Tag Archives: GCOP

Drone talk tops 104COP general assembly meeting


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The new president of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP), Mark Pearson, got his first taste of official duty as he conducted his first 104COP general assembly meeting at the United Talmudic Seminary in Glendale on Thursday night.

After 104COP unveiled its newest piece of equipment last week, a quad-copter, Pearson was faced with answering questions from patrol members and residents regarding this new technology.

“The idea is to use this device in conjunction with the NYPD to make sure that they’re aware that it’s going to be for what it’s going to be used for, which right now it is slated to be used for missing children or a missing person,” Pearson said. “So anytime it goes up, they’re aware of it. We need to be fully open and transparent with the NYPD.”

Pearson said that the 104th Precinct does not officially sanction drones, but they are not opposed to them either. He also informed those in attendance that 104COP is in the process of getting the proper exemptions and filing the appropriate paperwork with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The regulations are, if you’re going to fly within a 5-mile radius of an airport, which is within the jurisdiction of the 104th Precinct, we have to notify the air traffic controller and get approval from them first,” Pearson said. “If it’s outside of that you don’t need to, you have to fly below 400 feet. Which, in order to try and find somebody, you would have to fly 100 feet. And the regulation is you can’t fly below 25 feet over people.”

“There’s a lot of concerns over privacy issues and everything like that,” he continued. “These devices, well the one that we have, does not support audio. It only records, if we turn it on, video. That’s it. There’s no use for us to use it to spy on anybody. That’s not what it’s meant for. It’s meant to find a missing child as quickly as possible.”

Pearson also noted that 104COP will continue to coordinate their patrols with the 104th Precinct to make them more cohesive and effective.

“Either at the time of the patrol, or right before the patrol, we actually get in touch with the captain and let him know that we are going out so that way he’s aware,” Pearson said. “He’s been relaying information to us and I, in turn, will now inform whoever else is supervising the patrol so that way they know where to focus.”

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St. Pancras celebrates Irish tradition with St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

St. Pancras School in Glendale hosted its annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance on Saturday, March 9, to celebrate Irish tradition and school pride.

More than 150 alums and residents of various cultures attended the event.

There were raffles at the dinner, with all proceeds going to purchase a new SMART Board for the school.

Although St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until March 17, attendees donned green robes, shirts, ties and hats. There was traditional Celtic food, including corned beef and cabbage, and women performed Irish step dancing.

People also danced to live music by the Boston Burglars, an Irish American band that plays rock and roll.

“We wanted the St. Pancras school alumni to come back and celebrate with us every year on this very important occasion,” said Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol president Frank Kotnik, who is a St. Pancras alum and was the emcee at the event. “You didn’t have to be Irish to come here. It makes no difference. This is a school, parish, alumni thing.”

 

 

 

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Woodhaven looks to resurrect civilian patrol organization


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Frank Kotnik

Woodhaven leaders are seriously considering resurrecting the more-than-a-decade defunct civilian patrol to respond to recent crimes in the neighborhood.

Members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) recently met with Assemblymember Mike Miller and members of the Glendale Civilian Operational Patrol (GCOP) to discuss how to start the neighborhood watch. And in a town hall meeting last week, WRBA members took a poll of attendees to gauge the interest, to which there were nearly a dozen responders.

“We want safer streets, we want to improve the quality of life in our community and we want our residents to feel empowered,” said Ed Wendell, president of the WRBA.

Wendell said talks about the patrol heated up after a man attempted to rape a woman in Forest Park a few months ago, but then more crimes followed. Last month a teenage girl was stabbed in Woodhaven nearly a dozen times and a few weeks ago a wife was arrested for allegedly killing her husband by smashing her car after he clung to the hood. Also, a girl was robbed recently in the area.

“We are not just sitting back and letting things happen,” Wendell said. “We are going to be a force in our future.”

There are no statistics that show whether neighborhood watch groups actually lower or prevent crime, but the precincts appreciate their help, according to an NYPD representative.

The new patrol will work together with GCOP, as Woodhaven wants to model their program on them. GCOP has been operating since 1976 and currently has about 56 active members.

GCOP will lend equipment, such as radios, reflective vests and flashlights, to the patrol once it is established. Members of the Glendale Patrol will also train new Woodhaven volunteers on how to spot suspicious activity and to be extra “eyes and ears” for the NYPD as opposed to vigilantes.

“When I got involved 25 years ago, no one lent us a hand,” said Frank Kotnik, president of GCOP. “They will not be out there by themselves.”

Miller, who was a member of GCOP for more than 16 years, said he would be willing to help collect funding for the group once the patrol becomes established.

“I always felt I was doing something significant for the community,” Miller said. “It is a good feeling and once you become a part of it you want to do more.”

Before the group can get started Woodhaven needs to collect dedicated members and address concerns, such as transportation and donations. They will also meet with GCOP again and the 102nd Precinct.

 

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