102 Pct. Community Council – February 2013

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February’s 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting was held last night (02/19) at 7 PM in the basement of the Richmond Hill Library.

Reminder:  The NYPD’s Community Affairs Office is coming to Woodhaven TONIGHT (2/20) – 8 PM at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue) to discuss the Blockwatcher program.

The meeting began with the awarding of the Cop of the Month, an officer from the Conditions unit which had been concentrating their patrol on Jamaica Avenue because of some recent robberies and larcenies targeting the elderly.

Captain Sautner explained that they had received a radio call of a female being robbed on 88th Avenue and 86th Street – the woman, 58 years old, had been knocked down and had her purse taken.  Because the officers were nearby they were able to catch the criminal – a young male, 17, well known to the officers, known to have a bit of a drug problem.

The officers secured the property of the victim and made a positive identification.  Turned out he had stolen a pocketbook the day before on Jamaica Avenue between Woodhaven Boulevard and 92nd Street (grabbed a pocketbook from a laundromat and fled).  Subsequently he knocked down a 70 year old woman around the corner and took her purse.  He confessed to these 2 crimes and another – so they got him for 4 major crimes, he’s got a court date in February.  He’s currently on probation and officers have already been to his house twice.  Nice job!

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(We asked — he was not the same suspect in the attacks we reported on recently by a young man on a bike).

Overall, Captain Sautner reported that crime is up a little compared to the previous 28 day period, but down from the same period year to date from last year.  The Captain reported an uptick in car break ins as well as home robberies (people go away for a few days, come back and find that their house was broken into).  These crimes have been spread out over the entire command (102 Precinct which covers Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill East, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, and the Northern part of Ozone Park).

The Captain noted that the 102nd Precinct offers a free survey of your home.  The 102 Precinct’s safety officer will come over to your home, look for weak spots — he will write up a full report for you, offering suggestions on how you can make your home more secure.  If interested, call the Community Affairs office 718-805-3215.

The Captain also recommended keeping an eye out for one of their etching events.  You can get your automobile etched at one of the periodic safety events held by elected officials.  You should also get your portables etched — iPods, iPhones, laptops, etc.  The Woodhaven Residents Block Association will host one soon (date to be announced).

The Captain also wanted to stress pedestrian and driver safety.  They 102 has been analyzing accident prone locations within the precinct.  He noted that we had a fatality last week, a car coming Northbound on Woodhaven Boulevard had the light – the pedestrian was clipped, it wasn’t at a high rate of speed (no criminality involved).

Overall, he noted that it seems like the fault lies 50/50 between pedestrians and drivers.  He said that it’s easier to address vehicle safety — they can step up enforcement for cars speeding or running red lights, they can also make recommendations to DOT whether it be better lighting or other recommendations.

As for pedestrians he said that there is not a phone call that is so urgent you can’t wait to cross the street to answer.  He asked for help spreading the word to residents to be more aware of their surroundings — not only for accidents, but for criminals who prey on people who are distracted.  Captain Sautner also said that the 102 Precinct in looking to create a comprehensive plan to get the word out to residents to be more aware.

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The next 102 Precinct Community Council Meeting is Tuesday March 19th at 7 PM in the basement of the Richmond Hill Library.

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