Tag Archives: Cop of the Month

Speeding accidents prompt increased enforcement: 107th Precinct


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

rosedale police station4

Two recent serious car accidents have prompted the 107th Precinct to crack down on speeding, according to the precinct’s commanding officer.

“It gets rough when you see bodies that were trapped inside the vehicle after it’s been burned,” Capt. Paul Valerga said at Tuesday’s 107th Precinct Community Council meeting in Fresh Meadows. “And this is all because of speed, because of people driving way too fast on the roads.”

A fatal April 3 accident was caused when the driver lost control of the vehicle, hit construction scaffolding and then a tree, and the car subsequently exploded. There were two fatalities.

The other recent speeding accident is still under investigation, with one victim alive but still in the hospital.

The 107th Precinct is also battling a spike in fraud cases. According to Captain Valerga, fraud reports have been rising in the area for the last two weeks. Common scams included bank PIN codes stolen through rigged ATM machines, and phone calls from phony charity organizations asking for donations and credit card information.

“Be careful who you give your money to,” warned Captain Valerga. “ You work too hard for it to give it to a crook and a criminal.”

Sergeant Michael Salice was named "Cop of the Month" in the 107th Precinct meeting which also saw the community warned about increased enforcement for speeding violations. Salice was instrumental in diffusing a recent home invasion. (THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel)

Sgt. Michael Salice was named “Cop of the Month” at the 107th Precinct meeting, which also saw the community warned about increased enforcement for speeding violations. Salice was instrumental in diffusing a recent home invasion. (THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel)

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Tumbling crime numbers top 108th Precinct Council meeting in Sunnyside


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime plunged in the 108th Precinct over the last four weeks, the force’s commanding officer reported during Tuesday’s 108th Precinct Community Council meeting at Sunnyside Community Services.

Capt. John Travaglia said that the precinct, which covers all or parts of Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside, recorded a 28 percent drop in major crimes in the last 28 days. The plunge included a 50 percent fall in robberies, an 11 percent decrease in burglaries and a 46 percent drop in grand larcenies.

Continuing the positive news, Travaglia said the precinct recorded no incidents of rape, homicide or auto accident fatalities so far this year.

“Our numbers reflect how safe of a community we live in,” Travaglia said. “This is a wonderful place and the statistics don’t lie.”

Travaglia did, however, caution residents about preventing burglaries during the coming spring and summer months.

“As the weather gets warmer, we tend to leave our windows open to let the nice breeze into our homes,” he said, “but when you leave your home, remember to shut those windows and lock them.  These are crimes of opportunity, and we want to make sure we take that opportunity away.”

Travaglia and the council honored one officer in particular for his efforts to fight crime. P.O. John Miszuk of the precinct’s Anti-Crime Team received the Cop of the Month Award for apprehending a violent robbery suspect earlier in the month.

At 10:30 p.m. on March 21, 108th Precinct officers responded to a 911 call regarding a robbery in progress in the vicinity of 47th Avenue and 46th Street. According to Travaglia, the suspect approached his male victim from behind with a knife, demanding cash and belongings. After a brief struggle, the victim’s face and hand were slashed and the perp fled on foot.

The victim surrendered some personal property, but managed to hold on to his cellphone and call the police. Travaglia spoke with the victim over the phone and tried to get a description of the perp, as well as the victim’s location. Miszuk and his team combed the area searching for the suspect based on the description given to 911.

Miszuk apprehended the suspect a few blocks away from the crime scene, while Travaglia was still on the phone with the victim. The suspect was allegedly found in possession of a knife, as well as crack cocaine and a crack pipe.

Travaglia and Precinct Council President Diane Ballek presented Miszuk with a plaque donated by the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly.

The Precinct Council also welcomed Marissa Beckett from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). Beckett announced the creation and expansion of several programs aimed at helping victims of domestic assault at Family Justice Centers in each borough.

“Domestic Violence is a pattern of power and control,” she explained. “It can begin as threats and can escalate to physical abuse.”

Some of the programs offered at the Queens Family Justice Center, located at 126-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, include Safe Horizon, ESL classes, parenting programs and the Healthy Relationship Training Academy aimed at preventing cyber bullying and dating violence among teens. Help is available to all regardless of their language or immigration status.

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102nd Precinct cops honored for apprehending suspected car thieves


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

For busting several suspected car thieves, three police officers were honored as Cops of the Month during the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday at the Richmond Hill library.

Capt. Danielle Raia, the precinct’s executive officer, commended Police Officers Keith Doumas, Neil Conde and Joseph Cortright for making arrests of individuals operating stolen vehicles on Jan. 26 and 27.

“These gentlemen … have continuously worked over these years, from 2005 to this very moment, they’re still working tirelessly without anything but a ‘thank you’ sometimes, so they really deserve this award,” Raia said of her officers.

At about 12:22 p.m. on Jan. 26, the three officers observed a blue Nissan Maxima ignoring a stop sign. As they went to pull the car over, the driver did not stop and a pursuit ensued.

When they did stop the vehicle, they discovered it was stolen back in December 2014 and made the arrest.

On the following afternoon, Jan. 27, at 3:45 p.m., the officers made another arrest for a stolen car. This vehicle was reported taken from the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 108th Street in Richmond Hill.

Reportedly, the perp stole the Dodge Ram for the snow-blower that was in the trunk. The car was tracked down using an iPhone that was left in the vehicle.

The plaques given to the officers were donated by the Times Newsweekly.

Raia also announced that the 102nd Precinct will be increasing its focus on traffic violations such as failing to yield to pedestrians, speeding, and texting and calling while driving in an effort to lower driving fatalities in accordance with the mayor’s Vision Zero plan.

In addition, Raia said that officers will now have the authority to give out summonses when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, and can make arrests when there is injury caused to the pedestrian during a crash. This is part of the Right of Way Law.

“Before, we didn’t have the authority to make that arrest unless it was observed,” Raia said. “Now if you hit a pedestrian and they are seriously injured, you will be arrested. If they are just injured, there will be a summons issued.”

“We want to make sure that people are safe on the street, that we’re not getting hit,” Raia also said.

So far in 2015, the 102nd Precinct has had no pedestrian fatalities due to driving accidents.

The next 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting will take place at a new location. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, at the Woodhaven library, located at 85-41 Forest Pkwy.

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Cops of the month honored at Jamaica Rotary Club meeting


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Breaking up dog fighting rings and making huge drug busts were among some of the situations that cops in south Queens had to combat in October.

And to show support for all they do, the Jamaica Rotary Club honored officers from the 102nd, 103rd, 105th, 106th and 113th precincts at a recent club meeting.

“The cops are the angels of our community and most of the time they are taken for granted,” said Joe Iaboni, president of the Jamaica Rotary Club. “It shouldn’t be that way. They should be honored for all they do.”

The precinct commanders introduced their respective honorees and detailed the circumstances of the awards.

In the 113th Precinct, Sgt. William Tergesen and P.O. Kenneth Sepolveda broke up a pitbull fighting ring in Jamaica.

The officers seized a slew of items associated with dog fighting, including steel link chains, treadmills and steroids. There were around 20 dogs used in the fighting ring, cops later learned.

In the 105th Precinct, Sgt. John Collins and P.O. Anthony Bartolies were making a routine traffic stop when they noticed the suspect had several packets of marijuana falling from his pocket.

Upon arresting him, the motorist pleaded with the officers to return to his home and check on his 8-year-old son who was home alone.

Once in the apartment the officers found 30 pounds of marijuana, assault rifles, banana clips and hand guns. The man also had 29 prior arrests.

In the 106th Precinct, P.O. John Sforza and P.O. Daniel Rivera noticed a bar fight taking place on Liberty Avenue. They arrested a father-and-son duo, who were trying to rob a man who had just left the bar.

In the 103rd Precinct, Officers Daniel Haggerty and Jacob Gianelli stopped a car for a traffic violation and smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. The motorist drove off and the officers went in pursuit. Once they caught him, he attempted to pull out a .25-caliber handgun, but the officers were able to nab him before he was able to use it.

In the 102nd Precinct, P.O. William Chan and Sgt. Gerard Abrams tracked down two murder suspects using surveillance from a homicide in a club on Atlantic Avenue.

“These officers do important work day in and day out,” said Deputy Chief Galen Frierson, executive officer of Patrol Borough Queens South, at the Oct. 29 Rotary meeting. “They are here to serve the community and reach out to those in need.”

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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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Another year of good work feted by Rotary


| squigley@queenscourier.com

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As the New Year was dawning, the Jamaica Rotary once again gathered to celebrate its “Cop of the Month” ceremony at Villa Russo.

For the past 23 years the Jamaica Rotary, led by President Joe Iaboni, has met on a monthly basis to pay tribute to the heroics of officers from the 103rd, 113th, 106th and 102nd precincts.

On Wednesday, December 28, the plaques for a job well done were handed out by Executive Chief Ed Silk.

From the 106th Precinct, Officer Gary Maher was feted for making eighty quality-of-life related arrests over the last year.

Officer Jason Michaud of the 102nd Precinct received an award for his handling of a gunpoint robbery in which he apprehended the perpetrator and recovered a loaded gun.

Detective Lieutenant Rocco Galasso along with Detective Michael Faranda from the 113th Precinct received recognition for bringing to justice Stephon Huffman, the criminal allegedly responsible for the fatal South Jamaica bus stop stabbing of 17-year-old Thomas Edison High School student Patrick Dixon.

Sergeant Frank Demma and Police Officers Jason Barr and Patrick Agugliaro were feted by the 103rd Precinct for arresting a suspect with three loaded firearms.

The Jamaica Rotary also celebrated the success of recent charity work, which raised enough so that “Santa Joe,” along with police officers, was able to visit the Queens Centers for Progress and senior centers, delivering various merchandise and toys for those in need.

106th Precinct Honors Cops


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

Two officers were honored at the most recent 106th Precinct Community Council meeting in Ozone Park.

Captain Thomas Pascale announced officers Christopher Sekela and Mark Ferranola as Cops of the Month during the Precinct Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 12.

Pascale said they were awarded for their active role in a missing person’s case. The missing person was a young woman dealing with depression, he said.

“The work they did is handled by investigative units. They used a lot of good common sense,” he said.

Pascale said the two officers were able to get information from the woman’s cell phone to search the surrounding areas of the cell phone tower. They then found the woman’s car outside of a motel and gained access to her room. They found her in a semi-conscious state, and quickly gave her the necessary medical attention, he said.

“In my opinion, if it wasn’t for the efforts of these two officers, this would’ve had a much different outcome,” Pascale said.

During the meeting, a Community Affairs officer also mentioned that many youth services were available. The services are aimed to reduce youth violence, prevent drug use, promote child safety and improve relationships between police and young people, the representative said.

The program is designed to educate young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 about law enforcement and the Youth Police Academy — a summer program for city youths between the ages of 10 and 17, he said.

The majority of complaints residents made were about grand larceny of automobiles, burglaries and grand larcenies.

“People quickly run inside the store and leave the keys inside the car. Their stolen car will then be used to commit other crimes. Just don’t do it,” Pascale said.