Philip Ramos

NYS Seal

Dear Neighbor,

As a former Suffolk County police officer and father, I’ve seen how important it is to fight crime and provide youths with a safe alternative to the streets. Unfortunately, our community has been plagued with gang violence and crime. Many of these gang members will often flee the country after committing a crime - making it harder to prosecute them.

I took the lead to get a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in cooperation with the Suffolk County Police Department and the El Salvadorian Police Department to help open up the lines of communication. In October 2004, the Suffolk County Police Department and the Civilian National Police of the Republic of El Salvador signed a MOU - which allows the sharing of equipment and communications so police departments can more easily, quickly and accurately gather information about these criminals and ultimately reduce the number of gang related crimes - helping to keep our families out of harm’s way.

In order to be successful, we need to approach gang violence from multiple angles. While implementing tougher penalties and cracking down on crime, we also need to work with the community to help these kids find a more positive outlet. We can learn from strategies like the ones used by the El Salvadorian police to steer our own youth away from gang violence. The El Salvadorian police have worked with churches to help gang members learn a trade by developing new skills. Recently, 50 former gang members received their electrician certification.

I am currently working alongside local community leaders to help combat gang violence here in Suffolk County. And I will continue working in the Assembly to pass laws to reduce gang-related crimes and make our community a safer place.

Philip Ramos
Member of Assembly

"Working in a precinct that has some gang problems, it was beneficial to travel to El Salvador and see first hand what my counterparts there were doing to combat gang activity. The opportunity to meet face to face and establish lines of communication and share information should help both countries combat illegal gang activities."

- Inspector Patrick Cuff, Commanding Officer,
3rd Precinct, Suffolk County Police Department

Assemblyman Philip Ramos:
Working to make our community safer
In cooperation with the US Department of Homeland Security, this agreement with the El Salvadorian Police Department is the first of its kind

The Memorandum of Understanding between these departments is believed to be the first time that a police department in the United States has signed a treaty with a foreign country to share information and training techniques. Ramos and the Suffolk County Police Department worked for months with the Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration Customs Enforcement Department and the National El Salvadorian Police Department before this MOU was signed. This treaty will assist both police departments in combating gang activities and gang violence by:

  • sharing information regarding gang members and gang activities

  • increasing communication to permit the departments to accurately track criminals

  • sharing equipment and training programs to ensure the best possible tools are being used

  • leading the way for innovative programs to provide positive activities for "at risk" youth

Helping reduce gang violence

Assemblyman Ramos sponsored a package of bills to help reduce gang-related crimes in our community by:

  • increasing penalties for the recruitment of minors into criminal street gang activity (A.3066)

  • establishing the "Criminal Street Gang Related Crimes Act" to increase penalties for gang crimes (A.5326)

  • expanding the crimes for which juveniles, ages 14 and 15, may be tried as adults to include: aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree; gang assault in the first degree; course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree; and use of a firearm in the first degree (A.496)

Securing over $150,000 for safe local programs

Investing in community programs is essential in combating the gang problem and that is why I have fought to secure over $150,000 in funding for local programs. Some of the programs are:

  • Bay Shore - Brightwaters Public Library, Literacy Program

  • Brentwood Public Library, Education and Career Center

  • Bolton Center, Teen Arts Program

  • Central Islip Public Library, After School Reading Program

  • Center of Hope, Summer Youth Program

  • Great South Bay YMCA, After School Program

  • Literacy Volunteers of America, Reading Program

  • Police Athletic League (PAL), Anti-Bullying Program

  • School District Anti-Drug / Anti-Violence Program

  • Town of Islip Access Anti-Drug Program

  • Youth Enrichment Services (YES), After School Program

In a survey of New York’s police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors, 93 percent agreed that if we fail to make greater investments in after-school programs and educational child care now, we will pay more later in crime, welfare and other costs.

"The criminal activities of street gangs can no longer be effectively addressed on a local, or even national level. Their sphere of influence has become international in scope and requires an international partnership to combat. In furtherance of a cooperation agreement forged by Police Commissioner Richard Dormer and Assemblyman Phil Ramos with the National Police of El Salvador, this agreement establishes protocols for sharing intelligence information - and advancing unified gang interdiction efforts were solidified. This historic melding of law enforcement resources will send a clear and convincing message to those members of street gangs who victimize our neighborhoods - there will be no safe haven for those who break the law."
- Kenneth Rav, Chief of Detectives,
Suffolk County Police Department

Philip Ramos
1010 Suffolk Avenue
Brentwood, NY 11717

Assemblyman Ramos