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36 new officers to be added to 104th Precinct hot spots

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The 104th Precinct covering Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale will receive 36 additional police officers starting Jan. 12, thanks to a recently enacted city initiative, the TimesLedger has learned.

Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, said the influx of new officers was a result of Operation Impact, a city program that attacks crime in specific problem areas by flooding them with manpower.

Holden, who received the news through a highly placed source in the 104th Precinct, said the 36 officers would most likely be concentrated in the Ridgewood/Bushwick border area where the precinct’s most serious crime occurs.

The 36 officers, who are fresh graduates from the Police Academy, will supplement some 130 officers already assigned to the 104th Precinct for a one-year period, Holden said.

“That’s good, but it still doesn’t address the long-term problem,” he said, referring to chronic backlogs on many calls throughout other areas of the precinct. “We need to get some veteran cops transferred in here. We need to get some experienced officers coming in and answering 911 calls.”

The 36 additional officers will be assigned to the 104th Precinct despite the fact that crime was down in most categories in 2003 compared to the prior year. According to Police Department statistics, occurrences of rape, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft have all fallen, while robbery and assault have remained nearly constant. Only murder, which increased from two last year to three this year, went up, the statistics show.

The 104th is not the only area in Queens to benefit from Operation Impact.

Earlier this week, state Assemblyman José Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) announced that the 110th and 115th precincts in Corona, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst would receive 90 new officers — some through Operation Impact and the balance assigned normally to the two precincts.

The specific area singled out for Operation Impact in those precincts is Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd to 104th streets.

Last year he first year of Operation Impact, the program focused on the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, with specific emphasis on the Sutphin Boulevard area, and Flushing’s 109th Precinct, where the focus was on the downtown area.

Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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