BRENTWOOD - Police stepped up patrols today in the crime-plagued communities of Brentwood and Central Islip.

The move comes after civic groups sent a letter to county officials last week, asking them to take measures to stop the violence.

Suffolk police say they've added officers in the department's gang, aggressive driving and DWI units to combat the problem. In addition, police officers are staying past their shifts in hopes of deterring crime.

"The more cops in the area, the better," says officer Brian Grenz. "They see us out there, we're visible, definitely acts as a deterrent."

Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer says he's working to address the violence in the wake of at least three shootings that happened in Brentwood and Central Islip in the past three weeks.

So far, police say none of the crimes have been solved, and all three are gang-related.

Dormer claims violent crime is down more than 20 percent in the county as compared to this time last year.