A New York police union leader claimed over the weekend that the department is “undermanned” and needs about 60 new detectives to deal with MS-13 violence.
The startling claim was made Sunday by James McDermott, president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, who called out a “new normal” of gang violence in the area.
The comments came after police unearthed a badly decomposed body Saturday in a shallow grave at a popular nature preserve in Massapequa, Long Island, a suburb about an hour from Manhattan. The investigation is ongoing, but police believe the victim is one of 11 killed by MS-13 in 2016.
“Our gang unit is undermanned and not provided with the necessary resources to deal with this threat,” said McDermott.
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Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder pushed back on the claim Wednesday on “Fox & Friends,” saying the grisly discovery does not represent a “new norm” in the area.
Ryder said there has been just one MS-13 murder in the past 22 months and violent crime is down 40 percent in the county, a result of a police crackdown in recent years on the brutal transnational gang.
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“The pressure we have put on the gang members has suppressed the gang activity,” he told host Brian Kilmeade.
Ryder said the shortage of detectives stems from a contractual issue in which police officers who get promoted to the rank actually end up with less pay. He said the contract is being re-negotiated and his goal is to increase the total from 12 to 20 in the gang unit.
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