At the recent 107th Precinct Community Council meeting, Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi announced that crime was down 20 percent in the seven major index categories. He warned the audience that car tires and GPS units are hot at this time. Over the years, criminals target different parts of cars. Try to park your car in a lighted area or garage.
Cirabisi reported that in the precinct, robbery is down 10 percent, felony assault is down 50 percent, burglary is down 21 percent, grand larceny is down 21 percent and grand larceny auto is down 20 percent. This is all good except for those of us who are robbed.
City Councilman and Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) reported that in 2008 shootings had increased 5 percent and robberies 2.5 percent. But the remaining felony categories dropped in 2008. The NYPD said that in 2008, it had handed out more quality of life summonses than ever before. Vallone was concerned crime statistics had gone down less than in previous years.
We have to be concerned that our quality of life stays the same or gets better. Call 911 for crimes in progress, 311 with general problems and Community Board 8 at 718−264−7895.
The community council meets monthly to discuss items of community concern. In the precinct, it meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the precinct house. The captain or deputy inspector and his officers attend each meeting to make reports and answer questions from community members. Special speakers are sometimes invited. Groups and individuals pay moderate dues and other money is raised to pay for expenses.
Cirabisi warned people not to leave anything of value in vehicles. He answered questions about the new cameras placed in the parking lot in Cunningham Park at Union Turnpike and 196th Place, due to the number of burglaries of cars when people park there. He promised to continue working to discourage the illegal parking of 18−wheel trucks and car carriers on 73rd Avenue between the Clearview Expressway and 210th Street in Cunningham Park. Many soccer and Little League teams play near here and the morning rush hour traffic makes these trucks a hazard.
One graffiti cleanup was announced for April in the western end of the precinct and another for May possibly in the eastern end.
A discussion about the burglaries brought up the fact that the burglary team operating in the eastern part of Queens is sophisticated. They survey houses and banks. The precinct is focusing on the problem. The number of police assigned to any precinct is based on its crime rate. If there is less crime, there are fewer police assigned. If people report crimes, more police are assigned.
At each meeting, the community council presents plaques to officers, auxiliary officers or council members who have made noteworthy community contributions. Council President Carolann Foley makes the presentations. In previous months, plaques were given to Police Officer Christopher Rizzo, Officer Adam Munez, Auxiliary Lt. Eric Rosen, Officer Kevin Choi and Officer Charmaline Pilgrim.
Gangs and drugs are the most serious problems our society has. While there are few gang activities in many parts of Queens, gangs are a problem. With them comes fights for control of the drug trade, prostitution, smuggling, etc. Mexico is threatened by cartels which sometimes kill innocent people in their fight over the drug trade. Our society has to stop drug use and the criminal activity that goes with it. The Rockefeller Drug Laws did not work and have been revised. Perhaps education and decent jobs can draw more youth away from drugs, prostitution and gangs.
GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: President Barack Obama wants to reform health care, but there is a shortage of doctors. Perhaps we should get away from doctors who need nine years and $1 million to be trained and go for doctor’s assistants of some kind who could be trained in two or three years and would be on the front line of treating ill or injured people.
Decades ago, China created the “barefoot doctors,” who were trained people who went into the countryside to give rudimentary health care to peasants who had no care. Perhaps we could do a similar thing. Two hospitals closed in Queens because they went broke treating people who had no doctors of their own and who came to the emergency rooms for primary care.
©2009 Community News Group
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