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Fall Events at Drug Free Massapequa

Members Oppose P.O.P. Reductions

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, Drug Free Massapequa held its general meeting at the Marjorie Post Park Meeting Room, one that featured talks by Steven Chassman and Detective Pamela Stark, two experts on substance abuse.

The evening also included a Junior League update on an Awareness Walk and a Haunted Walk, plus information on a Tennis Night by C.W. Post graduate students, and a presentation by Mark Wenzel of YES Community Counseling on the Cope Counseling Center. There will also be an update on DFM’s New Business operations, such as the New York Tech class working on DFM’s website, logo and marketing.

Detective Pamela Stark is a detective in the Narcotics/Vice Bureau of the Nassau County Police Department. While part of the NCPD’s Community Affairs Department, she was trained to teach the “too good for drugs” program at Nassau County school districts. The program itself is available at no cost to every Nassau County school district to teach grades in 1-12 (curriculum based for each grade level). The Massapequa School District has adopted it for two grades.

In other news, DFM has announced the following events: Haunted Walk, Oct. 17; Golf Outing, Monday, Oct. 18; Tennis Night, Nov. 20; Holiday shopping at a date to be determined; and an Islander event, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011. Janice Talento, president of DFM, told The Massapequan Observer that Sanji Francis, the Merrick-based physician convicted of selling prescription drugs to local youth was to be sentenced on Oct. 7. More details will appear in next week’s edition.

Also last week, DFM members were urged to attend a Public Safety, one that was held Wednesday, Oct. 6 at the Nassau County Legislature building in Mineola.

More specifically, DFM members were urged to oppose plans by the legislature and County Executive Edward I. Mangano to oppose a proposal to dismantle or decrease the number of officers in the P.O.P. (Problem Oriented Police) program or the plainsclothes units.

DFM member Joe Spinosa notes that crime numbers in Massapequa/Massapequa Park have gone down in recent years, due, he said, to community vigilance and increased communication with P.O.P. officers in the Massapequa area. Community leaders and school district officials all have access to P.O.P. units.

Spinosa added that Massapequa borders Suffolk County areas that, he said, have higher crime rates. Doing away with the P.O.P. program would be a “devastating blow to [Massapequa] and other communities throughout Nassau County,” Spinosa said. There is the matter of safety and security, but also property values that would be affected by any increase in crime, he added.

“Our safety and security must not be compromised,” Spinosa said. “Our officers who must go home safely to their families each day must be considered as well.”