Today’s news:

Ridgewood patrol to add 36 cops in Operation Impact

The mayor made the announcement at a news conference held at the 104th Precinct Monday.

The neighborhood, located in the vicinity of Cypress Avenue along the Bushwick border, has been plagued by crime for years, residents say.

"We have everything happen here," said Vito Maranzano, president of the Property Owners Association in Ridgewood and a member of Community Board No. 5. "Murders, shootings, muggings, robberies - we have it all."

The mayor's announcement that the crime-ridden neighborhood has been added to the list of 52 other "impact zones" in the city deemed high crime areas was met with approval by residents there.

In Queens, neighborhoods in the 115th and 110th precincts in Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights will also get additional officers under Operation Impact II, the mayor said.

Last year, the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica and Flushing's 109th Precinct had their police rosters beefed up under the first Operation Impact program.

"The police force here has been understaffed for years," Maranzano said about the area of the 104th Precinct. "At Community Board 5 we are all very happy about this. Hopefully we're going to be able to reduce crime here now."

Maranzano said the Community Board No. 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri and Board Member Gary Giordano expressed approval at the neighborhood's inclusion in the mayor's Operation Impact II.

"They're happy about it," Maranzano said. "They've been trying for years to get more police here."

Operation Impact II is an expansion of the mayor's crime prevention program that he started last year. The mayor says the program reduced crime in the city by about 33 percent.

"Operation Impact has been an enormously successful crime-fighting strategy and one of the reasons we ended 2003 with the lowest crime rate in New York City in four decades," Bloomberg said. "The NYPD kept close watch on neighborhoods with high crime rates and flooded them with police officers."

Crime statistics the mayor presented at the news conference on Monday showed a marked drop in the number of felony crimes in impact zones in 2003 as compared to 2002.

Last year, the program deployed more than 1,000 additional police officers to strategically-targeted areas, called "impact zones" in the city.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police track crimes, enforcement, and deployment on a daily basis, to determine where the city's crime hot spots are.

"In deciding where to put impact resources we look at shootings, robberies and other serious crimes," Kelly said.

The 36 new officers that will be assigned to Ridgewood will be new graduates from the Police Academy and will serve a one-year term in the 104th Precinct. the mayor said.

Reach Reporter Tom Nicholson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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