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Protesters target Levy over Suffolk crime

About 300 people gathered in front of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy's Hauppauge office Monday to demand that the county executive hire more police officers for crime-riddled communities.

"We demand the police department be provided with the proper resources," said Legis. Ricardo Montano (D-Brentwood), one of seven Suffolk legislators who attended.

The crowd, made up mostly of off-duty Suffolk police officers and members of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, the union that represents civilian county workers, was led by politicians who called on Levy to hire more police officers and to begin attending community meetings on gang violence.

Assemb. Philip Ramos (D-Brentwood) decried Levy's failure to attend community meetings earlier this month.

"We're tired of cosmetic changes, we're tired of politics," Ramos said. "Since Levy won't come to our house, we're here in front of his house."

Levy, whose office said he could not attend yesterday's event because of his stepdaughters' father's death, released a statement saying the gathering was "hijacked by police union members more concerned about their wages and nursing home employees concerned about privatization."

Levy said he will hold his own community meeting to address violence March 29 in Brentwood.

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