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NYPD to double gang unit


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The NYPD is announcing an initiative today that will double the size of its Gang Unit and focus on social media to combat gangs.

Dubbed Operation Crew Cut, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will discuss the program Tuesday in a speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego.

In a pre-released copy of the speech obtained by The Courier, the number of detectives assigned to the “street crew” units will increase from 150 to 300 over time, he said.

Instead of concentrating on bigger gangs, such as Bloods and Crips, Operation Crew Cut will focus on ones where loyalty is tied to a small geographical area.

Police are also changing how they track gang activity by going online, where crew members are using sites such as Facebook and YouTube to brag about crimes and intimidate rivals.

This is the first time the NYPD has a “coordinated, consistent approach” to combating gangs, said Kelly

Though, as Kelly points out in his speech, gangs are “responsible for no less than to 30 percent of shootings in New York City,” shootings are down by about one percent compared to this time last year and murders have been reduced by 18 percent.

“We’re hoping that by focusing more resources in a coordinated thoughtful way on these crews we’ll reduce violent crime in New York City even further,” he said.

 

 

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

At least five killed in shooting at California medical school

At least five people were killed Monday in a shooting at a medical school in Oakland, Calif., officials confirmed. Oakland police have detained a possible suspect in the shooting at Oikos University. According to local news station KTVU-TV, two of the five people were shot in the head. The motive for the shooting was not immediately known. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens jury convicts man of murder and robbery stemming from home invasion

A Queens man was convicted today for masterminding for three home invasions — one of which ended in the murder of a cop’s brother. Francis LaCorte, 29, was found guilty on all 13 charges — including second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy — for his involvement in the execution-style murder of Gerardo Antoniello, 29, on Sept. 9, 2009. “I hope he’s put away for a very long time and he won’t hurt or kill anyone else’s son, brother or uncle,” said NYPD Sgt. Carmine Antoniello, the victim’s older brother. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Off-Duty School Safety Agent Faces Rape, Weapons Charges

An off-duty school safety agent has been arrested on rape charges in Queens. The New York City Police Department says Tommy Johnson, 28, is also charged with criminal weapons possession, menacing and assault. Police say the incident happened early Monday morning and that the victim is an adult. According to sources, the rape took place inside Johnson’s apartment, and he knew the victim. Read More: NY1

 

 

Woody says Jets would consider ‘Hard Knocks’ again

As if the Jets have not gotten enough attention after trading for Tim Tebow last month, Jets owner Woody Johnson left the door open for the team to be featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this summer. There has been speculation that HBO is interested in having the Jets back on its behind-the-scenes show, especially with Tebow now on board. “I’ve heard that,” Johnson said at the grand opening of the NFL Shop at Draft store in Manhattan on Monday. “We have yet to receive a formal invitation. When we do, we’ll take a look at it.” Read More: New York Post

 

 

Man Arraigned In Staten Island Traffic Stop Assault

A man wanted in connection with the assault of a police officer on Staten Island was arraigned Sunday night after being caught by authorities in North Carolina. Police say Dwayne Smith, 27, is back in New York after being picked up at a shopping mall in Charlotte last week. He’s accused of attacking a police officer after being pulled over on February 3 in West Brighton. Read More: NY1

 

Sweets shop is big ‘hit’

There’s a new iceman working at John Gotti’s old social club in Queens — but he serves up sweet, frosty treats instead of gangland murders. Businessman John Conza last month opened Uncle Louie G’s — part of a chain of Italian ice and ice-cream parlors — in the space where the Teflon Don once held court, the former Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Ozone Park. The site is where the Mafioso made his bones and blasted his way from obscurity to the front pages. Now, its hits are icy flavors such as Soprano Spumoni, FDNY Cherry and NYPD Blue, instead of contracts on union officials and rival gangsters. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Queens Institute Looks To Crack Autism Code

Behind the walls of a former Catholic school in College Point, Queens, miracles often happen for children who have autism. The New York Child Learning Institute is the only program in New York State that is modeled after Princeton’s renowned Children Development Intervention Program. Read More: NY1

 

JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon out of hospital — and into courtroom

The JetBlue pilot who went on a wild rant about terrorism and religion during a Las Vegas-bound flight was out of the hospital on Monday to make his first court appearance. Federal prosecutors asked that Clayton Osbon be held without bond at the early morning meeting, but the judge isn’t expected to rule on that until Thursday. Osbon, 49, is charged with interfering with a flight crew for his bizarre unraveling on Flight 191 last Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Geraldo Rivera personally apologizes to parents of Trayvon Martin for ‘hoodie’ comment

Geraldo Rivera personally apologized to  Trayvon Martin’s parents Sunday night for saying that children shouldn’t wear hoodies because “Trayvon’s hoodie killed him as surely as George Zimmerman did.” “Thank you for the apology. Your apology is accepted,” Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin told Rivera on Fox on Sunday night. Tracy Martin said that at the time of the incident it was raining and Trayvon was just covering himself up. Read More: Daily News