This course is designed to reduce the number of homicides in the 102nd in Richmond Hill, 103rd in Jamaica, 106th in Ozone Park and 113th precincts in south Jamaica, all of which are covered by Queens Borough South.
With the commanding officers from all of those precincts present, Jennings announced an initiative to offer temper controlling courses at his office every Friday evening for people who have recognizable urges that may erupt into homicidal rage.
"What we're going to do is embark on trying to reach out to those people before they lose their tempers," Jennings told a news conference at his office May 26.
"For southern Queens, we've had 53 homicides and 128 felony assaults," he said of last year's statistics. "Hopefully, someday in the future it can be zero."
He invited Constant Elevation, an anger management counseling organization, to run the course, which began Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Jamaica-based group normally conducts programs for adolescents who are particularly susceptible to violence.
"Our objective is to provide the tools necessary to help with anger and emotional volatility that's carried by today's inner-city youth or young adults," Llona Ervin, the group's field secretary, said.
Jennings said last year's murder of 15-year-old Tyquan Jackson illustrated the fact that teenagers need to be the focus of their anti-anger campaign.
"We've had some particularly unsettling unsolved murders," Jennings said, referring to the fight, believed to be gang-related, during which Tyquan was fatally stabbed.
"If (Jackson) didn't follow his friends, if he learned another way to alleviate his stress...he would be alive today," Jennings said.
The initiative will be promoted by police officers distributing fliers while on patrol. Community groups and schools will also be given literature about the classes for members or concerned residents.
"If we reach just one or two people, if we prevent one or two homicides, it's a big accomplishment," Jennings said.
Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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