Policing bringing in state troopers to help Hempstead Police Department

HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- Police on Long Island are bringing in state troopers to help the Hempstead Police Department.

The Village of Hempstead is just three and a half square miles with barely 55,000 people. However, the murder rate has more than doubled this year, with five murders so far, compared with four for all of last year.

Mayor Don Ryan admits it's a problem, despite the fact that overall crime in Hempstead is down.

"The numbers, as to overall crime rate are down - the numbers game doesn't mean much," said Ryan.

In the coming days, Hempstead Village Police will be joined by New York State troopers - a plan the mayor says was put forward by the Nassau County Executive.

"They would patrol in the evening hours," added Ryan.

Residents who spoke to Eyewitness News said it would make them feel safer.

The reason for the spike in murders is still not clear, but there is a manpower shortage - the Village police force is down 17 officers.

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