TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The Nassau County police commissioner sent a message loud and clear Thursday night after two threats to kill police officers surfaced in less than 24 hours.
“When you’re a gang member in this county, you don’t belong here,” Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
The first threat was tied to the notorious MS-13 street gang, police said.
Nassau County police issued a bulletin to its officers that a credible informant for the Hempstead Police Department said “MS-13 stated they are looking to shoot a cop in the Hempstead area.”
The following alert was broadcast to police departments: “Members of MS-13 have been stating that police have been making too many arrests and it’s time to take the streets back and take out and shoot a cop like we do in El Salvador.”
A second threat to kill law enforcement in the Hempstead area was received Wednesday night, though police would not say whether it was MS-13 related.
The threats come as the regional leader of MS-13, Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, also known as “Reaper,” was taken into custody. He allegedly ordered beatings and killings and directed the gang’s drug operations in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and elsewhere.
Former NYPD Sgt. Joe Giacalone told CBS2’s Valerie Castro officers will not only have to be more aware of their surroundings, but should also limit their presence on social media.
“You have to take threats from not only this gang but any gang very seriously,” he said. “Don’t be posting anything about your family, your friends, your photos and stuff like that, or your whereabouts.”
Officers in the area have also been instructed to carry their service weapons at all times, even off duty.
“We will answer that threat and will answer it strongly,” said Ryder.
Police have announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone who threatens to kill a cop.