NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A total of $75,000 is now being offered for information that leads to an arrest of anyone who threatened to “take out” a cop after a threat to kill officers surfaced from the MS-13 street gang.
Nassau County Police PBA President James McDermott on Friday said they received information Thursday that MS-13 “was planning to kill a police officer in the Hempstead area.”
“This isn’t a problem that’s a Nassau county police problem,” he said. “This is a community problem, this is a societal problem, this is a national problem that we’re having with this terrorist group that calls itself MS-13.”
Nassau County police put out a bulletin to officers that a credible informant for the Hempstead Police Department said MS-13 states they are looking to “shoot a cop in the Hempstead area.”
An alert was then broadcast to police departments that said: “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.
“When you’re a gang member in this county, you don’t belong here,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Thursday. “We will answer that threat and will answer it strongly.”
On Friday, the Nassau County PBA met with officers to find alleged gang members threating to take out officers.
“You’re a coward if you’re going to get a guy while he’s eating and shoot him,” McDermott said. “If you’re out there listening to me, you’re cowards and we’re going to get you.”
The Suffolk County Police Department said Friday that is also aware of “credible threats of violence that MS-13 is prepared to harm a police officer in retaliation for gang arrests.”
“The department stands united with our law enforcement partners to address this and any threat to law enforcement and to continue our sustained effort to eradicate gangs from our area,” the department said in a statement.
Law enforcement officials are vowing to put all means necessary to keep police and public safe, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported.
“We need to even do more than double cars,” McDermott said. “We have a tank, the Nassau County Police Department. Driver that thing around Hempstead, do whatever we have to do — pull out all the stops. Let the public know that we’re here to protect them.”
Former NYPD Sgt. Joe Giacalone said 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.
Police in Nassau County are offering a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of anyone who threatens to kill a cop. The Nassau County PBA is also offering a $25,000 and Suffolk County Crime Stoppers said it too is offering a $25,000 reward.
“It is the department’s hope that anyone with information about these threats will do what is right and provide details to thwart acts of violence,” Suffolk Police Acting Commissioner Geraldine Hart said in a statement.
The threats came as the alleged 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.
On Thursday, he was ordered held without bail following his first court appearance on Long Island.