Police Report Decline in Violent Crime

Officials tell school board that several techniques are reducing Huntington Station violence.

Suffolk County police told the Huntington school board Monday night that violent crime in Huntington Station had been reduced 33 percent from last year.

The Second Precinct commanding officer, Inspector Edward Brady, accompanied by Chief Robert Anthony Moore, attributed the decrease to several techniques the department is using. Moore said the police had made "tremendous progress"  in fighting crime near the vicinity of which the board decided in July to close classes because of concerns about crime in the neighborhood.

Moore said that much of the success is due to innovative ideas the precinct implemented over time, such the "sector within the sector concept," which deploys a patrol car, concentrating primarily on eight blocks surrounding Abrams.

"Our gang and gun control units have been working the area continually," Moore aid. They also work hand in hand with the FBI and other federal and state agencies, increasing their effectiveness.           

"One of the benefits of working with the FBI is that they are very thorough. And because their focus is somewhat different than ours, they can really take their time" in investigating crime.

Another benefit of working with the FBI, Moore said, is that a federal punishment can mean much longer sentences for criminal activity committed locally, taking criminals out of the neighborhoods for longer periods of time.

Moore noted additional canine and emergency service patrols have been dispatched to the area.

Additionally, 30 video-monitoring cameras have been installed in Huntington Station.

In othe areas of Suffolk County, a new program using "shotspotter" technology has helped police locate where a gun has been discharged, by virtue of triangulation.

"There are now 65 areas in the country that employ this technology, and Huntington Station will be the 66th," said Moore.

Board vice president John P. Paci III asked the police officers about an apparent appearance of a police helicopter above Huntington village late in December.

Brady responded that he believed the helicopter was working a general patrol, and was not responding to any specific incident.

Board president Bill Dwyer asked the officers about the effectiveness of gun buy-back programs in Huntington Station. Brady said that such programs are  not that productive, in his experience.

Moore said thathe was dismayed by the continued use of firearms, but believed that a more holistic approach to crime prevention shows better results – such as working with at-risk teens in the schools, and working with community organizations to speak to youth.

Board member Elizabeth Black asked about the number or arrests made in the proximity to Abrams.

Brady said while there are no specific numbers for the area around the school, "there were over 1,300 arrests made in Huntington Station from January 1, 2010 to November 30th,"  including 80 gang members who had also been arrested during this time period, including 20 members of the Latin Kings.

Moore noted that while Huntington Station indeed has difficulty with local gangs, the problems here are nowhere as bad as they are in places like Southern California, Arizona, and Texas.

Board member Kimberly Brown asked how long the increased police presence would continue.

Moore responded that his precinct has no thoughts of reducing police presence for this area. Brown insisted that she does not want to see police leave the area surrounding the school.

When Brady and Moore were finally asked, "would you send your children to this school?," they both replied with a resounding "yes."

Editor's note: this story has been updated to correct that the number of sites using ShotSpotters refers to the country, not the county.

Joe Obermaier January 04, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Quick corrections: The deployment of ShotStopper in Huntington Station is the first in Suffolk County. There are 65 other deployments in the country - not the county. The thirty cameras are courtesy of the HS BID, not the SCPD. Inspector Brady said that gun buyback programs weren't effective here, but have been in other areas, such as Babylon.
Adam Spector January 04, 2011 at 07:55 PM
And for those who left before the end of the meeting.... In an exchange between Board Trustees Brown and Paci, where Ms. Brown pressured Mr. Paci to publicly reveal his current position on Abrams, Paci said "You really want to aggrevate me?" followed by referring to the information provided by the 2nd precinct as "Horses&%t". (Of course the police had left by then). Trustee Black complained to Trustee Rogan to stop badgering the Board by asking for a vote on opening Abrams and said she should wait until the next board gets sworn in next summer. Mr. Dwyer then made a motion to adjourn the meeting without addressing Rogan's request. Paci seconded and the meeting ended. Nice.
Rebecca January 04, 2011 at 08:12 PM
The Inspector AND Chief Moore said they would send THEIR OWN children to JAI. Officer Drew, with the most knowledge of our schools, said he NEVER felt the children were unsafe at JAI. The LTPC said---almost unanimously-that JAI should be reopened. Parents got up and spoke of the deleterious impact of closure on classroom functioning-precious years children cannot recapture in their educational experience. Yet, Board members maintain that the school should remain closed. Why? The folks most able to talk about safety have said they would send their OWN precious children to the school. The folks charged with making a plan that makes sense for the district concluded that JAI should be in the plans. We are in a FISCAL CRISIS and the newest facility, able to hold many more children than some of the primaries, remains vacant. We have come to see that continued closure fails to make any educational or moral sense.
Ilene Fucci January 04, 2011 at 08:34 PM
The problem is that we have been lied to so many times, by County and Town officials that it is very difficult to believe someone when they say crime is down. In reality, doesn't the statistics mean that arrests are down?
Ilene Fucci January 04, 2011 at 08:40 PM
I have tremendous respect for Inspector Brady and the Second Precinct. I think they are in a very difficult position, as they have people to answer to.
Jen LaVertu January 04, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Ilene, I actually spoke with the officers in the hall after they spoke and were leaving. The 33% crime reduction is 2nd precinct NOT Hunitngton Station alone. I saw all the statistics. With all the police force being focused in Huntington Station this year I can almost guarantee most of the adresses are in H.S. and not Lloyd Harbor. The lower crime areas would of course bring the overall percentages down. It's a #'s game so it reality, it is in fact a bunch of horsesh&%. People hear what they want to hear.
Jen LaVertu January 04, 2011 at 08:47 PM
Jen LaVertu January 04, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Pam, (Patch editor) I have this whole thing on youtube, you might want to have this info verified. The facts are off and I would hate to see you have a problem with the public for spreading missinformation. This is a very touchy subject with the residents and parents of SD#3.
christine January 04, 2011 at 09:04 PM
What I heard last night was statistics that did not impress me as statistics can be easily misunderstood and presented to bolster most arguments. What did impress me was the list of enforcement and prevention strategies that are being used in the area. In thinking about the list of things the community requested at various meetings before and after the students were moved from JAI, I feel that a good amount of them have been provided (I wouldn't want to put a percentage on it as that might be a statistic). However, this progress should not be used to belittle the arguments made last year by residents on either side of the JAI issue. In my opinion namecalling and dismissing each others point of view as ridiculous will only lead to people digging in their heels in whatever position they have been for the past year. I came out of the meeting last night with two emotions. Hope - that things are progressing to a point where a dialogue can begin again regarding the return of students to the school by assessing the current situation and Worry - that name calling and blame will continue so that the community members will not be listening to each other in order to reach compromises that will benefit the children of our district.
Pam Robinson (Editor) January 04, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Jennifer, I emailed you and we have a call into the precinct. Thanks.
Jen LaVertu January 04, 2011 at 09:18 PM
No problem Pam. Thanks for acting so quickly..... Adam, I just went thru the last 5 minutes and Emily was not dismissed, she (as well as everyone else) 2'ed the motion to end it. Here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNWRF-uXMQA&feature=player_profilepage
Jen LaVertu January 04, 2011 at 09:30 PM
oh and 1 more point since Adam insists on tossing Paci under the bus every chance he gets however, what Adam is forgetting to mention is that Paci called the District Attorneys office (SCDA) to confirm the crime statistics and the DA's office told Paci the police #'s were horsesh% and thats when he became agravated. I am not defending anyone but I want the OTHER 1/2 of the spun story out there as well.
Adam Spector January 04, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Check the tape. Emily asked to re-open the discussion and re-vote, Liz said stop badgering me, Rich said lets wait until after the budget then Bill moved to adjourn. No spin. As for JP, he dramatized the helicopter citing, (even though they already explained it to Dwyer previously), said there are bullets flying around the school, and the community is scared. He then used the Horses&%t comment after the cops left. That too is factual. No judgement.
Jen LaVertu January 04, 2011 at 09:55 PM
You said Emily was dismised as the move to adjorn without adressing her concerns when she infact 2nd the motion. Why are you so hung up on the word "horsesh*t?" Pretty sure I have heard you use worse words than that. Like when you lost the last board of ed election, am sure you didn't say "by gosh jolly I can't believe I lost, what a sack of potatos" You obviously have a problem with Paci and it shows.....you are bias and some people would like the information nonbias.
SJL January 04, 2011 at 10:20 PM
I have sent two children through school in SD#3. One is now 36 and the other is 24. Only one went to JAI when it was 4-6th. Remember when we hired superintendents that didn't live here but redistricted us right and left. Then after they had this redistricting on their resume they left for a better job. My daughter went to Woodhull Early Childhood Center, Washington, JAI, the Jr. High and then HHS. I have lived in HS for 30 years in the same house two blocks north of the train station. It has always been diverse. I have not felt safe to walk my neighborhood alone in a long time. When my daughter goes out with her friends at night I make her call as she is pulling in my drive when she comes home so I can watch her get in my home. Many of my neighbors are good hard working folks some are in the education field. But you have a good many others who rent room space in a houses. They are mostly young men and are frequently home day or night. I'm sure many fire codes are being broken etc. in all these houses. Until you make it uncomfortable for these members to live here in Huntington Station we are just trying to swim against a strong current. Our children won't be safe until the town and police make it their PRIORITY to crack down on illegal renting and drugs. The drugs and prostitution are their source of income. The guns will disappear when they have no place to live and take away their income by jailing the dealers. You vote, vote for someone who makes this their platform!
Mike Field of Huntington Station January 04, 2011 at 10:46 PM
What needs to be seen is year over year statistics for Sector 202 in the Second precinct. That will give a much better picture of what is going on. For the police to say that they have no specific information for the area around any given place in Suffolk County is hard to believe. They are using crime tracking software that uses digital mapping techniques. They have been using this type of software for a long time. One of the tenants of statistical analysis is to know what kind of information you want to represent. If you are trying to prove your point you will create a statistical scenario that does this. If the police were to appear before a Board of Education you would expect they would not want to present information that did not show them doing a better job. It would be in everyones best interests if the Police department would make the data they base their opinions on public. If the data is supportive of what these public servants have said then everyone will feel much better. The data should include about 10 years of information in order to allow for better regression analysis.
Joe Obermaier January 05, 2011 at 02:13 AM
I agree with Mike Field. Make the data publicly available (raw numbers of arrests or incidents or calls or however the Police track that information). Let's see both whole years and month-by-month totals. Let's see every category of crime they track. Those numbers exist, and are factual - at least in the sense of what was reported and acted on by the Police. Then we can all see whether it's horse pucky or not. We can see for ourselves if the trends are up or down, and we can stop this endless back and forth (to mix some metaphors). We can (and no doubt would) argue over the meaning and import of the numbers, but at the very least we should be able to see what the numbers are.
Mike Field of Huntington Station January 05, 2011 at 03:10 AM
We should also see the code enforcement information from the Town of Huntington. We see the code violation notice information on the Towns web site. What we do not see is the location of, and disposition of, the code violation convictions. When this data is not released it makes it appear that there is a problem. Transparency here would help the community to understand what is happening.
Patched Out 2 January 05, 2011 at 03:44 AM
Jen, Thanks for taking the video as it obviously captured the facts of the situation!


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