A memo circulated through the New York Police Department’s 105th Precinct warned officers that members of the deadly MS-13 gang were “looking to hit” Long Island officers, especially those off-duty.
“Intel has been obtained that members of MS13 are looking to ‘hit’ NYPD police officers, specifically in the Brentwood/Central Islip area, as well as possibly Patchogue in order to gain street credibility,” the memo said, according to the New York Post. “These members are conducting reconnaissance of [member of service] private residences.”
Authorities warned that the department had received “threats” against officers who live in the areas listed above and advised police officers to “always be cognizant” of their surroundings and to change their routine while remaining vigilant of anything unusual.
CBS New York reported that the threats have “not been substantiated,” but that law enforcement is treating them seriously.
“Whenever a law enforcement officer is being threatened, especially by an organization like MS-13 which we already know is uber violent and has killed numerous people throughout the country if not throughout the world, this has to be taken serious,” former FBI agent Manny Gomez told the outlet.
“They are going above and beyond what any other gang does, and the scary part is that we already know that they legitimately carry out their threats and they are extremely violent,” Gomez added, in reference to the warning that gang members were surveilling police homes.
Sgt. Jessica McRorie told Fox News that the alert was sent out “out of an abundance of caution” even though the threat from MS-13 targeting New York law enforcement officers was “unverified.”
Earlier this month, a member of the violent gang, who was reportedly in the country illegally, shot and killed a 16-year-old member of the rival 18th Street Gang in Queens. In January, a 16-year-old was stabbed after leaving a Long Island Burger King by three classmates who were also reported to be illegal immigrants associated with MS-13.
The Post also reported that three MS-13 gang members attacked a fellow inmate at The Tombs jail in Manhattan last October.
MS-13 started on the West Coast but is moving east, and appears to have a presence in New York, specifically on Long Island. Fox News reports the gang’s motto is “’mata, viola, controla’ – which means ‘kill, rape, control,’ according to Robert Hur, an official with the Justice Department.”