Tag Archives: Community Affairs

Precinct council meets new officers, domestic violence chief in Forest Hills


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

BY ANGELA MATUA

New faces were introduced at the 112th Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday, March 18, at the precinct’s Forest Hills headquarters.

Capt. William Matusiak, who has been on the job for 31 years, will be joining the precinct as an executive officer from the Midtown North precinct.

Though Matusiak never served in Queens, he grew up in Maspeth and Woodside.

Sgt. Brian McGowen, who previously served the 109th Precinct, will be supervising area schools.

The new community affairs officer, P.O. Tony Jimenez, is originally from the 104th Precinct and is also a clergy liaison. He has worked for the NYPD for 22 years.

Chief Diana Pizzuti of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North, said she hopes the new additions to the precinct will help “build relationships between cops and kids” especially “with the recent unrest” that has taken place across the country that has strained relations between police officers and the communities they serve.

Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff at the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Tracy Weber-Thomas also addressed the community about what services are available for victims of domestic violence.

Approximately 282,000 domestic violence occurrences were reported in New York City last year, according to Weber-Thomas, with 53,000 reported in Queens. Of the cases in Queens, 1,300 were in the 112th Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park.

The Queens Family Justice Center, located at 106-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, is a “one-stop service center” that will help victims of domestic abuse regardless of immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation or the language they speak, said Weber-Thomas.

Weber-Thomas encouraged anyone who is a victim of domestic violence to visit the family justice center, where no appointments are needed to speak to a counselor. Children can play in a children’s room while parents meet with a prosecutor or apply for housing or financial assistance.

The city also runs a NYC Healthy Relationship Academy initiative that coaches children ages 17 to 24 to run workshops about dating violence and healthy relationships for adolescents and young adults.

Click here for more information about the city’s domestic violence prevention programs.

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109th Precinct Crime Prevention Tips


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

With unattended property crimes, cases of con games and larcenies of rims and tires rising across the confines of the 109th Precinct, the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Crime Prevention Unit is providing the public with tips on how to keep their valuables safe.

            According to the NYPD, Nissan Maximas, Cadillacs and Infinitis are the primary models being targeted.

            The police suggest the following tips to prevent rim or tire theft:

  1. Utilize lug nut locks. Locks can be purchased for roughly $50. Car owners often use two locks per rim.
  2. Activate any and all alarms. Alarms equipped with a tilt sensor, which activate if the vehicle is moved, are among the most effective alarms on the market.
  3. Pay additional attention at night. Many thefts occur after dark, so residents are advised to pay attention to suspicious persons or vehicles in the area.
  4. Video cameras in the front of the house are considered a strong deterrent.
  5.  Park your car in an area with an abundance of lighting, such as a well lit street or parking lot.
  6. Utilize a garage, if it is available.
  7. Be a good neighbor. Community involvement is vital when preventing theft, so if you witness a suspicious character, call 911. Your call will remain anonymous.

In order to prevent having your unattended property stolen, the NYPD offers the following advice:

  1. Do not store valuables in your vehicle. G.P.S systems, tools, laptop computers, cash and jewelry are among the items targeted by thieves.
  2. Keep your pocketbooks on your shoulders at all time. A woman’s pocketbook should never be left in the car, in carts while shopping or on the back of a chair while eating.        
  3. Be aware at all times. Vehicle break-ins occur both in the daytime and overnight.

 

To avoid falling prey to con games, the NYPD suggests the following tips:

  1. Never respond to an email or phone call that claims you have won the lottery or any other prize.
  2. Never send a check or wire money to someone you do not know.
  3. Be wary of potential scams on websites such as Craigslist, which offer job and other opportunities in exchange for payment.  
  4. Be alert while loading your car after shopping. Professional thieves will often distract you while their accomplice steals your property from the car.
  5. Remember the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

If you fall victim to or witness any of the above crimes within the confines of the 109th Precinct, call Community Affairs at 718-321-2268.