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The Civic Scene: Overall crime down in 107th, but daytime burglaries on rise

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Each month the 107th Precinct Community Council holds a meeting on the next to the last or the last Tuesday of the month in the ready room of the 107th Precinct at 71-01 Parsons Blvd. in Flushing. Capt. Patrick Heaney attends these meetings along with his lieutenant, sergeant and other relevant police officers who can help him report to the people who attend these meetings.

Some of the good news which Capt. Heaney reported was that crime is down about 10 percent on top of a reduction of about 18 percent from last year. Of course, the crime figure changes from month to month but it is definitely down.

Some of the bad news is that burglaries of homes and stores is up, usually during the daytime. The 107th Precinct is working on this problem but they are giving you this information so you can be careful.

A bit of bad news is that the number of police officers in the 107th Precinct is way down. This is because of retirements. Some officers retired after receiving lots of overtime, counted toward retirement, after the Sept. 11 catastrophe.

The next class of police officers will graduate from the Police Academy later this month. Another class will graduate in December. Chief Lawless of Queens South has promised to allocate sufficient officers to the 107th Precinct. He has also said that his priorities will be crime, terrorism and quality of life issues.

Police are mostly assigned to a precinct on the basis of crime figures. We are fortunate to be a low-crime area. However, I believe that people in Fresh Meadows don’t bother to report a broken window or consistently noisy neighbors or noisy cars or noisy motorcycles or people driving down the block the wrong way or people going through stop signs without stopping or a stolen bicycle. If you don’t go to the precinct and make a formal report the crime or quality of life issue never officially happened and thus, there is no need to assign more officers to our precinct.

At the recent meeting 107th Precinct Community Council President Carolann Foley thanked the owners of the Met Food Store in ElecChester for donating food to recent meetings. It was announced that last December 110 children came to the Halloween party, that senior citizens defensive diving classes were given, and that the Explorer Scout program — every precinct has one — has approximately 54 youngsters attending regularly.

At the January meeting the West Cunningham Park Civic Association presented a plaque to the officers of the precinct for their “continued service to the community,” the owners Met Food Store in ElecChester were given a plaque for their donations of food at the meetings and Officer Warren Ernst and Sgt. Christopher Connally were named cops of the month for their outstanding service to the community.

It was announced that election of civilian officers for the 107th Precinct Community Council will take place in June. People who attend at least three monthly meetings during the year can vote. Any resident can attend these meetings to listen, to ask questions and voice a complaint if they desire.

Good and Bad News of the Week

It seems that the automobile industry is making a lot of money selling SUVs. This is positive for the American auto industry because selling vehicles is good for the companies and the economy.

The bad news of he week came in a recent “Frontline” TV show on Channel 13 which told, again, of the danger of rollovers by sport utility vehicles. I dislike SUVs because they are too big and too high and I can’t see around or through them when driving on city streets or on highways. I also find that a SUV parked at a corner means that I have to edge into the street because I can’t see around it to determine if a car is coming. The Jamaica Estates Civic Association has had “no parking” signs put up near corners to make it easier to see traffic coming down their streets.

Another thing I dislike about SUVs is the poor gasoline mileage they get which increases our dependency on foreign oil. The auto industry has lobbied to keep the SUVs classified as automobiles and not trucks to prevent higher gasoline mileage being required. It seems that the SUV was designed as a rough terrain vehicle, which is probably why people like them, but they were not designed for high speed travel of 55 or 65 miles per hour which is why they roll over so easily. The TV show explained that some SUVs are now being made wider and lower, as people said they should be 15 years ago, so there is less of a chance of a rollover.

The show said that there will be 70,000 rollovers this year and 2,000 deaths which seems very high to me. Now when I drive I have to watch out for trucks and also SUVs. I hope I am not near one when it rolls over.

Reach columnist Bob Harris by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 140.

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