NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD is warning police officers about a possible threat from the MS-13 gang, particularly when they are off-duty.

CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports that in a bulletin the NYPD put out this alert: “Members of MS-13 are looking to ‘hit’ NYPD police officers, specifically in the Brentwood/Central Islip area as well as possibly Patchogue.”

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The bulletin says that the gang members would carry out the attacks on off-duty officers “in order to gain street credibility.”

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While the threat has not been substantiated, law enforcement experts say this cannot be taken lightly.

“Whenever a law enforcement officer is being threatened, especially by an organization like MS-13 which we already know is uber violent and has killed numerous people throughout the country if not throughout the world, this has to be taken serious,” said former FBI agent Manny Gomez.

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The gang’s reign of terror has spread widely, particularly in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties and includes murder, drugs, child prostitution and racketeering.

The bulletin suggests the gang may be looking to target police officers off-duty near their homes, warning that “these members are conducting reconnaissance of MOS private residences”

“They are going above and beyond what any other gang does, and the scary part is that we already know that they legitimately carry out their threats and they are extremely violent,” said Gomez.

Police are warning law enforcement to take extra precautions and not to let their guard down particularly when they are in and around their homes and off duty.

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They say that includes changing routines whenever possible.