Getting rid of violence in Huntington Station

August 6, 2010 2:45:55 PM PDT
The rise of violence has shaken the community of Huntington Station on Long Island.

"We no longer can tolerate this type of behavior," said Bruce Richard, Town public safety director.

Richard is vowing to take back the streets, one house at a time.

When cops recently announced a major Latin King bust, Richard says some of those suspects, lived nearby.

"We're hoping these absentee landlords are making sure that the type of people that they rent to are law abiding citizens that we welcome into the community," adds Richard.

According to town code, authorities can seize a home if it's the location of two arrests for a so-called "public nuisance", in one year.

So they've placed the absentee landlord on notice. One more strike, the landlord and his tenants are out.

"The landlord doesn't really care except that he's renting the property and he's getting the money that he wants, why should he care about what happens in the neighborhood," says one resident.

She asked Eyewitness News not to use her name, but this woman does care. She grew up in Huntington Station, and is tired of seeing poorly kept rental homes that are havens for crime.

She says it's about time the town takes the fight to the bad guys' doors.

In the coming weeks the town will establish a special hotline and open up a community outreach office. So residents can complain about problem properties, as town leaders try to reverse a disturbing cycle of violence.