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Neighbor to Neighbor: 105th Precinct focuses on spike in burglaries

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In emergency situations, it is helpful if you can have some routine functions to perform. The trouble is, sometimes the emergency occurs in the midst of the routine itself.

One of my weekly routines has been to write my column for this newspaper. Accurate communication is extremely important, and an absence of correct information is pointless and unfair; therefore, we try to present the truth.

Some important information I would like to pass on: At the 105th Precinct Council meeting, Deputy Inspector Michael Bryan told us that our precinct, especially in the north end, has been having a serious burglary problem. Mobility being what it is, those of us in the south end should also remain alert. There is not only one modus operandi.

There seem to be multiple perpetrators of varying descriptions. Groups, including those present at that meeting, were deputized to warn others and to be on the alert for people doing something that seems out of place. Please, if you see such a person or people, call 911 immediately.

Another call to 911 should be made if you know about any guns on the street. More of these weapons seem to be out there again, putting everyone at risk.

We also must warn drivers to obey all motor vehicle laws or risk being ticketed. Our communities have been plagued for years, in spite of being warned, by double- and triple-parked vehicles on local streets as well as in main traffic areas.

Blocking bus stops and crosswalks is also commonplace. Be warned again, or pay your fine without getting any sympathy.

The good news is that Bryan announced that Assistant Chief Thomas Lawless has worked some magic for us and, instead of acquiring eight new officers for the 105th Precinct, we now have 18. We hope you will welcome them warmly when you see them.

Our former borough commander, Assistant Chief Joseph Fox, told me before he transferred to Brooklyn that Lawless is a “good guy” who will look out for us. He is doing just that, and we are grateful. We are also thankful that Fox still remembers us, and in a recent call he asked me to pass along his best regards to everyone.

More good news came from Rosedale on Jan. 28 when City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the officers of the Rosedale Civic Association.

President Frederick Kress and members of his board — Hopeton Thomas, Loretta Panebianco, Irnel Stephen, Kathy Richards, Jim English, Paul Mader, Arthur Panebianco and Chaplain Aubrey Bougher — have not only dedicated themselves to helping their communities but to improving things in general wherever and whenever they can.

The ceremony was, as always, very impressive, as was the delicious dinner that followed. We congratulate each of them and wish them well.

Manuel Caughman wears many hats. He is president of the Brinkerhoff Action Association and is a member of at least three other organizations with which I am also associated. These organizations are the Jamaica Customer Advisory Council, Assemblyman William Scarborough’s (D-St. Albans) Task Force and the Queens Coalition for Parks.

While wearing his Brinkerhoff Action Association hat, he has worked very hard with the Department of Health and local elected officials to assure the safety of well water. His group will assist with the canvassing of his area’s residents in continuing efforts to discover the relationship between cancer and drinking water, if any.

The group has won the Citizens Committee for New York City’s Osborn Elliot Community Leadership Award for its exemplary work. We applaud them and hope they keep up the good work.

Had writing this column not been started as “my routine,” it might not have been written at all. As I began, I heard on the radio that the space shuttle Columbia had just blown up. It was hard for me to move.

I had followed the space program from its inception and had worked with a former NASA engineer who left that organization immediately following the Challenger catastrophe. He was still very troubled about the disaster, as our entire nation was and still is.

We lost brave souls in the Apollo, Challenger and Columbia tragedies, and those astronauts’ efforts to make space exploration open windows and doors of opportunity for the world should never be forgotten. All concerned should be remembered in our prayers.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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