Police officers will deploy across Long Island’s roadways and shopping centers before Thanksgiving and through the holiday season in an effort to reassure the public and crack down on crime, officials said Tuesday.
“We’ll be out there in force to ensure the residents’ safety,” Suffolk police Commissioner Timothy Sini said. “It’s very important that people feel comfortable to engage in shopping and other holiday celebrations.”
The beefed-up police presence — including officers from patrol and special operations — will be dispatched to the Island’s major shopping centers and on roadways for traffic enforcement of drunken driving, seat belt and cellphone violations, said officials from both the Suffolk and Nassau police departments.
Nassau Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said the department will also monitor places of worship and plans to dispatch officers from its mounted and K-9 units, the Bureau of Special Operations and Criminal Intelligence Rapid Response Team.
While there are no credible terror threats to Long Island, according to both departments, Sini said “there’s a sense that people are on edge.” He cited terrorist attacks abroad and recent violence against police officers.
The commissioner would not quantify how many additional officers would be on the street, but said some would be called in on overtime if necessary.
Sini also advised residents that locking their car and home doors would “dramatically reduce” their chances of being the victim of a larceny and warned against drinking and driving, stressing the importance of calling a taxi or having a designated driver.
“We will be out there in force; we will arrest you,” Sini said. “Do not ruin your holidays by getting arrested. Don’t ruin, potentially your life, by getting arrested and making that stupid decision.”