Tag Archives: 106th Precinct

106th Precinct addresses dispute with Howard Beach civilian patrol group


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/file photo

BY ANGELA MATUA

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, directly addressed a controversial dispute between his precinct and an organization called the Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol (HBCOP) at Wednesday’s 106th Precinct Community Council meeting in Ozone Park.

HBCOP describes itself as “a civilian neighborhood watch program involving responsible civilians who volunteer to act as the eyes and ears of the police department,” according to its Facebook page. Some of HBCOP’s members claimed they applied with the NYPD to receive an official police department COP certification, which allows community members to act as watchdogs.

According to Facebook posts by its president Joseph Thompson, HBCOP submitted the paperwork to enroll in this program and posted emails he exchanged with Community Affairs Officer Brenda Reddick on the organization’s Facebook page as proof.

But according to the emails, which contained the words “citizens police academy” in the subject line, Thompson actually asked to be enrolled in the Citizens Police Academy program, which is a separate 14-week program meant to “provide training in the legal, social and procedural aspects of policing.”

“We told this individual what is to be expected from the civilian observation patrol and what is to be submitted to us,” Schiff said. “To this day, we have not received a single application to the COP [program]. It hasn’t been done.”

The patrol also had problems with police, according to published reports, after it spread misinformation about a recent burglary at a KFC on Cross Bay Boulevard, claiming that employees were tied up by suspects during a robbery.

The crime, police noted, was actually a late-night burglary while the KFC was closed; no employees were at the scene at that time.

P.O. Michael Sardone received the Cop of the Month award at the 106th Precinct Community Council Meeting on Wednesday, May 14. (Photo courtesy of 106th Precinct)

P.O. Michael Sardone received the Cop of the Month award at the 106th Precinct Community Council Meeting on Wednesday, May 14. (Photo courtesy of 106th Precinct)

In other news, Schiff reported that crime is slightly up in the precinct, which covers Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach. Auto theft is a problem that has plagued the precinct and Schiff said several arrests of suspected car thieves were recently made.

Robberies, he said, have been a multi-precinct problem, with the neighboring 102nd and 113th precincts sharing the burden. Schiff said the precincts have worked together to come up with a coordinated strategy and that it seems to be working. This month, 21 robbery arrests have been made.

Identity theft is also a problem in the district, and officers have pushed an awareness campaign to inform residents how to avoid having their identity stolen.

In advance of the Fourth of July, officers are also executing an initiative to confiscate fireworks. Officers said 99-cent stores and other businesses sometimes sell fireworks on the side and that there will be a zero-tolerance policy for anyone found with them.

The NYPD also offers a reward to anyone who provides information regarding the illegal sale, distribution or use of fireworks.

P.O. Michael Sardone was honored as Cop of the Month for apprehending two individuals on April 5 who tried robbing someone at knife point along Liberty Avenue. Sardone, along with other officers, canvassed the area, and Sardone was able to secure the knife and make the arrests.

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Husband scares away Ozone Park home invader after hearing wife’s screams


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy NYPD

Authorities continue to search for a man who invaded an Ozone Park home and assaulted a 46-year-old woman.

Police said the incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. on March 13 at an undisclosed location in the neighborhood within the confines of the 106th Precinct.

According to police, the woman was sitting on the ground floor of her residence when the perpetrator entered her home, grabbed her by the neck and arm, and demanded cash.

The victim reportedly screamed, prompting her husband — who had been upstairs — to run down and help her. Police said the suspect then fled out of the home empty-handed in an unknown direction.

No injuries were reported.


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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Elderly Howard Beach resident dies following crash


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

An 88-year-old Howard Beach woman has died from injuries she sustained in a car crash last month, police said Saturday.

Carmela Rutolo of 88th Street was driving north on Cross Bay Boulevard at 7:40 p.m. on April 20, when her vehicle struck a pillar at Liberty Avenue.

Officers from the 106th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Rutolo died of her injuries on April 24 at Jamaica Hospital.

An investigation by the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad is ongoing.

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Fake 911 call backfires for Howard Beach burglary suspect


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Instead of driving the police away with a fake emergency call, a suspected burglar wound up bringing more cops to his Hamilton Beach block Thursday afternoon.

Keith Kolm, 25, of 164th Road, allegedly broke into the Key Food supermarket at 163-30 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach at 6 a.m. on April 6 and stole the shop’s ATM.

Through an investigation, the 106th Precinct Detective Squad linked Kolm to the crime and “plastered the neighborhood” with wanted posters featuring his mugshot, one law enforcement source said. Plainclothes officers staked out the suspect’s home for several weeks, but he never surfaced.

At about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police received a 911 call regarding an officer in need of assistance at the corner of Linden Boulevard and the Van Wyck Expressway service road in South Ozone Park, authorities said.

While heading to the scene with other units, an on-duty supervisor requested the location of where the 911 call was made; police learned that the call came from a cellphone in Hamilton Beach.

Plainclothes officers stationed outside Kolm’s home activated their sirens and drove around the corner, according to authorities. After a few moments, they returned to the location and observed Kolm walking outside his home.

“That call was placed so he could get out of the house,” a law enforcement source said.

Kolm then led officers on a foot pursuit through Hamilton Beach streets and backyards, prompting additional NYPD units to respond to the area, police said. At about 4:30 p.m., officers apprehended Kolm on the rooftop of a home in the area of 104th Street and 163rd Drive.

Charges against Kolm are pending.

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Pair arrested for drug possession in Howard Beach


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

BY ANGELA MATUA

Police found large amounts of oxycodone and Xanax and arrested two men while executing a search warrant in a Howard Beach apartment house on Friday.

Members of the NYPD Queens Narcotics Bureau and the 106th Precinct launched the raid at 6 a.m. on April 24 at an apartment on 156th Avenue near 81st Street.

Reportedly, police recovered one large Ziploc bag containing 57 oxycodone pills and 88 Xanax pills from an end table in the living room.

Officers also recovered a pill bottle containing 45 oxycodone pills and 30 Xanax pills in the kitchen and a wallet containing $1,245 in cash.

The home’s resident, Matthew Clarke, 23, and an accomplice, Timothy R. Yan, 21, were taken into custody at the scene. According to authorities, Clarke and Yan were sleeping on separate couches in the living room when police entered the home.

Clarke and Yan, a Brooklyn resident, were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Clarke was booked on an additional drug possession charge.

During their arraignment hearings, Yan was ordered held on $5,000 bail, while Clarke was released without bail. Both men are due back in court Wednesday.

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Suspect wanted for firing shots in parking lot outside Resorts World brawl


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

Police are looking for a man who allegedly fired shots in the parking lot of Resorts World around the time a massive fight broke out in the casino Friday night.

At about 10:50 p.m., during the brawl at the South Ozone Park casino, which occurred at the grand opening of a daiquiri bar called Fat Tuesday, police responded to a 911 call of shots fired in the parking lot, authorities said. Officers searched the parking lot and area hospitals for a victim with a gunshot wound, but none was found.

Using surveillance footage of the area and inside of the casino, facial recognition technology and a license plate reader, police were able to identify the suspect as 22-year-old Jaquan Roberts, authorities said.

Roberts is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. According to police, he was arrested in 2010 for possession of a loaded .22-caliber American Arms revolver after he shot himself in the right leg.

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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Video: Huge fight breaks out at Resorts World


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Screenshots via YouTube/Buddha Bless

Fists and chairs were flying as a huge fight broke out during a bar’s grand opening at Resorts World Casino Friday night, according to police and video footage of the incident.

Cops, responding to multiple 911 calls from the South Ozone Park casino, arrived to find around 300 people surrounding the brawl outside of Fat Tuesday, a daiquiri bar, that spilled into the dining area, authorities said. But only about two dozen people were actually engaged in the physical altercations.

Video footage posted to YouTube shows casino patrons hurling chairs across the room and throwing punches as the melee moves through the food court, reportedly causing thousands of dollars of damage.

“The safety of our patrons is Resorts World’s top priority, and there is absolutely no room for this kind of behavior at our facility,” a casino spokesperson said in a statement, according to published reports. “We are reviewing all aspects of this unfortunate event and are fully committed to taking steps to ensure similar acts do not take place ever again.”

(VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE)

Police said they arrested three individuals in connection with the incident.

Andre Rivers, 23, of Brooklyn, was charged with disorderly conduct, and Jovan Bovell, 23, of South Ozone Park, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Both had previous warrants.

The third individual, a 30-year-old man, was issued a summons and released.

Several people suffered minor injuries in the brawl, including one officer who was taken to an area hospital for a hand injury, police said.

Police didn’t immediately reveal what sparked the mayhem and said the investigation was ongoing, but according to published reports the fight started while customers were waiting in a long line for drinks.

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Tire and rim theft still major problem in Howard Beach area


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata/ Photo courtesy of Joe Thompson

Seeing a car on cinder blocks has become almost the norm in south Queens, according to police, as the Howard Beach area has been hit with a string of tire and rim thefts.

Since Dec. 1, there have been about 59 tire and rim theft cases throughout the 106th Precinct. Lindenwood has experienced the brunt of the crime hit, as 21 of the 59 thefts have taken place in the neighborhood. The number of these cases has increased, as the three months before Dec. 1 saw 27 thefts in the precinct.

“This has really been hurting us,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey D. Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct. “We’re going to keep after this and continue to throw different operations at these criminals.”

Along with extra officers, Schiff has expanded his patrol in the Lindenwood area, especially during early morning hours when most crimes take place. He has been sending more crime teams out — both plain-clothed and uniformed officers — who have been on the lookout for cars with “reasonable suspicion” as it is not easy for officers to catch the preps in the act.

Police said it takes mere seconds for experienced thieves to jack up a car, put it on bricks and pull the tires off. The crooks work in small crews, which shortens the amount of time it takes to steal the tires and flee the area.

But just last week, Schiff said, the 106th Precinct caught a group of three men from Brooklyn who did a tire jacking in the Howard Beach area. They stopped a car coming out of a parking lot in Howard Beach for reasonable suspicion as it was in the early hours of the morning and there was no reason for a car to be in that lot.

Upon their search, the officers found four tires and rims from a Toyota. They arrested the men, who didn’t have a major history of tire theft on their records, and later returned the tires to the person whose car they were stolen from near 157th Avenue in Howard Beach.

This saved the car owner a large sum of money as replacing tires and rims can cost up to $3,000, according to Det. Kenneth Zorn of the 106th Precinct Community Affairs Unit.

The 106th Precinct continues to send out fliers warning residents that late model Hondas, Nissans, Toyotas and Mercedes are being targeted for their rims. They recommend that car owners use wheel locks, motion sensor lights or an alarm with a mercury tilt switch to make their cars harder targets.

Schiff said he will continue to beef up patrol around the Lindenwood and Howard Beach areas and is investigating different ways he can lure these perps into a trap. He has called the Queens District Attorney’s office about the three recently arrested thieves and asked for “aggressive prosecution and high bail” to deter other thieves from coming into the area and trying to steal tires.

“We will continue to monitor the area and have officers there,” said Schiff. “Hopefully we can catch more of these criminals.”

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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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Car tires and rims become big target for thieves in southern Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Joe Thompson

Move over NASCAR pit crews, there’s a new team pulling wheels off of cars and they’re doing it in record time across southern Queens neighborhoods.

While auto theft is on the decline across the city, there has been a new wave of thefts targeting cars that is taking place in and around Howard Beach. But this time, thieves take the wheels and leave the cars behind.

“Old school crime on the rise,” wrote one resident on the Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol Facebook page.

“Nothing new in Lindenwood,” wrote another.

The 106th Precinct sent out fliers warning residents and car owners about the thefts, identifying the types of cars being targeted and providing pointers on how to guard against the theft of wheels and tires.

“It costs close to $3,000 to replace those rims and tires,” said Detective Kenny Zorn from the 106th Precinct. “We’re out there preaching crime prevention and have unmarked and marked cars patrolling the areas more frequently.”

The 106th Precinct has also been out in Lindenwood passing out the fliers to residents warning of the crime. They say Lindenwood is one of the easiest areas to hit for thieves because of the multi-family houses.

In the last 28-day period, Zorn said there have been four reported tire removals in cars in the Lindenwood area alone.

The civilian patrol reported two cars stripped of their wheels in the last two weeks, and comments on some of the pictures posted show the crime is happening at a higher rate throughout the neighborhood.

“This has to be a group of people working together because they get these tires off in seconds,” said Joe Thompson, president of the patrol. “It’s been going on for a long time, but now it seems to be happening almost every night.”

Jacking up a car, putting it on bricks and pulling the tires off can occur in seconds with experienced thieves.

Thompson said that while he was on patrol he got a call from a resident of Ozone Park about four males in the process of taking tires off a car. He notified 911 immediately and drove over to the scene. Arriving no more than six minutes later, Thompson said the thieves were already gone and observed the car on bricks and tilted forward.

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On the flier, the police warn that late model Hondas, Nissans, Toyotas and Mercedes are being targeted for their rims. They recommend that car owners use wheel locks, motion sensor lights, or an alarm with a mercury tilt switch to make their cars harder targets.

“It’s scary,” he said. “All these cars are brand-new, and it’s terrible for these residents. It affects their insurance and just makes things more difficult for them.”

Thompson said that his patrol has been watching for suspicious cars around the neighborhood and has been documenting license plates for the police. He said he has no real leads on who these thieves might be, but he believes they circle the area and pick out which cars they want to hit before they strike.

“We get calls from people every night, telling us of suspicious cars around the neighborhood or ones parked in front of their houses for a long period of time,” he said. “We’ve been collecting the information and are talking to the police to hopefully stop these criminals.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-577-TIPS. Zorn also said if anyone sees the crime going on to call 911 immediately. If you want more information on how to prevent the crime, call the 106th Precinct’s crime prevention number at 718-845-2223.

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106th Precinct has major crime drop this month


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The 106th Precinct had the largest crime drop of any precinct in the city during the last four-week period, the precinct commander told The Courier.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff said the 106th Precinct had a 32.3 percent drop in serious crime from Sept. 29 to Oct. 26 compared to the same period in 2013.

Schiff said the nearly one-third decrease came about through better interaction with the community.

“By keeping the community informed, residents are in a better position to help out the police,” Schiff said. “My cops have been working hard and it shows.”

Overall, major crime fell from 164 incidents to 111 during the period and the precinct’s most persistent plague, auto theft, was nearly cut in half, from 29 car thefts in 2013 to 15 for the same period this year.

Robberies tumbled from 34 to 24, burglaries fell from 23 to 15 and felony assaults dropped from 21 to 16. The largest drop in any category was in grand larceny, from 55 to 38.

“We’ve changed up our strategies on the ways to attack these types of crimes,” Schiff said. “And it seems to be working.”

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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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‘Recidivist’ car thief caught by 106th Precinct


| slicata@queenscourier.com

HANDCUFFS 2

An auto theft “recidivist” was arrested for grand larceny auto by cops from the 106th Precinct on Monday, police said, their second major arrest of an alleged car thief in the last month.

Richard Hobbs, 27, of Lindenwood, was caught behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle early Monday morning by plainclothes officers, cops said.

He was connected to the theft of two other vehicles just two weeks prior to this arrest, according to police.

Furthermore, cops were able to link Hobbs to four car break-ins in Howard Beach, police said.

In July, the cops from the 106th Precinct arrested a teenager in Howard Beach for breaking into vehicles throughout the neighborhood. At the time of the arrest, the alleged thief had property from at least five other cars, according to police.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, has been out-spoken at community meetings, giving tips to residents on ways to keep their cars and property safe.

After the arrest of what he called the “auto-theft/car-break-in recidivist,” Schiff tweeted gleefully, “Let’s hope he goes away 4 a long while!”

After the two arrests, area residents are hopeful the worst is behind them.

“It is my hope that the arrests will help slow down these types of crimes in our community,” Joanne Ariola, a resident of Howard Beach, said.

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Howard Beach residents to start neighborhood watch group


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image Courtesy of Joe Thompson

BY SALVATORE LICATA

Howard Beach is hoping to add a few more sets of eyes and ears to its streets in hopes of preventing crime.

The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol, is a soon-to-be nonprofit group of residents that will be keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood. In an effort to keep crime down, volunteers of the group will patrol the neighborhood and report to the police any suspicious activity that may be going on.

“Howard Beach residents are screaming for assistance,” Joe Thompson, president and founder of the organization, said. “We are going to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood and it is up to us as a community to report any crimes.”

Thompson said he decided to start the patrol group after hearing resident’s concerns at community meetings.

Crime is down slightly so far this year in the 106th Precinct, but a recent rash of burglaries in Howard Beach set off fears in the community.

Thompson has over 30 years of experience in community watch groups and was an auxiliary police officer for 10 years. He said he hopes this group will help to prevent crime from happening but also noted that his patrol units will take no physical action if they see suspicious activity.

“We will have uniforms but no weapons at all,” Thompson said. “We will not take any action against criminals, our job is to just report what we see to the police. We don’t want to be seen as vigilantes.”

Thompson said he has met with the 106th Precinct and government officials and has their okay to go along with the program as long as the group goes through the proper training and follows the guidelines of community watch groups, as stated by the community affairs office of the NYPD.

“We are always looking for people to get involved,” said Kenneth Zorn, the community affairs officer for the 106th Precinct. “It is a large commitment but these people volunteer their time to help improve the quality of life for the community.”

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo also offered his support to Thompson – but not without some concern.

“We must make it very clear that volunteers must go through the proper training before they patrol,” Addabbo said. “But if it is done correctly it is a positive community program.”

The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol will hold their first meeting/recruitment session on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Helen’s School at 157-10 83rd St.

Thompson hopes to gain support for his initiative with other residents at the meeting.

For more information follow Thompson via Twitter @HowardBeachCOP.

 

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106th Precinct to use Twitter to address noise complaints


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via @NYPD106Pct

Updated on June 17, 2 p.m.

 SALVATORE LICATA and PAULINA TAM

The 106th Precinct is taking to Twitter to stop noise from trending.

The precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, said at Wednesday’s Precinct Community Council meeting that he is launching a special initiative this weekend where local residents can report noise complaints via Twitter to @NYPD106PCT.

“If you have a noise complaint, report it on Twitter, with the address, and we will hopefully be there within minutes,” Schiff said.

He said noise complaints in the area have been “extreme.”

Schiff used a similar tactic earlier this week when he asked residents to tweet a picture and location of a particular type of graffiti to add charges to the tagger he had in custody.

The noise complaint strategy went  from June 13 through June 15 and three residents can tweeted out their noise complaint issue, according to a spokesman for the 106th precinct.

“We are tired of telling people to lower their music and then once we leave it goes back up,” Schiff said.

They responded to 31 noise complaints and issued 20 summonses, a spokesman for the 106th precinct said.

The investigation was part of Operation Silent Night, an operation  by the 106th precinct that explored noise complaints tweeted by concerned citizens.

“We’re not killjoys but we’re out there doing what needs to be done,” the spokesman said.

 

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