Officer Patrick Wheeler, who had been with the 102nd's Precinct's burglary division, pleaded guilty at a January police proceeding to "conduct prejudicial to the good order of the department" and for filing "improperly reclassified and misclassified complaint reports," the spokeswoman said.The story was first reported last week in the New York Post, which was verified by the police spokeswoman.Wheeler gave up 25 days' vacation time and was placed on one-year dismissal probation, which means he could be fired if he commits another wrongdoing.The officer, who is now assigned to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, admitted to downgrading the number of burglaries in the 102nd to make it appear that fewer thefts were occurring in the precinct, which covers Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Woodhaven and the northern portion of Ozone Park. Burglaries are down 35 percent over the last two years in the 102nd and there has been a 52 percent drop over the past six years. The city as a whole has seen a 13.5 percent decrease over the last two years and a 41 percent decline over the past six years. The crime reports were misclassified between February 2004 and February 2005, according to the spokeswoman.Former 102nd Precinct Sgt. Frank Demma, who also now works in the 103rd Precinct, pleaded guilty to misclassifying five crime reports and signing other officer's reports. Like Wheeler, Demma also was placed on dismissal probation. He gave up 30 days' vacation time coinciding with the guilty plea. Demma's attorney, Andrew Quinn, denied that his client doctored the reports."Not the case," Quinn said, explaining that the Police Department was arguing that Demma's judgment in classifying the crimes was not consistent with their thinking."That's not what we're dealing with in this case," Quinn said, referring to Demma fudging the reports. "He's making judgment calls made on the facts."During that time, 103rd Precinct Deputy Inspector Michael Blake was a captain and in charge of the 102nd, but he was not accused of any wrongdoing, the spokeswoman said. He became the commanding officer of the 103rd Precinct in June 2005.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@times
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