The MS-13 gang has made a threat of violence toward officers in the Nassau County Police Department, according to a statement released on Thursday.
“We are taking appropriate action to ensure the safety and security of our officers and medics,” Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in the statement.
A person described as a “credible news source” warned the department that the gang is looking to shoot an officer on Long Island, according to News 12.
A man named Christian reportedly told the informant that the gang is looking to retaliate for the arrest of several members and take back the streets. He also said that any member of the gang could carry out the attack.
“I will not tolerate any threats against my officers and the Nassau County Police Department will continue to protect our residents and communities,” Ryder said.
The information came from Hempstead police officers.
“The safety of the police is paramount to protecting our communities,” said Mike Fricchione, the press secretary for the Town of Hempstead. “We stand in solidarity with the entire law enforcement community against these heinous and disturbing threats.”
Ryder said that there were no specific officers being targeted, according to Newsday.
The Nassau Police Department has increased patrols and several organizations— including Nassau’s Police Benevolent Association— have offered thousands of dollars in rewards for information about the gang.
“As we investigate the circumstances surrounding this threat, residents are encouraged to call 911 immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious regarding any threats,” Ryder said.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran pledged her full support for the department.
“We stand behind our men and women of the Nassau County Police Department,” she said in a statement. “We will not tolerate a threat on our police officers or residents and will do whatever it takes to keep Nassau County safe.”
The MS-13 gang is active in several parts of the United States, according to the FBI, including Los Angeles and the Mid-Atlantic. Many of the gang members come from Central America, particularly El Salvador.
The gang has been blamed for several gruesome murders on Long Island. Earlier this year, seventeen alleged members and associates of the MS-13 gang were indicted on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and drug trafficking both in Nassau County and across several states.