AN OP-ED BY VILLAGE TRUSTEE BETTY MANZELLA elizabeth.manzella@masticbeachvillageny.gov

An ongoing effort by the Village of Mastic Beach has been to address the critical quality-of-life issues that affect our residents. It is good to report that Operation Take-Back, the program that addresses illegal housing in our community, has been tackling these problems one house at a time. The Village's Public-Safety Department has had the additional benefit of assisting the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) in apprehending criminals.

Last week, the Village Public-Safety Department supported the SCPD 7th Precinct and impounded four (4) All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). So far there has been two (2) quads and two (2) dirtbikes taken off the streets. One individual was arrested for criminal possession of stolen property when he was caught driving an ATV that was reported stolen from Riverhead, on Lafayette Drive in Shirley.  There have been numerous complaints regarding the illegal use of ATVs in the Village, and residents should know that our Public-Safety Officers are doing what they can to help combat the issue.  During the month of September, the Village of Mastic Beach impounded nine (9) off-road vehicles and issued eleven (11) summonses relating to the illegal operation of these vehicles on public roadways.

The second incident was far more severe. SCPD Investigators, looking for a dangerous criminal, were able to ascertain pertinent information regarding his whereabouts from our Public-Safety Officers.  Thanks to the quick work of the SCPD the criminal was arrested.  A suspected gang member, he was wanted for attempted murder in North Carolina. He was a squatter in an abandoned home in the Village that was scheduled to be shut down through Operation Take-Back.  

Public-Safety has been doing a tremendous job partnering with police from the 7th precinct. They have been addressing zombie-homes and illegal rentals in our community. We are sending the strong message, Mastic Beach Village is not open for business if your business is to break-the-law.  

For those who wish to come here to live the good life by the shore, the welcome mat is out. For criminals, keep moving. 

The Village of Mastic Beach is cleaning the mess. 

Elizabeth "Betty" Manzella
Trustee, Village of Mastic Beach