102 Precinct Communtiy Council Meeting – April 2013

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The 102nd Precinct Community Council held their monthly meeting on Tuesday April 16th in the basement of the Richmond Hill Library.  At the start of the meeting, Officers Mary Carter and John Sullivan were honored for their good work by 102 Pct Captain Henry “Hank” Sautner — you can hear about them here:

Next, officers from Transit gave the attendees several safety tips on protecting their property while riding the trains.  The number one lesson seemed to be — stay awake!  We heard stories of passengers waking up to find their pockets slashed and their wallets removed.  Small devices such as iPods and cell phones were also noted as very attractive items to snatchers and thieves.

They also advised us to take part in the NYPD’s Operation ID Program in which your small portable electronics will be etched with an ID Number (it is barely visible – but visible to the NYPD).  NOTE:  The WRBA is going to be hosting an Operation ID event on Saturday, April 27th from 10 AM to 2 PM at 84-20 Jamaica Avenue.  At this event you will also be able to register your vehicles in the Combat Auto Theft (CAT) and Help End Auto Theft (HEAT) programs.  Click here for more information.

Then Captain Sautner gave his report, starting off with a recap of the building collapse and the role the 102 played in securing the scene.  They had had a vehicle at the site since the collapse to protect the public from getting too close.

Then he moved on to the March 29th stun gun attack in the Forest Hills section of Forest Park, which he described as a “horrific assault.”  There was a second assault shortly afterwards, on Woodhaven Boulevard – Captain Sautner credited some excellent detective work by the Special Victims Unit for the capture of the suspect.  They thought he was also the guy who carried out the attack in the park, but it wasn’t him.  So the first attacker is still on the loose, but the 2nd attacker is in custody and will be in for a long time.  Captain Sautner described him as “a really bad guy” who did nearly 20 years for murder (of his aunt, no less) in “a very violent, brutal way.”  He was not a member of our community, he was on parole and in the Captain’s opinion he would have gone on commit a lot of other violent crimes had he not been caught.

Special Victims Unit have gone back 2 years, looking at any and all unsolved crimes of a sexual nature (7 incidents) to see if there were any connections to either of these attacks.  He noted that there has been an increased police presence in the park and said that the 102 has procured a couple of ATVs so that officers can navigate ground more quickly, especially in areas that the cars cannot access.  Temporary Headquarters have also been set up on Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South, which is open 24 hours a day.

He noted that he recently went of a long walking tour of the park, which is over 475 acres.  He remarked on the beauty of the park and the many trails and off-shoots and all the cross country runners that he saw and he said that he wants members of the community to enjoy the park.  However, he cautioned that people should try to stick to the main roads and be careful.  He also noted that all New York City Parks officially close at 9 PM, anyone in the park after that time is trespassing.  Captain Sautner noted that they would be meeting with the Parks Department and trying to procure as many PEP (Park Enforcement patrol) officers as he can.

He urged that people be cautious and that if they see suspicious activity that they say something – call 911, call the precinct (718-805-3200).

With the summer fast approaching he noted plans to implement a 311 auto for the midnight tour that would be dedicated to handling quality of life complaints, such as residential noise.

There was some discussion of robberies occurring within Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park (106th Precinct), targeting people with cultural flags outside their homes.  Captain Sautner said that some criminals equate those flags with wealth, setting them up as targets.  He also cautioned against keeping large sums of money in the house.

And finally, the Captain discussed efforts to stop commercial truck parking along Woodhaven Boulevard (near Myrtle and across from the Co-Ops).  This has been an ongoing problem and it steals valuable parking spots from those who live in the apartment complex.  Captain Sautner revealed plans to tackle that problem and we will speak with our contacts in the Co-Ops and let you know the results of the 102’s actions.

The 102nd Precinct Community Council will meet again on Tuesday, May 20th at 7 PM in the basement of the Richmond Hill Library.

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