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.