Districts say Cuomo gave no notice of anti-gang initiative

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Two Long Island school districts say they weren’t informed ahead of time that they are slated to have state troopers patrolling hallways as part of a new anti-gang initiative.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new gang violence prevention units for 10 Suffolk schools this week. Cuomo said that a state police officer would be placed at the schools with the highest incidents of gang-related activity.

Huntington Superintendent Jim Polansky told News 12 that the governor’s office gave the high school principal two hours’ notice to attend the Wednesday event. Polansky is questioning why they weren’t informed ahead of time about the program, as well as why Huntington High School is on the list.

"My comment initially when I was called on this immediately I said this insinuates a problem that doesn't exist in our high school,” says Polansky. “That's really what it comes down to."

Longwood Superintendent Dr. Michael Lonergan also says he had no prior knowledge about the task force or how his district was chosen. In a message on the district website, Lonergan went on to say, “During the meeting there was never any discussion that Longwood or any of the other schools have active gang activity. Our schools do not have gangs roaming the hallways or threatening our school community."

Some parents are also upset about the initiative.

"They did not do their homework,” says Rob Maichim, of Huntington. “They did not talk to anybody in the school."

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