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Citizens cite illegal activities in forming neighborhood watch

Smithtown Town Hall

Smithtown Town Hall Credit: Erin Geismar

A community organization formed by residents concerned about what they say are illegal activities in the Kings Park industrial area has become a neighborhood watch group.

The Old Northport Road-Lawrence Road Task Force, composed of about 400 families in Kings Park, Commack and Smithtown, has registered with the National Neighborhood Watch program administered by the National Sheriffs’ Association, task force member Michelle Garry said.

“The Neighborhood Watch model is very organized and it’s helping our group to get more organized and be more effective,” said Garry, adding that the national group provides information on organizing and putting up Neighborhood Watch signs.

Garry last week asked Smithtown officials at the town board meeting to continue monitoring industrial properties in the Old Northport and Lawrence Road area “and to take any and all enforcement actions, including code violations, no matter how big or small.”

Garry said the group is concerned about companies illegally storing heavy equipment and operating as trucking stations without permits. “Compliance to town code and local law should not be optional for businesses,” she told the board. “They are not above the law.”

Smithtown Public Safety director John Valentine said officers “continue to monitor all of those properties on a day-to-day basis and we’ll take the necessary actions .?.?. to ensure that those properties stay compliant.”

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