Jim O’Connor Says Irresponsible Budget Cuts Led to Increase in Gun-Related Crimes in Suffolk County
Jim O’Connor, the Republican and Conservative candidate for Suffolk County Executive, says the rise in gun-related crimes in Suffolk can be traced back to the budget cuts made by the Bellone administration which resulted in the disbanding of the county’s FBI Anti-Gang Unit.
Statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services show that, from January 2015 to June 2015, there were 203 violent crimes committed with a firearm, a 30% increase over the same six months last year, when 154 gun-related crimes were committed. Both numbers are higher than in Nassau County, which actually saw a downward trend, from 118 crimes in the first half of 2014 to 89 during the same six months this year — a 24.5% decrease.
Whereas Nassau used grants to enhance its technology and add new crime analysts to the force, Bellone used the grants to pay for overtime for detectives rather than invest in new anti-crime initiatives. Worse, he eliminated funding for the local FBI’s Anti-Gang Unit and relegated Suffolk’s rank-and-file officers to highway patrol and behind the desk.
“Bellone’s tragic decision to disband the county’s FBI Anti-Gang Unit is now coming home to roost,” Mr. O’Connor says. “Bellone’s sweetheart deal with the police unions not only gave $227,000 police salaries but also put able-bodied police back into jobs that were being done by civilians, leaving fewer officers in our neighborhoods. He should care less about pandering to the police unions who have helped build his $2 million campaign war chest and instead start focusing on the personal safety of our taxpayers.”