Capt. Scott Shanley, a 17-year-veteran who has spent his career in Queens, took the reins of the 104th on May 12, replacing Deputy Inspector Peter Loehle, who was transferred to the city's Transportation Precinct in Manhattan.
A Glendale native, Shanley has served at various patrol units in Queens North and South, working as a conditions sergeant at the 108th precinct in Long Island City and heading the Queens South Auto Larceny Division for more than three years.
Most recently, Shanley led the Queen's North Burglary Larceny Apprehension Suppression Team known as Blast, which was responsible for breaking up the infamous "Codwise Gang," accused of committing more than 300 burglaries in northeastern Queens.
Shanley said he is looking forward to using his experience to lower the crime rate and improve the quality of life in the 104th Precinct, which covers 7.5 square miles in Glendale, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Middle Village.
"I'm just happy to stay in Queens," said Shanley, 38, about his transfer to the 104th. "I'm kind of familiar with most of the areas around here."
He has arrived at the 104th Precinct at a complicated time. While the precinct's overall crime is down 11 percent this month, the area has been plagued by five murders since January. Three killings were at separate area nightspots, leading the 104th to step up enforcement of licensed drinking establishments, Shanley said.
It is just one initiative the commander hopes will continue the trend of a dipping crime rate.
Some others are a tighter ban on motorized street scooters, a new approach to fighting graffiti, and an increased police presence in Maspeth and Middle Village - an area where residents continually complain that they need more cops.
Shanley said the precinct's Operation Impact program, in which dozens of officers flood troubled southern Ridgewood from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., should free up resources for other neighborhoods. Police have said the impact zone is a is hot area for burglaries, assault and vandalism.
Graffiti has been a constant problem in Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village for years. The captain appointed a new graffiti officer two weeks ago who will work with area clean-up crews and hold sting operations to nab intrepid vandals. He said he will release their pictures to the press and invite the media to photograph them locked up in the precinct. If the law will not deter them, hopefully the publicity will, Shanley said.
"Let's embarrass them," Shanley said at a recent civic meeting in Maspeth. "We're gonna try and combat it (graffiti) in a different way. Like I say, get their name in the paper."
The captain is also leading a campaign against motorized street scooters. Some people are under the misconception that the scooters might be legal if they are electric-powered or have a small engine, Shanley said. They are wrong.
"They're totally illegal," he said. "They come on the streets we're gonna take them .... and they're not getting them back."
Officers confiscated 15 scooters last week alone, he said.
Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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