BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday the state will put another $20 million toward efforts to crack down on MS-13 and gang recruitment on Long Island.
Three-quarters of the money will go toward a new community center that will provide recreational and educational services for area teens. The rest is for better lighting and security at local parks, workforce training and mental health services for youth, and law enforcement technology:
- $15 million to build a new community hub in Brentwood
- $2.5 million in park safety initiative (lighting, surveillance, state police patrols)
- $1 million for new law enforcement technologies
- $1 million in programs for at-risk youth
- $500,000 for mental health and social service initiatives
Cuomo says the funding is part of a broader effort to take on gangs like MS-13, which has been blamed for at least 25 killings across Long Island since January 2016.
At a conference about MS-13 last week in Brentwood, officials said at least 8,600 children from Central America between the ages of 6 and 17 made their way to Long Island in the past four years.
Many arrived without parents, and now schools, police and taxpayers are feeling the repercussions. Many are placed with relatives or sponsors in Brentwood, Central Islip and Hempstead, often feeling isolated at school and at home.
Suffolk’s sheriff is now forging a partnership with police and politicians from the children’s home countries.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)