Tag Archives: Queens South

Jamaica Rotary Club honors cops in southern Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

When two officers from the 103rd Precinct responded to a woman screaming from the second floor of her home during a robbery on Feb. 10, their heroism took control as they went above and beyond the call of duty.

The officers, Craig Lalla and Gobin Raghunath, ran to the back of the building where they noticed the door had been kicked in. As they entered the home, the suspect ran at the officers full speed with a crowbar, smashing one in the head. In the struggle with the crowbar-wielding suspect, the officers fired two shots that hit him in the arm and leg.

They were able to apprehend the criminal following the shooting but decided not to get the medical attention they needed until they checked the house for other perps and made sure the woman was in safe hands.

“I saw the terror in that poor woman’s eyes,” said Commanding Officer of Queens South David Barrere. “And you guys saved her.”

For their work and the work of other officers around Queens South, the Jamaica Rotary Club used their monthly meeting to show their appreciation for what the men and women in blue do to keep their communities safe.

Along with the two officers honored in the 103rd Precinct, the Rotary Club gave awards to cops from the 102nd, 106th and 113th precincts.

In the 102nd Precinct, three officers were honored for catching a man who had stolen a pick-up truck with a snow plow in the wagon at the end of January. The man, who had 17 prior arrests, took the vehicle to the affluent neighborhood of Malba.

Officers spotted the man taking the snow plow out of the truck and using it to clear snow from homes in the neighborhood, in what police said was an attempt to make some extra cash after he stole the vehicle.

102nd Precinct, From Left: Chief Barrerre, P.O. Keith Douglas, Iaboni, P.O. Neil Conde, D.I. Henry Sautner, P.O. Joesph Cortright

102nd Precinct, from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Keith Douglas, Iaboni, P.O. Neil Conde, D.I. Henry Sautner, P.O. Joesph Cortright

In the 106th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff honored two officers under his command for their work in apprehending a 35-year-old man while he was committing a robbery on the street in January.

The suspect, along with a friend, used a taser on an 18-year-old man and stole his belt, wallet and phone. But the officers, who responded quickly to the call, got to the scene in time and were able to arrest the suspect.

They later found out that the 25-year-old criminal had already been arrested 35 times in New York City and had even more arrests in Nassau County.

106th Precinct from left: Cheif Barrere, P.O. Bennett Choi, Iaboni, P.O. Vincent Creco, his wife and mother, D.I. Jeffrey Schiff

106th Precinct, from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Bennett Choi, Iaboni, P.O. Vincent Creco, his wife and mother, D.I. Jeffrey Schiff

In the 113th Precinct, Officer Brett Devine was honored for helping to save an unconscious person’s life. The officer responded to a report of someone who had apparently overdosed on heroin back in December.

Because the NYPD now carries Narcan, a drug that helps to reverse effects of heroin overdoses, Devine was able to revive the person and allow enough time for paramedics to come and save their life.

113th Precinct from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Brett Devine, his mother, Captain Rod Diattini, Iaboni.

113th Precinct, from left: Chief Barrere, P.O. Brett Devine, his mother, Captain Rod Dantini, Iaboni.

”I am so proud of the men and women of my police force for the hard work and heroic work they do every day,” said Barrere. “Thank you. I know all the good you guys do in the community.”

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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.”