Cecilia DowdMar 15, 2017, 4:54 pmMar 17, 2017, 8:31 am

Suffolk PD attributes reduction in crime to aggressive pursuit of gangs, drugs

Statistics show that overall crime dropped by about 7 percent so far this year

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With a continued focus on the opioid epidemic and a crackdown on gangs, specifically MS-13, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini says the department has seen a drop in crimes in the first quarter of 2017.

“We're targeting the right people, targeting the right spots, and we're collaborating with the community to solve problems. That's why you see reductions in crime across the board,” Sini said during a press conference on Wednesday; according to Sini, overall crime is down by 7.2 percent.

Since Sept. of 2016, Sini said that more than 150 alleged members of MS-13 have been arrested through a gang suppression strategy.

While the commissioner says the police department will aggressively combat guns, gangs, and drugs, he says Suffolk residents are more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash than any other type of crime. This fact has prompted the department to also focus on motor vehicle safety.

“Our 2016 numbers were exceptional. Our summonses were up by over 11 percent. Fatalities down 29.9 percent,” Sini said. “2017, what do we have? We have a 7.7 percent reduction in motor vehicle crashes compared to 2016 and a 10.5 percent reduction in fatalities.”

All things considered, Sini considers the opioid epidemic as the department's greatest challenge.

“These officers will tell you when you have the radio on, it's very rare that you don't hear an overdose call in the span of 20 minutes,” he said

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