Tag Archives: 111th Precinct

111th Precinct recognizes officers, others for outstanding service


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Luke Tabet

BY LUKE TABET

The 111the Precinct Council recognized six officers, volunteers and civilian employees for outstanding service over the past year.

Council president Jack Fried commended the work they did “not only for the precinct council, but for the precinct and for the community as well.”

“These people demonstrate every day that they are the most committed and dedicated among the force,” said Captain Jason Huerta.

Officer Evan ­ Ostrofsky was honored as Police Officer of the Year. Huerta called his service “instrumental in the apprehension of violent criminals in countless crimes.”

In his short time so far with the precinct, Ostrofsky has made 168 arrests, including a recent bust that recovered large amounts of heroin, powdered ecstasy, OxyContin and drug-packaging materials, according to Huerta.

The award for Detective of the Year went to Vincent Gannon. In his 14-year tenure with the precinct, Gannon, who joined the detective squad in 2006, has amassed over 400 arrests.

Domestic Violence Sergeant Alicia Manzer was awarded Police Supervisor of the Year. Huerta called the job “by far one of the most challenging positions in the precinct.”

Jordan Tozitsky won Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year.

“The NYPD and 111th Precinct simply could not function without the work of our auxiliary police officers,” Huerta said.

Awards for Explorer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year went to Bayside High School freshman Natasha Valentin and Barbara Rothman, respectively.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Many Queens day care centers operating illegally


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Stock photo

A little known law may be keeping some Queens day care centers from operating legally, The Courier has learned.

Permits from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Buildings and a fire inspection pass are needed for city child care providers who fall under certain categories. These include those who look after three or more kids unrelated to them either in a private home or institution for more than three hours a day, on a regular basis.

But a less familiar rule requires these centers also give written notification to local precincts and fire departments within five days of receiving certifications, the agencies said.

“The day care centers are kind of off our radar. For safety reasons, we’d like to know where they are,” said Special Operations Lieutenant Daniel Heffernan of the 111th Precinct.

According to Heffernan, about 26 centers in the Bayside-based precinct are legally licensed with the city. The precinct’s list is still being updated, but only eight were registered with police as of press time.

“We know there are others out there who have not reported to us,” Heffernan said.

Gary Poggiali, the precinct’s community affairs officer, said he suspects businesses that are providing under-the-radar services in their private homes are trying to make an extra buck in a bad economy.

“There are people who don’t realize they have to contact us,” he said. “They’ll think, ‘I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m taking care of two kids. Why don’t I take care of four and make money?’ But we have to know what’s going on in our community.”

The Courier reached out to several Craigslist ads that were offering day care services for multiple children in private Queens homes. A woman running an at-home center in East Elmhurst said she was “working on” obtaining a permit but was still watching many children without it at the time of the call.

She said the certification was “coming any day now” and added she would spike up prices when it arrived.

According to a DOHMH spokesperson, the department inspects centers it receives complaints about within 24 hours and shuts down those found to be running improperly. But home-based providers are regulated by the state, not the city.

There are 472 permitted child care centers in the borough, the spokesperson said. It was unclear how many were also registered with the NYPD and FDNY.

The process to do so is simple, police said. It involves filling out a short form and providing a copy of the city permit at a local precinct.

Heffernan said enforcement became stricter after a California daycare shooting in 1999 killed one person and injured five others, including three kids.

A two-month old baby girl was also reportedly found dead in an alleged illegal day care in Elmhurst in November 2012.

“This is a very big safety issue,” Heffernan said. “If you’re a parent, would you want to put your kids in a place that’s unlicensed? I wouldn’t.”

 

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Neighborhood watch proposed in 111th Precinct


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A surge in burglaries has officers in the 111th Precinct placing the call out for residents interested in starting up a neighborhood watch program.

The precinct has seen burglaries spike to 20 in a one-week period, as compared to two the 111th reported last year, according to Community Affairs Officer Bill Conway.

Homes between Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway have been recently targeted, Conway said, due to their prime locations close to nearby highways. The precinct also suspects a professional crew behind the pattern of law-breaking that they say takes place in under five minutes.

Now the Bayside-based precinct is in talks to start up a civilian-based patrol, similar to those that already exist in Astoria and Glendale, to thwart the crimes.

“This is something we’ve been toying around with for a while,” Conway said. “They would be extra eyes and ears out on the street, keeping burglaries and other crimes down.”

The precinct has been participating in a block watchers program for several years, Conway said, but volunteers do not patrol in groups. Those part of the neighborhood watch would be more active and visible, he said.

“The burglars don’t want to be seen, so when they see a group of people wearing a uniform, the same shirts or caps, they move on,” said Conway.

Jack Fried, president of the precinct’s Community Council, pointed to the success of other neighborhood watches in the city and said volunteers would not be asked to be vigilantes.

“They’re not there to run after a criminal or block someone from trying to get into a house,” he said. “A police officer can’t be on every block in every neighborhood 24 hours a day, so these volunteers do that for them.”

Councilmember Peter Vallone lauded the efforts of volunteer watchdogs within the 114th Precinct, where civilian patrols began in early June, but said spikes in citywide crime can only be cut down with more police presence.

“Block watchers are absolutely helpful, but they do not take the place of police in any way,” he said.

Interested volunteers are asked to call Conway at 718-279-5295.

“There’s no doubt in my mind people will step up,” said Community Board 11 Chair Jerry Iannece. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors.”

Former 111th Precinct officer busted by DEA


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

DSC_0022w

This time, he was on the wrong side of the cuffs.

Devon Daniels, formerly assigned to the 111th Precinct in Bayside, was arrested on Tuesday, May 15 for his role in allegedly aiding drug dealers.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Daniels, 30, “abused his authority and position of trust by accessing a computer database of the FBI in a manner that exceeded authorized access.”

The criminal complaint details how the DEA office in Wichita, Kansas had been investigating a heroin trafficking organization since 2008; wiretaps revealed that Daniels allegedly communicated with the leader of a Jamaica-based heroin distribution organization on numerous occasions to, among other things, ask for money and to borrow vehicles.

The alleged dealer also asked Daniels how to “get gun shot residue off your hands,” and was provided with an official NYPD parking plaque.

DEA officials also say that Daniels ascertained information from his colleagues regarding drug arrests, which he then passed along to members; he also performed criminal background checks and obtained license plate information for the dealers, reportedly using the mobile computers inside police crusiers.

Daniels’ bank account was also used “to facilitate financial transactions that involved drug proceeds.”

It was unclear at the time of his arrest, executed by the DEA, IRS and NYPD Internal Affairs, what charges Daniels faced.

Bayside – The ‘Sea Biscuit’ of BIDs


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Call it blitzkrieg marketing or whatever you will, but with the intention of re-establishing Bayside and The Bell Boulevard Business Corridor as “THE” destination everyone thinks of first this season when going out to shop or dine, The Bayside Village Business Improvement District’s (BID) recent consecutive weekends of socially- conscious, retail-promoting, pedestrian-building, music-filled festivals  just pulled Bayside out from behind our neighboring business districts. We outperformed Douglaston, Little Neck, Great Neck, Astoria, Flushing, Whitestone, Austin Street, Fresh Meadows and Sunnyside in social and street activity and draw for consumers.

Like the “Sea Biscuit” of BIDs, Bayside just pulled way out from the back of the pack to rebuild an audience and create an excitement about Bell Boulevard and Bayside that the local businesses and community leaders have all been asking for, and that’s been long overdue.

It’s been over 17 years since Bayside has had a permit issued for any type of festival or block party, and thanks to the guidance of Susan Seinfeld and Jerry Inanecce from Community Board 11, the Community Affairs officers of Captain Ronald Leyson’s 111th Precinct and Chanel Green of the Street Activity Permit Office, the permit process went smoothly, the events were executed flawlessly and people were literally dancing and singing in the streets of Bayside again.

This month we’ll be following through to highlight the season with a series of exclusive, velvet roped fashion shows.

A very special thanks needs to be extended to Keil Bros Garden Center & Nursery for their generous help with our LIRR Station Beautification Program that helped return the station park back into an attractive “Green Space.”

So, all in all you’d have to admit, “Bayside’s Back” and on the rise.

 

Gregg Sullivan is the executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District.

111th Precinct announces decrease in crime


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The 111th Precinct held its council meeting recently in Bayside, updating residents on recent crime stats, answering questions from the community and honoring two officers as Cops of the Month.

For their work thwarting a robbery pattern consisting of 13 thefts, Patrick Hughes and Evan Ostrofsky were honored by Commanding Officer Ronald Leyson and Precinct Council Vice President John Bisbano as the September Cops of the Month.

Leyson announced the Precinct has seen an 8 percent decrease in crime over the past year, which is among the best in the city.  Robbery and rape are the only crimes that have seen an increase since 2010. Over the last 28-day period, crime is down almost one-third in the precinct.

To help combat small electronic robbery – especially in and around area high schools – the 111th Precinct has undertaken a six-week initiative visiting schools and educating students.

Community Affairs officers have been handing out two flyers. One gives tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of small electronic theft, and the second informs kids of the penalties involved with these thefts, which is a felony and can carry up to seven years in jail.

Also announced at the meeting was the Precinct’s coat drive and canned food drive which begins on November 15.  Any lightly used coats or non-perishable foods can be dropped off at the precinct and will be distributed to those who need it most. 

Assemblymembers address 111th Precinct


| ecamhi@queenscourier.com

“For the first time in five years, people think that New York is headed in the right direction.”

That’s the word from Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, who spoke at the 111th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, October 4. Both Braunstein and Assemblymember David Weprin discussed various hot-button policy issues as well as bills they have passed, and are pushing to pass, in Albany.

Braunstein, a lifelong Bayside resident, called his first year in Albany and the overall political year a success.

He gave much of the credit to Governor Andrew Cuomo “who was very impressive in his performance” in his timely balancing of New York’s 10 billion dollar budget, although Braunstein did express disappointment that the millionaire’s tax will expire at the end of year.The tax, which he and other Democrats fought to renew, was blocked by both Governor Cuomo and Senate Republicans.

“Sometimes it takes courage to recognize you’re not in the majority and you have to compromise,” he said. “We acted like adults and passed Governor Cuomo’s budget.

Braunstein said we should see another heated battle next year in Albany over the tax

Another showdown which may soon occur involves the controversial drilling method called hydrofracking which uses water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas from rock.While both the governor and state legislators expect the hydrofracking plan to revive upstate New York’s struggling economy, many environmentalists are worried about its safety.

Braunstein believes the hydrofracking plan will pass and will include rules that “they don’t drill anywhere near New York City’s water supply.”

Some of the year’s successes cited by Braunstein include an ethics reform package and a ban on the sale of the Meth-like drug known as “bath salts.” He is also pushing legislation which would require state colleges to immediately notify authorities of on-campus felonies anda bill to cap property taxeson co-ops at six percent.

Weprin also declared his support of the millionaires’ tax noting that “anyone making over a million a year can afford to pay that extra 1 percent.”

Weprin discussed his bill which seeks to curb water rate hikes by restructuring New York City’s Water Board. The bill, if passed, would end mayoral control of the board.

“As you can imagine, the mayor opposes the bill,” he said.

Weprin also discussed his new proposal to outlaw smoking in cars occupied by passengers under the age of 16 and an “adoptee bill of rights” which would grant adoptees access to their birth certificates when they reach 18.

He concluded his talk by thanking the community for their support during his campaign for the 9th District’s Congressional seat which he lost to Republican Bob Turner by a narrow margin.“I just wanna thank everybody that wished me well,” Weprin said.

“It was about seven weeks, but it felt like seven years, he chuckled.

Both Braunstein and Weprin gave hearty thanks to the 111th Precinct for its responsiveness and active partnership building.

Assemblymembers address 111th Precinct


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

“For the first time in five years, people think that New York is headed in the right direction.”

That’s the word from Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, who spoke at the 111th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, October 4. Both Braunstein and Assemblymember David Weprin discussed various hot-button policy issues as well as bills they have passed, and are pushing to pass, in Albany.

Braunstein, a lifelong Bayside resident, called his first year in Albany and the overall political year a success.

He gave much of the credit to Governor Andrew Cuomo “who was very impressive in his performance” in his timely balancing of New York’s 10 billion dollar budget, although Braunstein did express disappointment that the millionaire’s tax will expire at the end of year.The tax, which he and other Democrats fought to renew, was blocked by both Governor Cuomo and Senate Republicans.

“Sometimes it takes courage to recognize you’re not in the majority and you have to compromise,” he said. “We acted like adults and passed Governor Cuomo’s budget.

Braunstein said we should see another heated battle next year in Albany over the tax

Another showdown which may soon occur involves the controversial drilling method called hydrofracking which uses water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas from rock.While both the governor and state legislators expect the hydrofracking plan to revive upstate New York’s struggling economy, many environmentalists are worried about its safety.

Braunstein believes the hydrofracking plan will pass and will include rules that “they don’t drill anywhere near New York City’s water supply.”

Some of the year’s successes cited by Braunstein include an ethics reform package and a ban on the sale of the Meth-like drug known as “bath salts.” He is also pushing legislation which would require state colleges to immediately notify authorities of on-campus felonies anda bill to cap property taxeson co-ops at six percent.

Weprin also declared his support of the millionaires’ tax noting that “anyone making over a million a year can afford to pay that extra 1 percent.”

Weprin discussed his bill which seeks to curb water rate hikes by restructuring New York City’s Water Board. The bill, if passed, would end mayoral control of the board.

“As you can imagine, the mayor opposes the bill,” he said.

Weprin also discussed his new proposal to outlaw smoking in cars occupied by passengers under the age of 16 and an “adoptee bill of rights” which would grant adoptees access to their birth certificates when they reach 18.

He concluded his talk by thanking the community for their support during his campaign for the 9th District’s Congressional seat which he lost to Republican Bob Turner by a narrow margin.“I just wanna thank everybody that wished me well,” Weprin said.

“It was about seven weeks, but it felt like seven years, he chuckled.

Both Braunstein and Weprin gave hearty thanks to the 111th Precinct for its responsiveness and active partnership building.