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Jun 02,2005

Abrahams Succeeds in Securing $500,000









June 2, 2005


Abrahams Succeeds in Securing $500,000

to Local Youth Violence and Gang Prevention/Intervention Agencies


Mineola, N.Y – In 2004 Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Legislative District 1) called on the administration to increase funding for gang violence prevention programs and today his efforts became a reality as Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi announced the allocation of $500,000 to support employment and career development services for current and former gang members and at risk youth involved in gang activity. The County Executive was joined for his announcement by George Siberón, Executive Director of the Nassau County Youth Board, Inspector Robert Turk of the Taskforce Against Gangs and other county legislators. The agencies funded include the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, Inc., STRONG Youth Inc. and the Education and Assistance Corporation.


The award is coordinated through the Nassau County Youth Board, the Nassau County Department of Social Services, Nassau County Taskforce Against Gangs Coordinator Inspector Turk and those agencies receiving the funds.


“I have fought long and hard to secure this money for prevention and intervention,” said Legislator Abrahams. "We must use every resource at our disposal to deter and prevent kids from joining gangs and we must offer these young people other activities to occupy their time, minds and bodies."


“I am very pleased that we are able to award these local agencies the funds to continue their important work,” County Executive Suozzi said. “These agencies will help to keep our children away from gangs, drugs and violence and that kind of protection is invaluable to Nassau County and its families. We want to target youth violence in our communities and better educate our young people of the dangers of gang involvement.”


The agencies were awarded funds as a result of a competitive bidding process. The major program components were:


-Street outreach

-Vocational services, including job skills, resume writing and job placement

-Community involvement including collaboration with local schools, police, community groups, churches and religious organizations


These projects are part of the Prevention and Redirection components of Nassau’s Anti-Gang Strategy. The purpose of Nassau County’s Anti-Gang Strategy is to prevent gang violence and criminal activities, deter youth and adults from joining gangs and to redirect gang-involved youth and adults away from Gang Activities. Services provided through this Initiative will focus on employment and career development while also meeting the needs of youth and adults, labor market requirements of employers and security needs of communities.


The Taskforce Against Gangs Coordinator’s Office has coordinated law enforcement efforts with the seventeen villages and two city police departments within Nassau County as well as New York City, Suffolk County, New York state Police and the federal agencies, including the FBI Street Gangs Taskforce, ICE, ATF, Dea. In addition, the 11 Nassau County TAG coalition partners meet on a regular basis to discuss anti-violence strategies and initiatives and Gang Awareness Presentations are conducted throughout the County and are made available upon request.


As a result of these efforts, Nassau County has seen a additional 31% decline in gang related activity this year, beyond last year’s 37% decrease.


Legislator Abrahams said making this funding a permanent part of future county budgets is a top priority.




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