Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano has announced an aggressive joint initiative between the Nassau County Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police after 11 incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti appeared on three Five Towns Long Island Rail Road station platforms over the past year.
Mr. Mangano stated, “While the MTA Police have full jurisdiction over crimes that occur on Long Island Rail Road platforms, the Nassau County Police Department has offered assistance as it is alarming that Five Towns residents have been subjected to several hateful messages on MTA properties. Nassau County will not tolerate these detestable acts and is partnering with the MTA by offering its intelligence-led policing assets to strengthen the MTA efforts to apprehend those responsible for such hate crimes.”
Police indicate that anti-Semitic graffiti incidents have typically occurred overnight and generally consist of profanity-laced statements scrawled in permanent marker on one or several platform billboards or station signs bolted to platform barriers. In virtually every instance, the graffiti made direct hateful reference to Orthodox Jews. Vandals etched a crude swastika into a Lucite wall of the platform shelters.
“The Five Towns is home to one of the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish communities,” said Nassau County Legislator Howard J. Kopel of Five Towns. “We have numerous Holocaust survivors who live here, and a great many first- or second-generation descendants of Holocaust survivors. These blatant displays of hatred are jarring reminders of a traumatic time, and I’m pleased with the efforts of the County Executive and the Nassau County Police to put an end to these outrageous acts.”
Repeated incidents like this are unusual. The Nassau County Police Department is actively engaged in an effort to deter future incidents, as well as to identify and arrest the perpetrators. The Department has made intelligence-led assets available to work with the MTA, including additional marked cars; uniformed officers; plainclothes detectives; and remotely monitored video surveillance cameras on station platforms.
To assist police, Crime Stoppers is asking anyone who can identify the persons responsible for these anti-Semitic acts of vandalism, or anyone with any information about the crime, to call their toll-free hotline at 800-244-TIPS (8477) or contact the MTA Police Detective Division District #2 directly at 516-222-6501. Refer to PD case #12-14636. Residents do not have to reveal their identities to help solve this crime. v