MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
An ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the crime of criminal street gang recruitment of a minor.
On behalf of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, we write to support Senate bill S 6980 and Assembly bill A 9971 and urge its passage in both houses of the Legislature.
Gangs clearly pose a significant threat to community safety. From January to mid-October 2009, there were approximately 200 gang motivated incidents in New York City alone. These incidents often involve innocent victims who are devastated by gang violence.
In order to combat the influence that gangs have on our youth throughout New York State, it is important that we punish those who actively recruit new members. This legislation would target recruiters of street gangs by creating the crime of gang recruitment of a minor. A person who is found guilty of criminal street gang recruitment when he or she coerces, recruits or induces a person under sixteen years of age to join their gang will be charged with a class C felony.
Since this bill would create the crime of criminal street gang recruitment of a minor, thereby deterring such criminal activity and protecting the safety of our youth, we strongly urge that it be enacted into law.
New York State Association of Chiefs of Police