Tag Archives: 102nd Precinct

Community cleans up Jamaica Avenue graffiti


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

photo

On Sunday, April 21, the Richmond Hill Block Association, 102nd Precinct Officers Jose Severino and Joseph Martins and cadets from the John Bowne High School Air Force JROTC cleaned up graffiti along Jamaica Avenue. They painted over several problematic sites.

 

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Cops honored for Woodhaven drug bust


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Police officers Christopher Valand and Kenneth Vencak were honored as Cops of the Month by the 102nd Precinct Community Council after a major narcotics bust in Woodhaven.

On Wednesday, January 9 the two officers noticed a dispute inside a car at the intersection of 85th Street  and 88th Avenue. The officers approached the vehicle after one suspect tried to get rid of illegal substances.

The pair recovered about 100 decks of heroin from  the vehicle, and later found an additional 796 envelopes of the drug inside the car. One of the suspects had been arrested no less than 12 times, according  to Commanding Officer Captain Henry Sautner.

 

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Turkey with all the trimmings


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy RHBA

For the last 25 years, the Richmond Hill Block Association (RHBA) and its board of directors and civilian patrol have been preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill.

Officers who are on duty have a full dinner with all the trimmings. This event has succeeded in bringing the police closer to the community and the community closer to the police.

This year, the turkey was donated by Key Food and other treats were donated by Manor Deli and Oxford Bakery. Assemblymembers Michael Simanowitz, Michael Miller and David Weprin and City Councilmember Eric Ulrich also helped make the meal possible through their support.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in this effort and the 102nd police precinct for a job well done,” said Simcha Waisman of the RHBA.

 

Many Woodhaven mailboxes stay graffiti free


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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They delivered for you.

Much of the graffiti that littered the blue or green mailboxes in Woodhaven has been painted over, and the boxes have stayed clean for the most part, said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA).

On Sunday, August 26, Wendell and two other residents went out to clean about nine mailboxes that were tagged. By the end of the day, all 80 mailboxes in Woodhaven — across three zones — were cleaned.

Zone A, which spans from Woodhaven Boulevard to 98th Street, has not needed to be cleaned in nearly a month, Wendell said.

“We haven’t touched that one now in three-and-a-half weeks,” he said. “We’re definitely seeing some progress.”

After researching graffiti statistics, Wendell said the best way to fight consistent graffiti was by repainting the mailboxes as soon as they have been tagged.

The Courier reported in early August that the WRBA had been tracking tags in an effort to combat the markings throughout the neighborhood.

The Block Association has continued to give information to the 102nd Precinct to help fight the problem.

If graffiti continues in the neighborhood, Wendell said residents would be open to staking out boxes that are common targets, in conjunction with police efforts. He and other residents plan on taking the Civilian Police Course this fall that will inform them of correct legal procedures.

“We did speak to [the police] about doing stake-outs,” Wendell said. “We have got about a half dozen residents, myself included, who are going to the Civilian Police Academy.”

The neighborhood leader said if a vandal is caught, residents will work with law enforcement to make sure the proper penalty is imposed.

“Now when someone gets arrested for tagging in the neighborhood, we’re going to be following up,” he said.

Waging war on graffiti in Queens


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Photos by Tony Ringston

Graffiti be gone.

Rollers in hand, enthusiastic community members, officers of the 102nd Precinct and some very civic-minded kids gathered on sunny Sunday, May 20 to help erase vandalism.

Members of the John Bowne High School Air Force Junior ROTC, 102nd Precinct Explorers, Richmond Hill Block Association and Community Emergency Response Team tackled various locations, covering up the tags and banishing the blight.

“This is a typical type of community event [for them],” explained Sergeant Nephtali Robles of the ROTC, noting that the members have logged over 3,000 hours of service so far this year.

“It makes the community better and makes you feel better,” said Liliana Garcia, 16.

With 50 gallons of paint from Borough Hall, Community Affairs Officers Joseph Martins and Jose Severino, along with Lieutenant Rob Seaman, Officer Richard Mann — whose 12-year-old son Zachary also pitched in to clean up — and various others waged the war on graffiti.

If you would like to help by donating time or supplies, or to learn more, contact the 102nd Precinct Community Affairs at 718-805-3215.

Cops who arrested pair in car thefts honored


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Erica Camhi

Two officers were honored at the most recent 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting in Richmond Hill.

Captain Martin Briffa announced officers Kevin Warmhold and Kenneth Vencak as Cops of the Month during the Precinct Council’s monthly meeting on January 17.

Briffa — executive officer of the 102nd Precinct — said the pair was feted for arresting two individuals who attempted to make off with a stolen van.

On January 3, at around 11 p.m., Briffa said the two officers saw a male and female acting suspiciously on Atlantic Avenue. According to Briffa, the suspects removed a license plate from a Ford van, switched it with another plate and drove off in the stolen van.

Upon pursuit, Warmhold and Vencak were able to nab the criminals after a few blocks.

The male perp was later found to have 13 prior arrests — all for stealing cars — while the arrested female had three. The license plate in their possession, according to police, was also from another vehicle the pair stole.

According to Community Council President Maria Thomson, arrests like these have led to the success of the precinct and safety of the community. In fact, the 102nd Precinct was chosen as the 22nd safest precinct in the city, she said.

“We really are doing very well here,” she said, “I know — and you know — that our police officers, our captain, our lieutenants and our sergeants are working very, very hard.”

But because of their success, the 102nd Precinct did not get any new police officers from the latest graduating academy class — which was one concern raised by a resident.

“Because of the fact that we’re doing so well with statistics, we are being penalized,” Thomson said. “That is not fair.”

Thomson urged residents and local elected officials to write a letter to the police commissioner or mayor asking for more officers for the precinct.

Another resident raised concerns about three burglaries that allegedly took place on 127th Street during Christmas week, but Briffa assured there were “no pattern robberies right now.” However, Briffa encouraged homeowners to check their front door locks because most burglaries, he said, occur because front doors are not locked properly.

The majority of complaints stemmed from incensed residents living on Park Lane South, who say a nearby house has been drawing in a slew of unwanted activity after the building was foreclosed on by the bank in 2009.

According to residents, “squatters” have been living there, congregating, screaming and causing trouble inside. Residents also allege that there is drug and alcohol abuse inside the house, and one neighbor said he often smells marijuana coming from the home when he opens his window.

Although the captain said he can’t do anything about the squatters, he said if there is illegal drug use, he can try and get them locked up.

Meanwhile, he said neighboring residents should call the precinct to come out and investigate if they notice illegal activity.

Additional reporting by Erica Camhi

Jamaica Rotary has respect for officers’ hard work


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Five officers from Patrol Borough Queens South were honored recently by the Jamaica Rotary for their work above and beyond the call of duty and for keeping Queens’ streets safe.

“I really want to thank you guys that work together and make the neighborhood much better and much safer,” said Joe Iaboni, president of the Jamaica Rotary, which honors deserving officers each month. “For the number of police officers you guys have, you’re doing a great, great job. I don’t know how you do it. It is really amazing to see the sweat you put into it.”

Deputy Inspector Charles McEvoy of the 103rd Precinct honored two officers, Rey Alvarez and Craig Michels, whose apprehension of a thief was due to the dedication and work put in prior to the robberies.

Alvarez would regularly go to McEvoy’s office asking for pictures of problematic individuals and make contact with them, the Deputy Inspector said. One of these individuals committed a forced robbery of a cell phone on Thursday, October 20. About four blocks away the suspect committed another robbery. Alvarez recognized the individual, which led to an all-out pursuit by Michels and Alvarez. The officers apprehended both suspects responsible for the robberies and they are still incarcerated and awaiting trial.

From the 102nd Precinct, Deputy Inspector Armando DeLeon commended Officer Lee Petrovits for his apprehension of a sexual assault suspect that fled the scene of the crime. The victim was attacked from behind as she walked home and had rings and her pocketbook stolen. The suspect said he would give them back if she had sex with him. Her screaming alerted neighbors, causing the suspect to flee. Petrovits canvassed the area and proceeded to locate the individual in a backyard. After leaping over a few fences in pursuit of the individual, the suspect was apprehended.

Officer Mike Cozier of the 106th Precinct was feted by Captain Thomas Pascale for taking into custody an armed robbery suspect.
On October 15 at 4:30 a.m. on Liberty Avenue, two individuals, one armed with a gun, entered a restaurant and demanded the property of those inside.

Cozier was flagged down by one of the complainants who pointed out the perp, allowing Cozier to take him into custody.

“It sounds pretty routine, but Mike did a lot of extra work. Normally this is saved for investigative units,” said Pascale. “That area was loaded with ARGUS cameras. This robbery took place right in between two ARGUS cameras.”

Executive Officer Craig Adelman of the 113th Precinct lauded Officer Ryan Schmidt for apprehending a sexual assault suspect with seven prior arrests.

“With the dedicated work of members of the New York City Police Department and the relationship we have with the communities we serve, we were able to apprehend a sexual predator,” said Adelman.

On October 17, a female victim was dragged down from behind by the suspect, who tried to touch her inappropriately. The victim was able to fight him off and he fled the location. Schmidt was alerted by witnesses to the possible location of the suspect. He canvassed the area and gained entrance into the house where the suspect was apprehended and positively identified. He was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching and is currently being held without bail and awaiting trial.

Assistant Chief of Queens South James Secreto spoke and commended the officers for the terrific job they do.
“You guys are out there where the rubber meets the road, and I have nothing but the most admiration and respect for what you do every day,” he said. “There’s no telling what the city would be like without you guys.”

Thanking the men and women in blue


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz

102nd Precinct

Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill East, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and the Northern part of Ozone Park

Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz and the Richmond Hill Block Association’s Simcha Waisman delivered Thanksgiving dinner to officers at the 102nd Precinct, including Executive Officer Captain Martin Briffa on Thanksgiving Day.

102nd Precinct Council Meeting


| ecamhi@queenscourier.com

At the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, October 18, officer Heriberto Rodriguez received the Cop of the Month award for his successful pursuit and arrest of two teen burglars in Richmond Hill.

Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Armando DeLeon, presented Rodriguez with the award. DeLeon said burglary is the second highest crime in the precinct after grand larcenies.

“I’m glad he took two burglars off the street,” DeLeon said. “It helps me, and of course it helps you and the community.”

The crime occurred on September 27 at 103rd Avenue and 114th Street. After receiving the report, Rodriguez and his lieutenant canvassed the area and discovered one of the suspects. When the first suspect fled, Rodriguez chased and captured him, while his lieutenant captured the second suspect.

Jewelry, electronic equipment and clothing were found in the burglars’ possession. Both teen criminals have prior arrest records, DeLeon said.

While Community Council President Maria Thomson praised the 102nd Precinct on their “fantastic job” serving the community, she firmly implored a push for more police officers in Queens. She said Queens “always gets shortchanged” in getting its fair share of police recruits, in contrast to other boroughs like Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“You can only stretch police officers so far,” Thomson said.

She urged councilmembers in particular to “fight for us and get us more police officers from the next graduating class.”

The meeting also covered resident complaints, one of which was about a truck that runs all night on Saturdays between 102nd and 106th Street on Atlantic Avenue. DeLeon, who said he will address the situation, also cited the precinct’s crackdown on illegally-parked trucks, especially on 127th Street. He said more than 30 summonses were issued.

“Those trucks over there got the message,” he said.

A rowdy night club called Club Moka located on 130-35 91st Avenue was also the subject of many complaints. One resident said her neighbor saw a woman being pushed into a car two weeks prior.

DeLeon stated that the club’s new management has been put on notice at least three times. He said the situation is now in the State Liquor Authority’s hands, although he said he would do as much as he could to help.

Another resident expressed concerns that various locations in Woodhaven are becoming stomping grounds for disorderly conduct, and was worried that the increasing number of abandoned homes in the area could become havens for more bad behavior.

“We all know what happened in the past. In an abandoned house, there was a party in Woodhaven, and a poor young boy got murdered,” the resident said.

Rape whistles were also supplied at the meeting. DeLeon urged women to take them, stating that “they really do work.”