neighborhood watch-style intervention.
Those attending Wednesday’s forum can “express their raw feelings” about the state of their communities, but Maldonado said residents will also have the opportunity to go further — discussing possible solutions one-on-one with officials or in small groups.
The forum will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Teatro Yerbabruja, 63 Carleton Ave., in Central Islip.