Tag Archives: Guns

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Rain. High around 60. Winds S at 25 to 35 mph. Rainfall may reach one inch. Tuesday night: Rain early with snow overnight. Low 32F. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: 64 in 64

Organized by the Queens Historical Society, 64 photographs documenting the construction of the iconic New York State Pavilion, which consisted of Theaterama (today’s Queens Theatre), the Tent of Tomorrow and three Observation Towers. Runs through Nov. 2, open on Mondays from 11 am to 2 pm and Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 am to 6 pm. at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows-Cornona Park. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Stifling heat, heavy rains to hit NYC this summer

New Yorkers who have been praying for relief from this year’s brutal winter will soon be getting exactly what they wished for — in the form of an oppressive summer of stifling heat and humidity. Read more: New York Post

NYPD steps up security at Jewish facilities after Kansas shootings

The New York City Police Department is stepping up security at synagogues in the city after the fatal shootings of three people at Jewish-affiliated facilities near Kansas City over the weekend. Read more: NY1

Safe Act doesn’t disclose how many registered assault guns

The public may never know how many gun owners are complying with a strict law requiring them to register assault-style firearms. Read more: New York Post

EXCLUSIVE: Free ‘NYC’ condoms are being smuggled into the Dominican Republic and sold illegally for cash

Large numbers of the New York City-branded condoms that are distributed for free across the five boroughs under a city Health Department program are being smuggled into the Dominican Republic and sold for cash. Read more: New York Daily News

New charges for woman who allegedly threw shoe at Hillary Clinton

Federal authorities this past weekend lodged two criminal charges against a Phoenix woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton while she gave a convention speech at a Las Vegas Strip resort. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Police find gun, drug stash in Sunnyside home


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops busted a Sunnyside man Wednesday after uncovering an arsenal of guns, ammunition and drugs in his home.

As a part of an ongoing investigation, just after midnight, members of the Emergency Services and the Patrol Borough Queens North Anti-Crime units executed a search warrant at the 44th Street residence of 42 year-old Daniel Tone, police said.

Inside authorities found four loaded firearms, three imitation pistols, 169 rounds of ammunition, seven marijuana plants, approximately 17.5 grams of crack, 136 Hydromorphone pills and 48 Xanax pills, the NYPD said.

They also seized $3,124 in cash during the search.

Tone has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of controlled substance, criminal sale of controlled substance, unlawful possession of a marijuana and violation of local law, according to police.

 

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Tennessee man arrested at JFK Airport for having guns and ammunition


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File image

A 23-year-old Tennessee man was arrested Saturday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport for allegedly traveling with multiple guns and ammunition, authorities said.

Keenan A. Draughon, 23, allegedly wanted to check in two handguns, two rifles and two high-capacity magazines for his flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, according to District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Both guns had their serial numbers defaced, Brown said.

Draughon was stopped at the United Airlines counter at JFK Airport’s Terminal 8 at approximately 7:45 a.m., the district attorney said.

“Firearms illegally possessed in this city pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety,” Brown said. “Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon.  Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with serious felonies – as is what occurred in this case.”

Draughon – who is from Clarksville, Tennessee – was held pending arraignment Saturday in Queens Criminal Court. His lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, the district attorney said. 

NRA calls for all schools to be protected by armed gaurds


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The National Rifle Association announced their plans to prevent another school massacre: armed guards at every school.

The NRA made the announcement at a press conference a week after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

With President Barack Obama appointing Vice President Joe Biden to a task force with the aim to end gun violence, the NRA tasked former Congressmember Asa Hutchison to head a national effort to create a “model shield program” for all schools.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA’s CEO Wayne LaPierre said.

The press conference was twice interrupted by protesters saying the NRA had blood on its hands for the mass shootings around the country before being escorted away by security.

For four days after the tragedy in Newtown the NRA remained silent before releasing a statement on the shooting.

“Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting,” the group said in a statement. “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the NRA’s remarks a “shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country.”

“Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

NYPD, DA bust Queens gun trafficking ring


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the District Attorney's office

A three-year undercover operation into an illegal gun trafficking ring in southeast Queens netted four indictments and a fifth arrest, according to officials.

The investigation began in August 2009 after the DA’s office received a tip of the illegal operation. Over the next three years agents conducted several undercover transactions with the defendants. Twenty firearms were seized during the investigation.

“We must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep illegal firearms out of the hands of criminals and off of the streets of Queens,” said District Attorney Richard Brown.

The illicit sales regularly occurred in public places during daylight hours, Brown said. Some of the defendants also face charges of selling cocaine.

“One year ago, Det. Peter Figoski was killed by a suspect who wielded an illegal firearm. It is in his legacy and on behalf of New Yorkers’ safety that NYPD investigators work tirelessly to prevent other families from suffering the same fate,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Manuel DeJesus Caballero-Castillo, 24, Emilio Lopez, 38, Miguel Angel Tatis, 50, and Jose Toledo, 26, were indicted on charges of criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of pistol ammunition. If convicted, Tatis faces up to 15 years in prison and the three-co-defendants face up to seven years behind bars. Enrique Ramos was also arrested and charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance.

The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Queens District Attorney’s Squad.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. South wind 6 to 11 mph. Thursday night: Showers likely, mainly after 2am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 59. Southeast wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Screening of “Manos: The Hands of Fate”

Devil Science Theater 3000 is an interactive event where the audience plays drinking games and makes fun of terrible movies while being egged on by professional comedians in the crowd. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens man arrested for Federal Reserve bomb plot

A Queens man was arrested for allegedly attempting to detonate what he believed was a real bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan this morning, said the FBI. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, of Jamaica, traveled to the U.S. this January specifically to take part in a terrorist attack, said the agency. Read more: Queens Courier

Game 4 of ALCS between Yanks, Tigers postponed due to threat of rain

For the second straight year, the weather has intruded on a New York Yankees-Detroit Tigers playoff game. And for the second straight year, Yankees ace CC Sabathia is the player most affected by it. Wednesday night’s Game 4 of the AL Championship Series was delayed for about 1 hour, 10 minutes because of anticipated storms in the area, which had not arrived when the game was officially called off but did come later Wednesday night. Read more: ESPN

‘Beyonce’ rooms for affluent new moms at Lenox Hill Hospital are putting newborns at risk: nurses

Affluent new moms are getting a suite deal at Lenox Hill Hospital: Posh $1,700-a-night, full-service “Beyoncé” rooms staffed at the expense of less fortunate city mothers, veteran nurses charge. The executive suites, including the one where the mega-star delivered baby Blue Ivy in January, receive nearly one-on-one nursing care. Two floors above, up to 18 newborns are sometimes tended by a single nurse. Read more: Daily News

Police officer killed in crash on LIE

A deadly crash on the eastbound Long Island Expressway Thursday morning has forced the closure of all eastbound lanes near Exit 34/New Hyde Park Road. A Nassau County Police Officer was killed in the collision at about 4:45 a.m. The officer had gotten out of his patrol car at the scene when he was struck and killed by another vehicle, reports FOX 5 News’ Robert Moses. Read more: NY Post

Long-delayed YMCA at Arverne by the Sea ready to open in 2013

The long-delayed YMCA slated for the Arverne by the Sea housing development in the Rockaways is set to open in the summer of 2013, officials said Wednesday. The 44,000-square-foot facility at Beach 73rd St. and Rockaway Beach Blvd. will house the largest aquatic center of any YMCA in the city, an outdoor multi-purpose sports field and a 6,500-square-foot gymnasium, officials said. Read more: Daily News

Weapons sold at day-care center, feds charge

This day-care center was armed to the teeth. Authorities yesterday smashed a gun-dealing ring operated by members of three violent Brooklyn motorcycle gangs — including a man who allegedly sold high-powered weapons and stored explosives at the Queens home where his wife runs a licensed day-care center. Read more: NY Post

Op-Ed: Sensible gun laws would make our streets safer


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BY SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS

Recent horrific acts of gun violence should lead us all to say “enough is enough.” It is long past time to improve our gun laws and make our streets safer. Almost every day, we hear about another senseless attack in New York City, where the number of shootings over the last year has increased by 12 percent, as well as mass murders resulting from gun violence across the country, highlighted by the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and in Milwaukee.

While New York currently has some effective gun laws, more can be done to strengthen our laws and prevent further tragedies. That is why I introduced a package of sensible gun bills which, combined with previously introduced legislation by my colleagues, would make New York the nation’s toughest on guns, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

One of the largest loopholes in our gun laws is their inability to sufficiently address firearm sales on the illegal secondary market, which is where guns that had been previously purchased legally are re-sold, unregulated and off the books. Transactions taking place on the secondary market do not follow the legal standards and requirements mandated for purchase from licensed dealers. Data from the year 2000 shows that 20 percent of all retail handguns recovered from crimes were purchased in a multi-firearm sale. A key component in my proposals would limit gun purchases to one per month, which would help prevent gun traffickers from making bulk purchases and reselling them to people who should not have them.

Another loophole in current gun laws is the ability to purchase a firearm on the secondary market without undergoing a background check. Firearms sold privately between individuals are not regulated and therefore do not require a background check, accounting for up to 40 percent of all gun sales nationwide. It is easy to imagine a scenario where someone who knows he or she would fail a background check getting a friend to make a legal purchase only to turn around and sell the gun to him or her without scrutiny. Another one of my bills would limit the possibility of such illegal sales by requiring private firearm sales to be conducted through a licensed firearm dealer so that a background check on the prospective buyer is conducted.

My sensible gun proposals would close other loopholes relating to the ability to purchase a gun, including establishing a 10-day waiting period for the purchase of a firearm, requiring all prospective gun owners to obtain a firearm safety certificate and establishing a 10-year record retention policy for all gun and ammunition sales. Bills requiring the microstamping of ammunition for all handguns, introduced by Senator Jose Peralta, and banning assault weapons, introduced by Senator Daniel Squadron, would also better ensure our public safety and help solve crimes.

My package of bills would not only help decrease the number of gun violence attacks in New York by preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands but would also set an example for states across the country to establish stronger, more responsible regulations. These sensible measures have received a wide range of support not only among state legislators but also from the Brady Campaign, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, law enforcement officials and labor groups. The recent nationwide rash of gun violence highlights the need for stricter gun laws as too many weapons are falling into the wrong hands and causing unnecessary pain and suffering to innocent individuals and their families. I look forward to seeing this coalition of support grow as we continue to push for the passage of these important measures.

Bill would toughen punishment for illegal guns


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The day before a man shot and killed a former co-worker near the Empire State Building, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Assemblymember William Scarborough introduced a bill that would increase the punishment for illegal gun possession.

The legislation would change the penalty from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony, which has a sentence of at least five years in prison.

“We need a comprehensive approach through new legislation as well as through new gun detection technology,” said Scarborough. “This bill underscores the need for stricter gun laws in this city and state, especially because of all of the gun violence plaguing this city.”

Police said that Jeffrey Johnson bought the .45 caliber handgun that he used to kill Steven Ercolino August 24 legally in Florida in 1991, but illegally brought it to New York.

New York City does not honor gun permits from other states.

“Whether or not the shooting today involved an illegal gun, the fact remains that guns are in people’s hands and they are using them. We need to send a clear message in this state and to the people of New York City, that if you have a gun in your possession and you shouldn’t have it, you are going away,” said Smith.

At a recent gun buyback event in Jamaica, co-sponsored by Smith, 509 guns were surrendered.

 

Important steps


| qceditorial@queenscourier.com

There are now 509 fewer guns on the streets.

That means 509 fewer opportunities for violence, bloodshed and death.

We applaud the DA and all the elected officials who organized this past weekend’s gun buyback program – the first since 2009 – that netted, among others, an AK 47, tec-9, 245 revolvers, 168 semi-automatic pistols and a Calico 9mm with a 50 round capacity magazine.

Just the day before, DA Richard A. Brown unveiled his nine-point plan targeting gun violence.

These include: sending the message that possession of and carrying guns and insinuating violence is unacceptable; informing residents that guns can be turned in at any precinct for $100 cash at any time; a campaign to encourage people to report illegal weapons and strengthen “If You See Something, Say Something”; backing legislation to limit criminals and the mentally ill access to assault weapons and handguns; enforcing existing gun laws; bettering dialogue between police and residents; upping police resources in areas where violence has increased; making efforts to shutter illegal businesses and limit night hours of establishments where crime is prominent; and giving more information to residents about existing programs.

We say these efforts come just in the nick of time.

Homicides were up this year nearly 29 percent in Queens South from 2011, according to data provided by the DA’s office; shooting incidents in the area were up more than 22 percent, with 121 this year.

Though we know there is no way to quell all the violence, we feel we are taking “steps” in the right direction, and we urge our leaders to continue the war on guns.

WHAT A SHAME

Did they not know they’re not alone?

The parents who abandoned their newborn baby girl – wrapped in towels and sheets at the Woodside Houses were probably desperate, overwhelmed – and very scared.

It’s a shame that they weren’t aware of the resources out there to help.

The Safe Haven program allows anyone to surrender an infant to a healthy and safe environment – a hospital, police station or firehouse – without fear of prosecution.

Luckily, for this little girl, the story had a happy ending, as she was found, and in good health.

We can only hope that other parents in a similar situation avail themselves of the help they need – for them and the baby.

 

Russell Simmons joins march to reclaim Queens streets for peace


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Residents and leaders in southeast Queens — joined by a famous native son — marched recently to return peace to their increasingly violence-filled streets.

The Sunday, August 19 rally, organized by The Peacekeepers Global Initiative, drew hundreds of locals bothered by the outbreak of shootings the area has witnessed — as well as parents who have buried children due to the violence.

“We need to make sure that we make our community a safe and decent place to live,” said Dennis Muhammed, founder of The Peacekeepers.

Murders are up 29 percent in Queens South this year, according to CompStat.

Joining the march was Queens native Russell Simmons, who said he was inspired by the neighborhood’s turnout.

“We have to give some sort of hope to the people in the community,” the Def Jam co-founder said. “Young kids in the hood don’t understand that there’s a lot of potential in them and when they see that we care, it matters.”

Parents of children lost to guns marched hand-in-hand with Simmons before speaking to the crowd in the Baisley Park Houses.

“My son was a good kid, he played ball, didn’t bother anybody, he was a momma’s boy. He turned 19 February 2; they murdered him March 2,” Shanta Merritt, mother of Darryl Adams, who was killed in Jamaica, said between tears. “I’m going to do anything and everything that I can to be a voice for my son. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

As the march moved from Sutphin Boulevard and 111th Avenue to the Baisley Houses, residents came out, with some joining the march and the chants to reclaim the streets for peace.

“It’s us that’s going to protect our community, it’s us that’s going to change what’s happening in our communities, it’s only us working together that can make a difference in what going on in our communities,” said Erica Ford, founder of LIFE Camp, a violence prevention advocacy group.

The community has been calling for something to be done that will help end the violence, but leaders agreed the rally needed to be only the beginning of the change.

“We do have a responsibility and that responsibility is to make sure this is not just an event, a one-time affair,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks. “We need to be back out here when there’s no cameras, when there’s no attention.”

Queens gun buyback brings in more than 500 weapons


| tpetropoulosedit@queenscourier.com

File photo

With no questions asked, hundreds of people walked into New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica and turned in 509 guns over the weekend.

The gun buyback program, the first since 2009, netted an AK 47, tec-9, 245 revolvers, 168 semi-automatic pistols and a Calico 9mm with a 50 round capacity magazine.

Participants received $200 for handguns and $20 for rifles and shotguns in exchange for their weapons.

“I’m excited about [the gun buyback program], not in a good way, because I wish all these guns were not on the street, but I am excited that they are coming in,” said State Senator Malcolm Smith, who co-sponsored the program with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “With the feedback we had today, I am encouraged that the people are starting to say ‘You know what, enough is enough, I am going to be part of the solution.’”

As of August 5, shootings have seen a nine percent increase in New York City this year compared to last year, with 882 shooting incidents so far, according to NYPD data.

“I am all for this gun buyback program,” said Donna Hood, a member of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church who lost a son, Kevin Lamont Miller Jr., to a stray bullet in Jamaica in 2009. “I still have a son to raise, so if this program will make it a little safer for kids that we still have on the streets, that’s alright with me.”

Officials unveil plan to curb gun violence


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Terence Cullen

Community outreach and communication highlighted a pledge from officials and an announcement of a nine-point plan to put a ceasefire to gun violence in southeast Queens.

The plan, revealed by District Attorney Richard A. Brown and a number of elected officials on Friday, August 17, came on the eve of a buy back program in Jamaica to curb violence in the region.

“The combination of easy access to guns, violence fueled by disputes between rival gangs and competing criminal enterprises vying for turf, decreases in police resources in high crime neighborhoods and community reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes has contributed to a sudden, deadly increase in gun violence in recent weeks – especially in southeast Queens,” Brown said.

The points look to: send the message that possession of and carrying guns and insinuating violence is unacceptable in the area; inform residents that guns can be turned in at any precinct for $100 cash at any time; a campaign to encourage people to report illegal weapons, and strengthen “If You See Something, Say Something”; back legislation to limit criminals and the mentally ill access to assault weapons and handguns; enforce existing gun laws; better dialogue between police and residents; up police resources in areas where violence has increased; make efforts to shutter illegal businesses and limit night hours of establishments where crime is prominent; and give more information to residents about existing programs.

“We’re not going to be idling and sitting back while people are dying,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks.

Homicides were up this year nearly 29 percent in Queens South from 2011, according to data provided by the DA’s office; shooting incidents in the area were up more than 22 percent, with 121 this year.

After school and violence prevention programs for young people are also crucial to this plan, several officials said.

Assemblymember Vivian Cook said funding for programs needed to be restored to schools to help deter students from being out on the street or getting involved in gangs.

“Let’s also talk about programs and things for these young people to help them stay off the street,” Cook said. “The programs have been cut in the schools. I think it’s important that these programs come back into the schools so that these children can be involved in some of those things.”

The push for “If You See Something, Say Something,” is to encourage residents to report any violence or suspicious activity — anonymously.

Meeks, formerly an assistant DA, said the reluctance, or fear, by residents to report incidents or provide witnesses hindered cleaning up crime in the area.

“I know firsthand as a former DA that without a witness you don’t have a case,” Meeks said. “The police can do all the work that they want but if you don’t have someone to step up, then you don’t have a case.”

 

Hear no evil, see no evil?


| editorial@queenscourier.com

In the 1970s it was the summer of Son of Sam.

Today it’s the summer of shootings.

Just last week Sergeant Craig Bier became the 10th NYPD officer shot in the line of duty this year. The 15-year veteran, who boasts some 60-plus medals and citations, was shot in each leg during a firefight after he and his partner stopped a man who they said looked suspicious.

And, as The Courier was going to press, three people were killed near Texas A&M University when a man opened fire from a nearby house. According to reports, at least 30 rounds were fired before SWAT officers shot and killed the suspect.

This is the third mass shooting in the nation this summer, coming on the heels of the Aurora, Colorado, movie massacre and Wisconsin temple tragedy.

We ask again: WHAT IS GOING ON?

IS NOWHERE SAFE?

At this point, politicians can no longer turn a blind eye to the violence.

Our cops are getting shot, our kids are getting shot. Pretty soon we won’t be able to leave our homes for fear of never returning.

Now is the time to stand up.

Write, call, email — TODAY — and tell your local senator and congressmember, even the president, that you are in favor of gun control.

 

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Phone: 202-456-1111

 

Senator Charles Schumer: 322 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington D.C. 20510

Phone: 202-224-6542

 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: 780 Third Avenue Suite 2601

New York, New York 10017

Phone: 212-688-6262

Gianaris bills would make NY toughest on guns


| brennison@queenscourier.com

In the wake of multiple massacres across the country and an increase in shootings citywide, a state politician is calling for New York to become the nation’s leader in gun control.

State Senator Michael Gianaris introduced a bevy of bills in Albany that would strengthen the state’s gun laws, making them the toughest in the country.

“There’s been a rash of incidents not only around the country, but in New York. It’s clear that gun violence is getting out of control,” Gianaris said. “I think people in this state are fed up, they’re saying enough is enough, it’s time to make some sensible changes to keep guns off the street.”

Shootings in the city are up 12 percent this year, the senator said.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which ranks states on the strength of their gun control laws, ranked New York fourth in the nation behind California, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Gianris worked with the Brady Center on the bills that, if passed, would strengthen the areas the Brady Center found the state to be weak — firearm trafficking and background checks.

Purchasers of firearms would also be required to complete a safety training course, limit purchases to one per month and close several loopholes.

Similar laws are already on the books in New York City, where residents can only purchase one firearm every 90 days, a bill sponsored by Councilmember Peter Vallone.

On the national level, Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to call out President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for their relative silence on guns.

“Just two weeks after the tragedy in Aurora, we’ve seen another mass shooting,” the mayor said Monday in Richmond Hill. “And still the two presidential candidates have not given the American public a plan to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”

He said his attempts to reach out to the candidates have been met with “deafening silence.”

“The two presidential candidates cannot continue avoiding an issue that is one of the most serious threats we face as a nation,” Bloomberg said.

Gianrias agreed federal intervention is necessary.

“Ultimately, the best answer would be a solution coming out of the federal government or Congress, because we can improve New York as best we can and we should, but there is still guns coming in from out of state because other states have even more lax laws.”

When will the violence end?


| letters@queenscourier.com

The recent tragic, yet unrelated, shootings of a four-year-old boy and several adults and a two-year-old girl in our city are real reminders that violence is increasing, and must be stopped.

Community leaders, along with the mayor, the district attorneys and the police commissioner, need to convene to attempt to come up with a solution that will stop this spike in gun violence and other crimes.

We need to see more of a police presence on foot, so that they are more visible throughout the city. We should also have more mounted patrols, along with an increased squad car presence.

The citizens of this city are entitled to have decent protection and should not have to be in constant fear about being assaulted, robbed or shot. The police department needs to hire more officers and the budget for such an undertaking should be increased, not decreased.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows