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It marked the eighth shooting incident in the neighborhood this year."The community is sick of complaining about gunshots," Jemmott told an early afternoon press conference at 120th Avenue and 238th Street. He pointed out that an officer will not temporarily replace Wiesneski while he recuperates from his injuries.With the Police Department moving away from community policing, according to Jemmott, he said the area encompassing the 105th Precinct used to have 10 Community Patrol Officer Program officers but are now only down to a handful."We are starved for police officers. The 105th is stretched to the limit," said Carmen Grau, chairwoman of the civic association's beautification committee.Several shootings have occurred on and around Linden Boulevard this year, with two murders taking place in two consecutive weeks last month. There have been six murders in the 105th Precinct's jurisdiction this year compared to eight at this time in 2004, according to police statistics.Jemmott wants the precinct, which covers the area stretching along the Nassau border from Glen Oaks to Queens Village to Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Rosedale, to get an increase in officers from the Police Academy's graduating class in July. He pointed out that the neighborhood was shortchanged last year."This is the last chance for the precinct to get their fair share of officers in the near future," he said.The 105th is the city's second-largest precinct geographically at about 13 miles and while Staten Island is home to the largest precinct, the population of the 105th is one half that of the entire borough of Staten Island, Jemmott said.Although 18 percent of the crime in Borough South Queens Command is in the 105th, the precinct only received 6 percent of the recent graduating cadets, according to Jemmott.He had previously lobbied Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to provide more officers and an additional precinct, but he had not received an answer until after Wiesneski, the 105th officer, was shot.In a letter written from the department's Office of Management Analysis and Planning, Deputy Chief John P. Gerrish told Jemmott that the police were aware of the recent shootings in the area and the NYPD would be employing additional narcotics agents. Jemmott said the letter did not mention anything about deploying more officers.Although the Police Department got back to him, Jemmott said the police should have taken preventive measures."I don't believe in reacting to situations," he said. "We need to be pro-active. The reality is people are getting shot."Mayoral hopeful Fernando Ferrer has also weighed in on the issue, saying in a statement that he would build a new precinct and divide the vast 105th Precinct if elected.Despite the recent violence, one area resident said she still views Cambria Heights as an ideal place to live."This is one of the nicest neighborhoods in southeast Queens," said association member Mary Anderson. "On the whole, it's a nice safe section to live in and I love it."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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