Monday, July 11, 2011

Press Release on New Crime Proposal

Click HERE for Freeman story.


Over the last decade, Kingston has been under assault by various gangs engaged in drug trafficking, violent assaults, and even murder. Many residents live in fear as a result.

Since 2005, several ideas and concepts have been proposed by Richard Cahill to fight crime and gangs, including a county wide drug and gang violence task force and a Nuisance Abatement Law. The task force was eventually implemented in 2007 by Sheriff VanVlarcum and the Kingston Common Council eventually adopted a similar Nuisance Abatement proposal offered by Don Williams, who is now County Court Judge. Both have been effective.

In the last 4 years, D.A. Holley Carnright has aggressively prosecuted gang members in some of the most high profile cases and trials seen in over a decade. The result is that gang members and the gangs themselves have taken a real hit. Now, the time has come to finish the job and rid the City of Kingston of these gangs which have caused such havoc”, Cahill said.

I am proposing that the City of Kingston implement a Gang Injunction Order program,” Cahill said, “This is the final piece of the puzzle to finally break the stranglehold gangs have on Kingston, especially Mid-Town.”

A gang injunction is a court-issued restraining order prohibiting gang members from participating in certain activities. It is based on the legal theory that gang activity constitutes a public nuisance that prevents non-gang members from enjoying peace in their communities.

Since 1999, to prevent rulings against injunctions in the name of constitutionality, city attorneys have carefully worded their filings so that they individually name every gang member, establish a designated area where the injunction applies, and enumerate the exact activities that gang members are prohibited from doing. These generally include association with one another, wearing certain clothes, making certain hand gestures, acting as lookouts, fighting, drinking, and using drugs. Some prohibited activities are already illegal, but the injunction means that violators can be held in contempt of court, which would demand additional sanctions.

I believe the Kingston Police Department, Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, and all of our local law enforcement have the necessary information and street intelligence needed to begin seeking these injunction orders,” Cahill said, “This is the next step in taking back our streets and making Kingston safe for its citizens.”

Cahill also noted that this program is necessary to show Kingston’s children that gang life is not choice they should make. “Many local children talk about the gangs and too many think joining a gang is a way to be cool or to get ahead,” Cahill said, “This program is designed to make life practically unbearable for gang members. Hopefully, our youth will see this and realize that gang life is not for them. I have seen too many young people sent off to prison and their lives ruined because they joined a gang.”

Cahill believes a gang injunction order program will be very effective in Kingston as it has been in many areas.

As noted by the Los Angeles Police Department, “A gang injunction is a restraining order against a group. It is a civil suit that seeks a court order declaring the gang’s public behavior a nuisance and asking for special rules directed toward it’s activity. Injunctions can address the neighborhood’s gang problem before it reaches the level of felony crime activity. Gang injunctions have a clearly demonstrable positive affect on the neighborhood area covered. Some have had a remarkable effect. In smaller areas, gang nuisance activity can be permanently removed. In larger areas, with gangs entrenched for years, the gang’s hold on the area can be reduced and maintained with a small team of law enforcement officers. Anecdotal evidence is fully supportive; residents continue to ask for the period of peace a gang injunction can provide.”

Though some challenge the effectiveness of such a program, a study performed in March 2011, entitled the "Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Gang Injunctions in California", was published in the Journal of Criminal Justice Research (JCJR). The study was to determine whether gang injunctions reduce crime, when compared to baseline and matched control areas. The study evaluated 25 gang injunctions from four California counties and compared them to communities with similar gang problems but without gang injunctions. It was determined that calls for service were significantly reduced compared to baseline and compared to matched controls. “It was found that Part 1 (violent crime) calls decreased 11.6% compared to baseline, while controls averaged an increase of 0.8%, a net benefit of 12.4%. Part 2 (less serious) calls decreased 15.9% compared to baseline, while controls averaged a mild increase of 1.6%, a net benefit of 17.5%. Total calls for service decreased 14.1% compared to baseline, while controls averaged an increase of 2.3%, a net benefit of 16.4%. This study confirmed that gang injunctions can be a very beneficial tool if used and implemented correctly and that they can have a corresponding impact on reducing gang crime in the communities they are implemented.” (Author: Matthew O'Deane, Title: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Gang Injunctions in California, March 2011, Publisher: The Journal of Criminal Justice Research (JCJR)

The United States Department of Justice issued a report in 1994 which questioned the use of gang injunction orders in large cities, but agreed that such a program effectively reduces gang activity in small towns, cities, and neighborhoods.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a hell of an idea, Rich. We need to go after the gangs and throw them out of Kingston.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your interest in this issue, and bringing this program to light. However, I am concerned that these efforts would not pass muster in NYS Courts. Certainly worth the effort to find out...

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...


A reasonable concern. California courts are notoriously liberal though. Whether they are more so than New York's is a matter of debate.

I agree we need to try though.

Anonymous said...

This is good stuff, Rich. We must fight these gangs.

Anonymous said...

Why is Mariner's allowed to continue to have an outside bar and patio that is owned by the City.

Anonymous said...

It's not just Mariner's. I live in the Rondout area, and have to navigate the tables on the sidewalk at Savona's too. I have no problem with any of these places making money and offering outside seating, but the sidewalk is for the public to walk on, not for chairs and tables. If you have a little patio in the front, side, or back, like some of these places do, that's fine. Some of the looks I get from the patrons when I walk through with my dog are nasty, and I give the look back and mutter that it is a sideWALK!

Anonymous said...

DPW has a blinking sign on Foxhall and Flatbush thanking motorists for their patience?

They suspend brush pickup June thru September - why not suspend snow-plowing January thru March?

Anonymous said...

the sign is for the black topping they did u need to get a life and stop complaing

Anonymous said...

7:28, that is all Mike Schupp's idea, not the working men. He bears the blame for all the hairbrain ideas that have changed the way your yardewaste,recycling and other dumb ideas he has come up with. The big mess of a project on Washington ave. is a pathetic reminder of how incompetent Schupp really is as a dept. head. Also, he does have some help with his stupid ideas coming from his gal pal "safety officer" Diane Berquist. her ideas are also foolish and unrealistic. What do you expect from a former bus driver with zero experience in ever working as a safety officer ANYWHERE! Also hard to take from her when she lives as far away as GREEN COUNTY! How do you feel about that, having a woman who does not live and pay taxes in our county or city and makes a good buck on our payroll while other Kingstonians are out of work. I dont like it one bit and neither should you,Kingston.

I'm right & ya know it, said...

You live in a fantasy land if you think you will get rid of the gangs, ever!!!

these thugs & scum will be here until the African-American & latino communities rebuild their family structure & get stability & role models in the lives of their youth.

Sen Daniel Moynihan was right decades ago !!!
Look it up !!!

Dream on Rich,

Anonymous said...

Senor proposes changing the current curfew from 10 PM to 8 PM. The current curfew is not enforce and 8 PM makes no sense during the summer as it it still light out until 9 PM. AND ONCE AGAIN HOW WILL IT BE ENFORCED.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...


So we should sit on our behinds and do nothing? Not me. I believe we can fight back against the gangs and criminal organizations.

If elected Mayor, I will do just that. I would rather fight the gangs and lose than just sit back and do nothing.