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Cuomo Calls For Effort To Keep Kids Away From MS-13

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to expand the state's war on the notorious MS-13 street gang that is terrorizing Suffolk County.

As WCBS 880's Ethan Harp reported, that could mean spending more than $10 million to keep kids, who are often undocumented immigrants, away from the gang.

"We are putting extreme pressure on these gang members," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Nearly two dozen killings on Long Island last year have been blamed on MS-13.

Just this month, authorities arrested five MS-13 gang members they said attempted to kidnap and kill a high school student in Brentwood.

Bellone said while hundreds of accused gang members have been arrested, "It's also important that we're undermining the gang's ability to recruit."

Cuomo's plan would include more afterschool programs in "at-risk areas," job and vocational training, and medical and mental health support.

"MS-13 is a scourge all across the country," Cuomo said Sunday on the Cats Roundtable show with John Catsimatidis on AM970. "We have a comprehensive approach that is going to do law enforcement, more police, more cameras, aviation equipment but also we want to reach out to the young people in the schools and give them an alternative."

The key, Bellone thinks, is reaching the kids before MS-13 does.

"It will have a really positive impact, I think," Bellone said.

The proposal will be included in Cuomo's 2018 State of the State address on Jan. 3.

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