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People should make community involvement a priority

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Sometimes we forget how important we can be in our community. Recently, in the north end of the 105th Precinct, someone played an important role in the community by being observant and reporting to the police the licence plate of a car belonging to a group of suspicious people.

There had been a number of home burglaries in the area committed by a gang. Once the neighbor passed the plate number to the police, they ran the plate, went to the home of the vehicle's registered owner and waited for the car to return. When the car arrived, upon investigation the police found some stolen articles in the car. At that point, they obtained a search warrant for the home, went in and discovered a stash of stolen property.

They arrested several people and have the evidence that could, hopefully, convict them and give them the punishment they deserve. We are grateful to the good person who was alert enough to take down the plate number and cooperate to turn it over to the police. We are also grateful to law enforcement for its part in this and other instances.

Incidentally, reading recently about the death of a Good Samaritan who responded to a neighbor's call for help when she saw a man acting strangely enough to make her afraid to get out of her car, made me wonder: Why didn't she call the police instead of her neighbor?

I want every officer to stay safe, but police officers are well-trained, have weapons and usually have a partner and the ability to call for assistance if needed. I am sure she never anticipated the violence that took her neighbor's life, but if anyone is ever in a similar situation, call the police.

During the months that are warm enough for outdoor play, we often hear young people screaming for no reason. I hope everyone will join me in warning them that when they do that, if they are ever in serious trouble and need help, people may assume they are playing and may ignore their calls for help.

On the evening of Sept. 11, it was obvious to me that someone was in serious trouble. As I was getting ready to go out about 7:15 p.m., helicopters circled my house and, when I went outside, NYPD and Nassau County police cars were visible. The Nassau officers were in pursuit of someone suspected of committing petit larceny and, once over our border, were joined by the NYPD.

Incidentally, I would like to suggest to men in our communities that this would be a great time to test your self-restraint. With so many reports of rape, sodomy and other crimes, everyone should be on their best behavior and avoid even the hint of trying to get too familiar with any woman they are not already on a friendly basis with.

For your and her sakes, keep your respectful distance and avoid being suspected of any kind of ill intent. There was, in fact, some kind of incident Sept. 12 on 243rd Street in Rosedale which is now under investigation.

Everyone should be aware, too, that many southeast Queens women have accepted the offer of some local karate teachers who have volunteered to give free self-defense lessons to women anxious to take care of themselves. Some of these women are young, some older. Some are single, some married or divorced.

No matter what, everyone be aware and stay safe.

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