A crime fighting strategy that includes collaboration between police, town leaders and residents has helped drive down violent crime in Huntington Station, police and town officials said Monday. Year to date in the hamlet, violent crime is down 12.9 percent and property crime is down 11 percent , Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said Monday.
Violent crime is also down 71.4 percent in the hamlet over the last 28 days, through Nov. 5, compared with the same time period last year. Sini credited the decrease to an initiative that combines efforts among police, Huntington officials and residents, with the goal of reducing crime and improving residents’ quality of life. Included in those efforts are increased traffic enforcement, a crackdown on gangs, community support unit officers and a firearm-suppression team.
“Studies show throughout the country when you have enhanced presence, targeted patrols, targeted enforcement against particular locations, against particular individuals and a general increase in uniform presence, crime is going to go down,” Sini said. Between Aug. 8 and Nov. 12, 276 people were arrested on a total of 398 charges in Huntington Station; in Greenlawn, 25 arrests were made netting 29 charges. Among those were “numerous” MS-13 gang members, Sini said.
Jim McGoldrick, a lifelong Huntington Station resident and community activist said he likes what he views as the transparency of Sini’s leadership, although he said Huntington Station could use more police to look into the gangs.
“But I know more police is a fiscal thing,” said McGoldrick. “Is crime still here? Yes it is, but if the commissioner is telling me it’s down, then I have full faith in him.” The commissioner was joined at the news conference by Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, the Huntington Town Board, ; Second Precinct Commander Inspec. Chris Hatton; and several state and county officials. Petrone said Sini is on the right track.
“The community policing model starts with collaboration and partnerships,” Petrone said. “Most important are the people to be involved because they are in their homes sleeping, they are shopping in the community, they’re the ones who will have more of the information any of us could ever get. And we have that in Huntington Station.”