Sheriff's Forum on Gang Intelligence Brings Together Diverse Group of Partners

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HAUPPAUGE, NY-- Hundreds of law enforcement experts gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Hauppauge on Thursday, October 19th for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office’s Annual Gang Intelligence Seminar. The event, which is in its 11th year, was started by Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco in 2006, and is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost events for gang-related information sharing and education.  It is co-sponsored in conjunction with the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network.

Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco, who is also the Chair of Suffolk County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, has made partnering with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to eradicate criminal gangs a priority of his work in public office. 

Among the presenters at the 2017 forum were Al Valdez, Ph.D. and Joseph Kolb.  Dr. Valdez is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant in the areas of youth violence, gang sociology, behaviors, investigations and prosecutions. During Sheriff DeMarco’s opening remarks, he recognized Dr. Valdez for kicking off the first  Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office’s Annual Gang Intelligence Seminar more than a decade ago, and for his expertise in the field. 

Joseph Kolb, the Acting Executive Director for the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime and the Executive Director of the Southwest Gang Information Center, provided the attendees with a detailed overview of the impact of the federal Unaccompanied Alien Children program in local communities, how it must be reformed, and how it has correlated with an increase in MS-13 gang activity. 

Sheriff DeMarco called the ongoing success of the annual seminar an important achievement of his Administration. He stated,  “For the past 11 years, we have seen this annual event grow from a small group of law enforcement professionals to a diverse cross-section of federal, state and local police and community partners working together to share intelligence and information in our fight against gang proliferation in the United States and worldwide.” 

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