Tag Archives: 103rd Precinct

Cops save choking toddler in Jamaica


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A family was saved from tragedy in Jamaica Sunday when two police officers from the 103rd Precinct rushed to the aid of a choking toddler.

Police Officers Scott Nieri and Gobin Raghunath were reportedly flagged down near 148th Street and Liberty Avenue by a panicked father holding his 18-month-old son, who was not breathing because he had a piece of an apple lodged down his throat.

The two officers then turned the baby face down and began performing the Heimlich maneuver, while requesting EMS to come to their location, police said.

After various efforts to clear the baby’s airway, the officers began performing CPR and after a few minutes of chest compressions the apple was cleared from the child’s throat and he started to cry, according to the NYPD.

The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and later released with no signs of any injuries.

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Robbers beat up man inside Jamaica basement


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Three men are wanted for allegedly roughing up and robbing a 24-year-old man in the basement of a Jamaica apartment building Wednesday afternoon.

According to authorities, the suspects — described as black males between 20 and 25 years of age — entered the structure at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 172nd Street at 2:45 p.m. on June 17.

Reportedly, the crooks approached the victim in the basement and displayed firearms. Police said the perpetrators then used the weapons to repeatedly strike the victim before taking his keys and fleeing the scene.

Officers from the 103rd Precinct responded to the incident. The victim sustained minor injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Queens cops among police union’s ‘Finest of the Finest’


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

A Rockaway officer who gave his life rescuing fire victims in Brooklyn and two cops who stopped a hatchet-wielding attacker in Jamaica were among those saluted for bravery during the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s (PBA) Finest of the Finest award ceremony Thursday afternoon in Manhattan.

The PBA presented posthumous honors to the family of P.O. Dennis Guerra, a resident of Bayswater who died while attempting to make a rescue during an April 2014 arson fire at a Coney Island apartment house. Guerra’s partner, P.O. Rosa Rodriguez, accepted the award on his behalf.

“We are deeply saddened that Police Officer Dennis Guerra did not live to receive this honor in person but we are honored to have his family here today on his behalf,” said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch. “Those being honored today intervened in deadly crimes, saved the lives of adults and babies and put themselves in deadly situations to keep others safe.”

Police Officers Taylor Kraft and Peter Rivera of the 103rd Precinct were also recognized for stopping a lone-wolf terrorist who attacked fellow Police Officers Kenneth Healey and Joseph Meeker with a hatchet in Jamaica last October.

The four officers were posing for a photographer on Jamaica Avenue on the afternoon of Oct. 23, 2014, when the assailant — Zale Thompson, who was later found to have terrorist ties — approached the officers while carrying a hatchet. Thompson struck Healey in the head, causing critical injuries, and Meeker in the arm.

Kraft and Rivera drew their firearms and fired 11 shots, killing Thompson. Healey and Meeker, both of whom survived their injuries, will also be honored at the PBA event.

Other officers honored at the PBA ceremony on Thursday include the following:

  • P.O. Joseph Esposito of the 114th Precinct, who confronted a suicidal, shotgun-wielding murder suspect — Jack Calvello, 86 — who killed his daughter at their Astoria home in April 2014. Esposito fatally shot Calvello after the suspect pointed the weapon at officers and refused to drop it.
  • Police Officers William Neville and David Hudson of the 101st Precinct, who stopped a gun-toting criminal who pointed his weapon at officers during a pursuit inside a Rockaway apartment building.

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Jamaica Rotary Club honors cops in southern Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

When two officers from the 103rd Precinct responded to a woman screaming from the second floor of her home during a robbery on Feb. 10, their heroism took control as they went above and beyond the call of duty.

The officers, Craig Lalla and Gobin Raghunath, ran to the back of the building where they noticed the door had been kicked in. As they entered the home, the suspect ran at the officers full speed with a crowbar, smashing one in the head. In the struggle with the crowbar-wielding suspect, the officers fired two shots that hit him in the arm and leg.

They were able to apprehend the criminal following the shooting but decided not to get the medical attention they needed until they checked the house for other perps and made sure the woman was in safe hands.

“I saw the terror in that poor woman’s eyes,” said Commanding Officer of Queens South David Barrere. “And you guys saved her.”

For their work and the work of other officers around Queens South, the Jamaica Rotary Club used their monthly meeting to show their appreciation for what the men and women in blue do to keep their communities safe.

Along with the two officers honored in the 103rd Precinct, the Rotary Club gave awards to cops from the 102nd, 106th and 113th precincts.

In the 102nd Precinct, three officers were honored for catching a man who had stolen a pick-up truck with a snow plow in the wagon at the end of January. The man, who had 17 prior arrests, took the vehicle to the affluent neighborhood of Malba.

Officers spotted the man taking the snow plow out of the truck and using it to clear snow from homes in the neighborhood, in what police said was an attempt to make some extra cash after he stole the vehicle.

102nd Precinct, From Left: Chief Barrerre, P.O. Keith Douglas, Iaboni, P.O. Neil Conde, D.I. Henry Sautner, P.O. Joesph Cortright

102nd Precinct, from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Keith Douglas, Iaboni, P.O. Neil Conde, D.I. Henry Sautner, P.O. Joesph Cortright

In the 106th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff honored two officers under his command for their work in apprehending a 35-year-old man while he was committing a robbery on the street in January.

The suspect, along with a friend, used a taser on an 18-year-old man and stole his belt, wallet and phone. But the officers, who responded quickly to the call, got to the scene in time and were able to arrest the suspect.

They later found out that the 25-year-old criminal had already been arrested 35 times in New York City and had even more arrests in Nassau County.

106th Precinct from left: Cheif Barrere, P.O. Bennett Choi, Iaboni, P.O. Vincent Creco, his wife and mother, D.I. Jeffrey Schiff

106th Precinct, from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Bennett Choi, Iaboni, P.O. Vincent Creco, his wife and mother, D.I. Jeffrey Schiff

In the 113th Precinct, Officer Brett Devine was honored for helping to save an unconscious person’s life. The officer responded to a report of someone who had apparently overdosed on heroin back in December.

Because the NYPD now carries Narcan, a drug that helps to reverse effects of heroin overdoses, Devine was able to revive the person and allow enough time for paramedics to come and save their life.

113th Precinct from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Brett Devine, his mother, Captain Rod Diattini, Iaboni.

113th Precinct, from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Brett Devine, his mother, Captain Rod Dantini, Iaboni.

”I am so proud of the men and women of my police force for the hard work and heroic work they do every day,” said Barrere. “Thank you. I know all the good you guys do in the community.”

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103rd Precinct gets first police body cameras in Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYC Mayor's Flickr

There will be a new set of eyes added to the streets of Jamaica.

The 103rd Precinct will be part of the new NYPD pilot program to test the use of body cameras on police officers. Six precincts throughout the five boroughs are part of this system. Their selection was determined by which precincts had the highest number of stop and frisks.

Nine officers in the 103rd Precinct will be part of the program. There will be one camera per officer per squad to start out. There are three squads per shift in the precinct and, depending on the time, there will always be at least one cop with a body camera on patrol and as many as three depending on patrol schedules.

“I think cameras are a good thing,” said one officer from the precinct. “It’s a great idea and gives a different perspective of what is actually happening out there.”

The cameras are hands free, one on the torso and one over the ear. The officer will have to pull down the shutter covering the lens to turn the camera on whenever he or she is making a stop or arrest.

The pilot program was introduced by Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Dec. 3, just before the grand jury decided to not indict the officer in the Eric Garner case.

“Body cameras are going to be an important additional step in the reforms that we’re undertaking,” de Blasio said. “And I think that step is going to greatly increase the confidence of the people in their relationship with the NYPD.”

Phil Craig, a reverend at the Greater Springfield Community Church in Jamaica, said he believes that the body cameras will only be a good thing if they are used for the protection of the people.

“I hope they will be used for the protection of the people and not for the persecution of them,” said Craig. “We need to take a real good look on how [the police] are handling community relations.”

Officers at the 103rd Precinct are still unsure of when they will receive the body cameras. If the three-month pilot program works well, the department will expand the number of body cameras on the streets, possibly until all 35,000 police officers have one.

“I have always been in favor of cameras,” said the police officer at the 103rd Precinct. “I think things are going to change.”

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Star of Queens: Suzanne Bettis, assistant district attorney, Iraq veteran


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star of queens

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

BACKGROUND: Suzanne Bettis was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the U.S. in ’97. She joined the Marine Corps when she was 17, because she wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. She did two tours in Iraq as part of the unit that searched for and found troops who died on duty, processed their effects and sent them home to their families. She left the Marines in 2010, studied law at the New York Law School and now works in the office of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Since August, she has made Woodhaven her home.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: When she was a law school student, she set up an association that helped veterans and their dependents navigate the red tape of the Veterans Affairs department and get access to the benefits available to them. Now she is involved with the community falling under the 103rd Precinct. Every month, she attends the community council meeting to work closely with the community and the cops and reduce instances of gangs and gun violence. This year, she’ll be participating in the Veterans’ Day Parade.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I feel like I am not done yet,” said Bettis. “I could go to law school because of the benefits from Veterans Affairs. That’s why when I was at school I focused on how veterans and their dependents can maximize the VA benefits. There are lots of veterans coming home now, and they should be able to use them to the best advantage. Also, many veterans can lose their benefits if they are convicted of criminal charges. At the DA’s office, we try to give them a second chance.” If they reform, for example, the charges against them are dismissed.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Getting acclimatized to being home,” said Bettis. “Military people are closed up. I am learning to interact with more people, ease myself year by year to trust people and hope they don’t look at me as a threat. There are so many misconceptions about why people join the military. We are all not killers. I just want to be understood. In the military, we don’t have the luxury of being fallible. Turning that off when you get home is tough.”

INSPIRATION: “I have a lot of people to thank,” said Bettis, “but especially those men and women we had to send back home in boxes. At 18, 19, 20, they are willing to sacrifice their lives for people they’ll never meet. Everyone I processed, searched for, dug out of still burning Humvees, are special people to put themselves in that position, knowing you’ll never get the opportunity to go to school, get married, have a family life. Their story has to live on. Every day I come to work, interact with someone, this is the community they were protecting. And I have to continue doing that.”

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Police honored at Jamaica Rotary Club meeting


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Salvatore Licata

It is not often that police officers get the recognition that they deserve, according to the president of a local civic group who organizes awards for outstanding cops.

Joe Iaboni, president of the Jamaica Rotary Club,  holds a monthly meeting to honor the cops who keep the communities of southern Queens safe.

“We are very proud to have you [the police] protecting our communities the way they do,” Iaboni said. “You all show great commitment and dedication. Your names are synonymous with the word ‘hero.’”

Police officers from the 102nd, 103rd 106th and 113th precincts were honored at the meeting on Wednesday.  Each precinct honored officers who showed outstanding work during the months of August and September and helped to keep the community they patrol safe.

“This is a great occasion where I get to honor the men and women that I am so proud to lead,” said Assistant Chief David Barrere, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South. “They all do tremendous work for our community.”

Detective Adam Gray and Sgt. Derrick Milligan were honored for their work in a robbery in progress where they arrest the criminal and secured a  25 automatic firearm. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Executive Officer Rod Dantini, Detective Adam Gray, Sgt. Derrick Milligan and Commanding Officer of Queens south, David Barrere)

Detective Adam Gray and Sgt. Derrick Milligan were honored for their work in a robbery in progress where they arrest the criminal and secured a 25 automatic firearm. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Executive Officer Rod Dantini, Detective Adam Gray, Sgt. Derrick Milligan and Commanding Officer of Queens south, David Barrere)

P.O. David Gomez and P.O. Andres Gonzalez of the 106th Precinct were honored for their work in catching a car thief in progress with 77 prior arrests. (From left: Joe Iaboni, P.O. Andres Gomez, P.O. David Gomez, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff and Commanding Officer of Queens South David Barrere)

P.O. David Gomez and P.O. Andres Gonzalez of the 106th Precinct were honored for their work in catching a car thief in progress with 77 prior arrests. (From left: Joe Iaboni, P.O. Andres Gomez, P.O. David Gomez, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff and Commanding Officer of Queens South David Barrere)

Sgt. Mary Humburg and P.O. Steven Perretta from the 103th Precinct were honored for their outstanding work of arresting a criminal with a semi-automatic handgun back in August. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Deputy Inspector John Capplemann, Sgt. Mary Humburg, her son, P.O. Steven Perretta and Commanding Officer of Queens South, David Barrere)

Sgt. Mary Humburg and P.O. Steven Perretta from the 103th Precinct were honored for their outstanding work of arresting a criminal with a semi-automatic handgun back in August. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Deputy Inspector John Capplemann, Sgt. Mary Humburg, her son, P.O. Steven Perretta and Commanding Officer of Queens South, David Barrere)

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Off-duty NYPD cop killed in Jamaica motorcycle crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

An off-duty Queens NYPD officer was killed while riding his motorcycle in Jamaica Monday, police said.

The accident happened at about 5 p.m. on Linden Boulevard at 158th street.

The cop, identified as 28-year-old Curtis Johnson, was riding his Harley Davidson eastbound down Linden Boulevard when it collided with a Chrysler Concorde as it was trying to make a left turn off of 158th street from the westbound side of Linden Boulevard, officials said.

After crashing into the Chrysler, Johnson was thrown from his seat and the motorcycle struck a second vehicle, a Nissan Altima, which was traveling westbound on Linden Boulevard at 158th Street, cops said.

Johnson, who, according to published reports, worked in Jamaica’s 103rd Precinct, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

 

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Cops bust Queens teenagers for illegal gun after fare evasion arrest


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Two teens caught trying to pass through a Jamaica subway turnstile with one MetroCard swipe were then arrested for illegally possessing a gun.

Officers Brian Chiang and John Cammarata of the 103rd Precinct observed Bo Bannister, 16, and Daquan Monroe, 17, attempting to evade the fare around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer Avenue station, said police.

After arresting the teens, the officers recovered a Bryco Jennings 9MM handgun and a loaded magazine from them.

Bannister and Monroe have both been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and theft of service, said police.

 

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Cops feted for robbery arrest


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The Jamaica Rotary held its monthly meeting to honor the precincts’ Cops of the Month for going above and beyond the call of duty.

“It’s great police work,” said NYPD Assistant Chief Kevin Ward, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South. “They had to work hard at it, but that’s what good police work is about.”

“There really is no luck. We put ourselves in that position by analyzing data. You put yourself in the position to get lucky,” he continued.

Inspector Charles McEvoy, the 103rd Precinct’s Commanding Officer, recognized two of his men, Sergeant Anzelmo Giovannniello and Officer Michael Desetto, for their exceptional work over the past few months.

The precinct had records of four gunpoint robberies within an area off of Liberty Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway, committed by a young male armed with a silver revolver. Each time, the suspect took a victim’s phone and a small amount of money.

On September 10, the two officers witnessed a young male standing by himself. They knew not to spook him, so Giovannniello walked away from the patrol car, and Desetto pulled up to the suspect. He pulled out the silver revolver, fled the scene and ran right into Giovannniello.

After apprehending the suspect, cops found the suspect, a 19-year-old male, was responsible for five incidents, and “undoubtedly there would have been a number six,” McEvoy said, and the two officers closed out the five robberies in one fell swoop.

“That’s what this city’s about and what the police department is about,” Ward said.

 

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Woman wanted in connection to homicide of missing woman whose body washed ashore in Breezy Point


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/FILE PHOTO

Police are looking for a woman in connection to the death of a missing woman whose body washed ashore on a Breezy Point beach in February.

According to the NYPD, on Saturday, February 16 at approximately 8:40 a.m., officers responded to 149 Bayside Avenue in Breezy Point after a body was recovered from the beach. The body was later identified as 24-year-old Marisha Cheong, who went missing from her Jamaica residence, where she was last seen at approximately 10:30 a.m. on December 19, 2012.

According to reports, Cheong’s live-in boyfriend was supposed to pick her up at a Forest Hills subway station on the day she went missing, but she never showed up. There was no sign of the young woman until her remains washed up just across from 121 Bayside Avenue.

In May, the Medical Examiner’s office ruled Cheong’s death as a homicide.

There are no arrests and the NYPD is attempting to find an unknown female that can be seen in a surveillance video leading Cheong from her home to an unknown location.

Police have released the surveillance video.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Queens officers win Cop of the Month awards


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

The Jamaica Rotary Club honored police officers of Patrol Borough Queens South on Wednesday, May 30 with Cop of the Month Awards.

Officers Jose Vasquezmiranda and Matthew Lewis of the 113th Precinct were recognized for a May 14 arrest that led to the recovery of a loaded .25-caliber handgun.

Officer Jennifer Martinez of the 106th Precinct was cited for arresting a 17-year-old suspect wanted in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-yearold girl. The suspect was later charged with firstdegree rape.

Officers Corey Harris and Eugene Hunter of the 102nd Precinct won awards for helping track down a stolen iPhone. Pursuit of the suspect eventually ran into East New York, Brooklyn.

Sergeant Mary Humburg and police officer Charles Lovett of the 103rd Precinct were recognized for the April 10 arrest of four men trying to break into a house. The suspects had a total of 40 previous arrests between them.

 

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Jamaica shootings down more than 50 percent


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

Jamaica has seen a drastic decrease in shootings this year. Gun violence went down by more than half compared to last year’s crime statistics, according to the NYPD.

Councilmember Leroy Comrie attributed the trend to increased awareness about gun violence and active police work.

“Everybody is trying to keep the level of awareness constant,” he said. “There are folks that are just going to keep a focus on making sure there is attention to reducing gun violence.”

According to the NYPD’s most recent crime statistics, the 113th Precinct has seen nine shooting victims and eight shooting incidents this year, compared to 20 victims and 18 incidents last year.

Similarly, the 103rd Precinct has seen six shooting victims and five shooting incidents, compared to 15 victims and 12 incidents in 2012.

Comrie said the City Council has been working closely with the police department and local groups to implement “Intervention 101” in the streets.

“Both precincts have worked to reduce the level of shootings in the area,” he said. “Both precincts have had youth town halls. There has been an increase in foot patrol. Community groups have had meetings to talk about gun violence. There has been a lot more outreach to the community.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 63. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 48. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: An Evening with Choreographers Rich + Tone

Discovered by Michael Jackson’s choreographer while freestyling at a California club, the brothers Rich + Tone Taluega are two of the most successful choreographers in the business. They have also worked with Madonna, JLo, Usher, Chris Brown, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Black Eyed Peas. Rich + Tone will present some highlights from their body of work and give a live demonstration of their choreography at the Museum of the Moving Image at 7 p.m. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Ex-Marine says cops beat him in Jamaica’s 103rd Precinct: suit

The Queens district attorney’s office is investigating a former Marine’s claim that he was punched and kicked in the face by cops as they ejected him from the 103rd Precinct stationhouse, where he had gone to retrieve a friend’s personal property. Read more: New York Daily News

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NYPD, TLC crack down on illegal vans


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Christabelle Tumola

The joy ride is coming to an end for illegal dollar vans cruising the streets of southeast Queens.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has teamed up with the 103rd Precinct to continue a crackdown, embarking on monthly checks of the area and stopping illegal vans they find running rampant through the streets.

“They take money out of the city’s pockets,” said NYPD Lieutenant Jason Margolis of the drivers, found mostly in Jamaica.

Patrols for the illegal vehicles are typically conducted between Archer Avenue, Sutphin Boulevard, Liberty Avenue and Merrick Boulevard. More times than not, the drivers and their vans are uninsured, in which case the NYPD will write the drivers a summons and impound the van.

Lately, sweeping the borough clean of the illegal vans has proven much more effective than in the past. In 2011, only 31 vans were identified and taken, and this year the number so far totals 1,593 vans.

“We’re doing some huge numbers in terms of seizure,” said TLC Commissioner Jeff Hunt. “We want to make sure that when we go out, we are effective. We don’t want to bring in just one or two.”

Margolis also said that the drivers tend to have a criminal background.

“We’ve found guys with weapons, under the influence while driving, with suspended licenses,” he said. “We’ve had guys fight with us, we’ve had guys run from us. It’s not good for public safety.”

Once a month, an officer from the 103rd Precinct will go on patrol with two members of the TLC, on the hunt for illegal vans. Margolis said the trick is to look at the license plate — if the van’s plates don’t say “LIVERY,” they shouldn’t be providing a taxi service.

The NYPD has received complaints from residents about the danger that the vans pose, but a majority of these come from registered, insured TLC drivers.

“These guys are taking their business away from them,” said Margolis.

The lieutenant also said that the illegal vans tend to come out more so at night.

Allan Fromberg, press director for the TLC, said that the organization is focusing on connecting with community leaders to let them know about the work they and the NYPD are doing, and in turn to also listen to what the community is saying. They have adopted a “zero tolerance” position for the illegal drivers’ violations.

“If we keep doing checks, keep focused on it, we’ll be able to reduce it as much as possible,” said Margolis.