BY RYAN HAAS
Northwest Queens is continuing its trend of becoming safer for local community members.
Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village have collectively seen a 10 percent decrease in crime rate, Capt. Mark T. Wachter of the 104th Precinct reported during last week’s joint meeting of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) and the Glendale Property Owners Association at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall.
The commanding officer and his staff have largely been responsible for stopping roughly 120 felony crimes in northwest Queens, and Watcher commended the efforts of 104COP in helping keep crime down around the area. Thirty active 104COP members — including its president, Mark Pearson — were in attendance.
Auto thefts, felony assaults and grand larcenies saw decreases of 19.9, 14.8 and 13.8 percent, respectively, compared to the same time last year, according to the 104th Precinct’s most recent CompStat report.
Wachter urged community members to also be on the lookout for car break-ins.
“We have to be smart out there,” he said. “You can’t leave valuables in your car. You can’t leave a laptop in your back seat or a wallet in your front seat. It’s an invitation for someone to commit a crime. Are we going to have car break-ins? Yes, but we can take steps to ensure we’re not the victims.”
The 104th Precinct has made 14 arrests pertaining to car break-ins in just the past month.
“Half of the calls we get are from the community, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, I see something suspicious,’” Wachter said.
Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano complimented the precinct’s services, saying, “one reason why crime has gone down in New York City is because the NYPD trains its staff and personnel better than any other city in the country.”
Giordano went on to explain that the recent improvement in crime couldn’t have been done without the help of the 104COP.