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‘No Hate Zones’ coming to Riverhead

Riverhead’s Anti-Bias Task Force is planning to place 25 signs around town that read “No Hate Zone.”

Noreen LeCann, the task force’s vice chair, discussed the proposal with the Riverhead Town Board last Thursday and got the go-ahead to purchase the 8-by-10-inch signs, which will be put at the entrances to various neighborhoods in town.

The signs will have a slash mark through the word “hate” and give the task force’s phone number, 1-631-727-3200, ext. 303.

A recent incident involving racist comments posted on Facebook by the town attorney’s wife called attention to the task force. The group’s leaders believe many people who have been victims of hate crimes have not reported them.

Town Board members said they’d prefer the sign show the task force phone number for people to call if they are harassed, rather than direct them to the police department or 911.

In many cases, said Councilman John Dunleavy, a former police officer, “the police are not going to do anything. They will say it’s a civil matter.”

Ms. LeCann said the task force received a cost estimate of $412 for the 25 signs. But she added that town Highway Superintendent George Woodson indicated he could make the signs for less.

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