Tag Archives: Family Justice Center

Four police precincts in Queens to roll out anti-stalking program

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYC Mayor Office's Flickr

The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) will be cracking down on stalking as they expand their Coordinated Approach to Preventing Stalking (CAPS) program into Queens.

The NYPD will work with the Queens District Attorney’s Office and OCDV to increase the identification and reporting of stalking incidents, enhance stalking arrests and link stalking victims to services through Family Justice Centers and High Risk Domestic Violence Response Teams, according to a press release.

Queens will be the second borough in New York City to implement the program. The expansion comes on the heels of a successful implementation in Staten Island in 2014, where the NYPD’s identification of stalking increased 233 percent. According to national statistics, 54 percent of female homicide victims reported stalking to the police before they were killed by their partner.

The 101st, 103rd, 105th and 113th precincts will roll out the program, as they have high incidences of domestic violence. The program will act as a homicide prevention program that will connect stalking victims to preventative services before physical assault or homicide takes place.

According to the 2014 New York City Domestic Violence Fatality Committee annual report, there were 62 family-related homicides, which accounted for 1 in 5 homicides in New York city.

“Domestic violence is a stain on our city, and inspired approaches to rooting it out, like CAPS, are critical as we work toward a DV-free New York,” de Blasio said. “The troubling but true data on stalking tells us that the more cases identified by law enforcement, the fewer homicides we’ll suffer in this city. I am confident that the capable and committed people at the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD will make the same commitment to reducing stalking in Queens.”

NYPD officers, members of the District Attorney’s Office and community partners will receive specialized training on how to identify stalking behavior, a briefing on stalking statutes, the role technology plays in stalking, risk assessment and safety planning, and working with victims to document and preserve evidence of stalking incidents.

The NYC Family Justice Center in Kew Gardens will provide Queens stalking victims with safety planning and other services.

“It is great to see a program that has had such a positive impact in other parts of the city come to Queens,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “All individuals deserve safety. Identifying and preventing stalking cases is a major part of this for partners throughout our city. There is a high correlation between stalking and other criminal activities that this program will aim to prevent. This is an opportunity to shine a light on domestic violence issues that exist within our community and address a serious problem in a holistic manner.”


South Queens cops host domestic violence seminar

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Despite the fact that incidents of domestic violence have increased by more than 50 percent in the 106th Precinct in the past year, police still say victims are underreporting the crimes.

Citywide last year, the NYPD responded to more than 240,000 calls of domestic violence, said Sergeant Noreen Lazarus.

“But there are still so many occurrences and incidents that are not being reported,” she added.

The 106th Precinct joined the 102 on Thursday to conduct a domestic violence seminar as part of a series of community outreach initiatives intended to ultimately help decrease the crime.

A very diverse population makes up south Queens, cops said, and Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer, said local police are “trying to break down that cultural barrier” so anyone can feel comfortable reporting an incident.

“We’re not interested in your immigration status. What we care about is you,” said Sergeant Diane Silverstein.

Alexandra Patino from the Family Justice Center of Queens said more than half of her clientele is “foreign born.” She works with them regarding child and/or spousal support, helping to separate domestic violence victims from dangerous situations.

“Some are tied to people out of fear of deportation. We don’t want people to continue to be victimized out of fear of deportation,” she said.

Patino and the Family Justice Center can also help victims in getting their green cards.

In the coming weeks, the precincts will be continuing to spread domestic violence awareness by visiting local schools, PTA meetings, men’s groups and more.

“We understand the situation can become very emotional,” Silverstein said. “We are about everybody being safe and everybody obeying the law.”