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Blake faced a gymnasium crowded with about 60 residents, 15 police officers and representatives from the offices of several local politicians. He answered questions for the better part of 90 minutes, telling residents that his main goal continues to be a reduction of violent crime in the precinct. Still, residents complained that the police department was not doing enough to clean up known trouble spots, including a store on 109th avenue where they said drug-dealing and other illegal activity is known to occur. They also said that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of children attending PSIS 116, which is located on Wren Place near Liberty Park. "Obviously we have some problems and we'll continue to have some problems," Blake said. "We plan on aggressively enforcing the laws at some of the problem spots we have and working to reduce violence. We've had a 70 percent drop in crime in the last 12 years, I don't want to be CO when the crime numbers go up."Crime was down across New York City in 2005, and the crime numbers in the 103rd generally reflect that trend. Blake said that murders were down 52 percent in 2005, rapes 24 percent and car thefts 10 percent. Shooting were also down about 14 percent, Blake reported. Robberies and assaults, however were up - 10 and 2 percent, respectively. Overall, Blake said that crime was down about 2 percent.Some residents complained to Blake about a store on 109th avenue near the corner of 177th street that they said was a known drug-dealing spot. Blake said he had heard similar complaints at last month's meeting and had deployed additional officers to the location.Tyra Parker, who said she is sometimes scared to walk in the neighborhood at night, said the policing efforts may have moved the problem up the block, but not eliminated it."It's a known spot and it's still going on," Parker said.Still, Blake said his officers had made several arrests in the area, including nine related to drugs. He said some police activities in the area are less overt and might not be noticed."Some of the guys that are there, you don't see," Blake said.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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