Today’s news:

Crime drops in 113th Precinct during 2001

South Jamaica’s 113th Precincts saw a decline in all seven of the Police Department’s major crimes categories last year and an overall crime drop of 21.7 compared to statistics for 2000, police said.

The seven major crime categories — tracked in the Police Department’s compstat records — are murder, rape, robbery, felonious assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto.

The president of the 113th Precinct community council said she was pleased with the drop in crime but worried that after dozens of officers from the precinct retired last year, the smaller police forces might have a tough time keeping crime rates down in 2002.

Last year the murder rate declined by 16.6 percent at the 113th Precinct to 10 homicides in 2001 from 12 in 2000, police said.

The largest major crime category drop at the 113th Precinct, which covers South Jamaica, St. Albans and parts of Hollis and Springfield Gardens, was grand larceny auto, which fell by more than 31 percent to 519 in 2001 from 754 in 2000, police said.

Vivian McMillian, president of the 113th Community Council, said she appreciated the work the officers in the precinct do, especially when they address the concerns of community members.

“I believe that the Police Department — the 113th Precinct — has really been doing their job and the community is out there supporting them,” McMillian said. “I just hope that it will stay this way.”

Rapes declined by 13.5 percent in the 113th Precinct, with 51 reported in 2001 compared to 59 in 2000, police said. Grand larceny dropped 25 percent in 2001 (1,138 to 853) at the 113th Precinct, while burglary declined by 18.6 percent (568 to 462), felonious assault fell 13.4 percent (461 to 399) and robbery went down by 9.8 percent (394 to 355), police said.

McMillian said she would like to see the return of community policing and was concerned about the number of recent retirements in the precinct.

She said the precinct’s new commanding officer, Capt. John Essig, has not yet specified how many of the officers who retired in 2001 will be replaced. She did not know the exact number of recent retirements from the precinct.

Essig recently took over for Inspector William Morris, who was promoted into Queens Patrol Borough South in December. McMillian expects Essig to speak at the community council’s next meeting on Monday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. at the precinct at 167-02 Baisley Boulevard.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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