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104th police combat MidVil South crime

Middle Village South suffers from high levels of crimes, including drug deals, residents and local leaders say. AP Photo/ Detroit Free Press, Romain Blanquart
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Police and other officials are assuring community residents that they are working to combat crime in Middle Village South.

That part of Middle Village, south of Metropolitan Avenue, has long been afflicted with more incidents than other nearby communities, according to residents and public officials.

Capt. Christopher Manson, who leads the 104th Precinct, said police regularly investigate and patrol the area.

“Just because you don’t see a marked car doesn’t mean we’re not there,” Manson said. “We still make plenty of arrests.”

The 104th covers Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Maspeth.

Police recently arrested an individual who they believe is a major source of the drugs in the area, a sign that the NYPD is monitoring that part of the precinct closely.

Detective Thomas Bell said he realizes the situation may be frustrating for residents.

“Make no mistake,” he said. “We are in that area. We do know about the problems there.”

One couple, who asked to remain anonymous, said they moved to the area in 2012.

Since they became residents, on their block alone they have dealt with difficult neighbors, raucous parties and a shooting just down the street. They said they have personally witnessed drug deals on the block.

They attribute many of the problems, which they describe as pandemic, to landlords who do not vet tenants before allowing them to move in or avoid stepping in when tenants cause problems.

“We feel like no one cares,” the wife said. “Because the neighborhood is relatively quiet, what does happen is brushed aside. But the residents suffer. The neighborhood suffers.”

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said she is also aware of the crime issues, which are not new.

“It’s not by any means a forgotten area,” Crowley said. “It has a higher concentration of people. That might be why there’s more crime.”

Crowley said she has always prioritized public safety and that she is regularly briefed by police from the 104th.

“We have no tolerance for crime,” she said. “If you commit a crime, eventually we’re going to catch you.”

Frank Kotnick, president of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol, reiterated that the concerns of the local community are being addressed.

“People fail to realize it’s not done out in the open,” he said about police operations. “The police have to operate in a certain way to get the correct information.”

Kotnick said G-COP does patrol the neighborhood and that they pay close attention to areas where there have been recent incidents.

“Quality of life is everything,” he said. “Nobody wants drug deals in their neighborho­od.”

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Posted 12:00 am, November 29, 2013
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