Mayor: Wendy’s killings could have been avoided

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The mayor unveiled Operation Discover, a new program that would double the number of officers assigned to apprehend people who flee after they are implicated in crimes.

The lame-duck mayor used this week's State of the City address to propose a wide variety of projects, including tacking on a sixth day of school for science, English, and reading instruction; expanding a wide variety of Police Department programs; and reforming the city Department of Buildings.

Giuliani said Craig Godineaux and John Taylor, who are charged with murdering five employees execution-style at a Wendy's fast-food restaurant in Flushing last spring, could have been apprehended under Operation Discover.

A bench warrant for Taylor's arrest was issued on a robbery charge several months before the killing.

"Go look at Craig Godineaux and look at his criminal record," Giuliani said during a nearly two-hour speech. "If we had taken Craig Godineaux and not given him parole, maybe we would have avoided those five murders."

Comparing himself to a composer who seeks to put a wide range of ideas into a single opera, Giuliani described his final 11-months in office as "an active, aggressive year" when the city would "try to get as many things accomplished as possible."

On the education front, the mayor turned his proposal to abolish the city Board of Education into a running joke as he outlined several other plans to improve the city's school system. Giuliani once proposed blowing up the Board of Education headquarters at 110 Livingston St. in Brooklyn as a way to reform the agency.

Giuliani said he would seek to establish Project Science and Project English as weekend programs to help about 45,000 additional students in those subject areas. The mayor also said he would work to expand summer school, create classroom libraries throughout the city and improve facilities and equipment in high schools.

He also announced a deal to sell 110 Livingston St. and relocate the Board of Ed to a smaller building where the mayor said it would share space with a future high school.

But it was Giuliani's extensive proposals involving the NYPD that dominated his final State of the City address.

The mayor also used the example of the Saturday arrest of Troy Brown, the suspect in the murder of two employees at a Trade Fair supermarket in Astoria last month, to renew his call for a state-of-the-art DNA analysis lab at Bellevue Hospital.

DNA evidence was collected from Brown when he was brought in for questioning in the murder case after detectives offered to change a bandage on his hand, the mayor said. Officers then kept the old bandage and culled the genetic material from it to charge Brown with the murders, he said.

"We have to continue to use DNA as a way of documenting crimes," Giuliani said. "We have to make sure we stay ahead of the curve on this."

City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis) praised Giuliani's law enforcement proposals, describing them as "meritorious."

"I thought they were good, each and every one of them," said Leffler, the head of the council's Public Safety committee.

Some of the mayor's other law enforcement proposals included:

* the establishment of a property crimes task force at precincts with a large number of robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies, like the 111th Police Precinct in Bayside.

* expanding the use of closed-circuit cameras in five of the city's public housing developments.

* plans to study the feasibility of adding a 311 emergency line in the city to supplement the now-overburdened 911.

* the creation of a reward system for information leading to the seizure of illegal guns.

* a survey to determine both public satisfaction with the NYPD and the department's needs.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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