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Ron LeeOct 4, 2017, 11:54 am

NY governor’s office amends gang comments about LI school district

Officials asked Gov. Cuomo to clarify comments that Longwood HS needed state troopers due to gang activity

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MIDDLE ISLAND — For the past three weeks, the Longwood School District has been waiting anxiously for either an apology or a retraction from the governor's office. And while a letter posted on the district's website does not include the words “sorry” or “apologize,” some parents are now feeling relief that the state has amended its comments after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last month that Longwood Senior High School was selected to have state troopers assigned here due to high incidents of gang activity.

The governor's office responded to a request made by Longwood Superintendent Dr. Michael Lonergan to clarify the governor's comments. Back on Sept. 15, Dr. Lonergan said he was completely caught off guard by the governor's announcement.

"To say a high gang activity in this school district and that’s why we're sending in the police is absolutely absurd!," Dr. Lonergan said.

In a letter to the superintendent, Letitia Tagliaferro with the Special Counsel for Public Safety says the selection of the schools for the gang prevention program was "primarily based on intelligence from law enforcement in communities adjacent to and surrounding the districts. Further, we acknowledge that neither the Longwood SHS nor the JHS experience gang activity in their buildings."

At this time, it is not clear if state troopers will be placed full-time in Longwood School District. However, the letter states that the governor's office would work with the district to make officers available to serves as an additional resource.

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