Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez and Councilman Tom Donnelly recently hosted an event at Lindenhurst High School on the dangers of gang-affiliation. The panel, titled “Gang Prevention and Interventions for Our Youth,” was hosted in conjunction with the Town of Babylon Beacon Family Wellness Center, which helps individuals overcome addiction issues. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, Hon. Fernando Camacho of the Suffolk County Supreme Court and a representative from the Suffolk County Probation Gang Unit were also in attendance.
Keynote speaker Sergio Argueta, Chairperson and Founder of Struggles to Reunite Our New Generation (S.T.R.O.N.G.), began the event with a presentation about his experiences with gangs. As a social worker, Argueta has counseled troubled youths throughout his career. He offered his opinions on the struggles facing the neighborhoods and families within them that experience gang activity.
Judge Camacho spoke about the rampant drug use that goes along with gang activity, stating that he has seen countless minors addicted to opioids. He also covered the issue of the incarceration of young, first-time offenders, suggesting that rehabilitation and counseling may be a better method to improving their lives and communities.
Pictured from left to right: Delores Bocklet, Director of Drugs & Alcohol Services for the Beacon Family Wellness Center; Tom Donnelly; Tim Sini; Sergio Argueta; Hon. Fernando Camacho; Rich Schaffer; Superintendent Dan Giordano, Lindenhurst School District; Tony Martinez.