2007-07-04 / Features

Yule Leaves 108th Precinct, 8-Man Unit Gets Award

BY THOMAS COGAN

Detective Glenn T. Yule of the 108th Police Precinct has been called to serve in Patrol Borough Queens North, so the last meeting of the season for the 108th Police Precinct Community Council included a tribute to him on his impending departure. Yule, who has been a community affairs officer in the precinct for several years, will carry on in a similar capacity at PBQN- but now, as he told the larger-than-usual audience gathered at the Sunnyside Community Center on the last Tuesday of the month, he will simply be covering three precincts instead of one, and the 108th will be among them, along with the 104th Precinct in Glendale and the 114th in Astoria.

There was no Cop of the Month award for May, so 108th Precinct Commander Captain Tom Kavanagh presented a combined award for May and June to the precinct's eightmember conditions team, led by Sergeant David Porter. The team's assignment is mainly the Roosevelt Avenue area in the evening hours, which is bound to keep the eight officers busy, since the nightlife inside and outside some of the bars and restaurants can become turbulent. Accepting plaques along with Porter were Police Officers Richard Ciaccio, James Demarco, Frank Lamagra, Sean McCaffrey, Mark Pagan, Paul Ruotolo and Dana Salemi. Porter described his team as "seven of the finest persons I've ever had the privilege to work with". Kavanagh commented that he had lost Yule to the borough and is now worried that Porter could be taken, too.

Kavanagh's crime report was again relatively positive, index crimes having declined in number since the last report to 111 from 129. Burglaries remained the leading crime, but they too were down, to 24 from 31. For the first half of the year, the crime rate is down 17.4 percent, but Kavanagh sensed that crime could stage a rally. "Next year, we won't be so lucky, probably," he said.

Woodside residents Jim Condes and Vitold Rak again expressed concern about the man they call the 39th Avenue squatter. For a long time they complained that the sidewalk under the Long Island Rail Road overpass at 58th Street and 39th Avenue was broken, but when at last the Metropolitan Transportation Authority made repairs, a homeless man decided its repaired state made the place suitable for living, and he and his bedroll have been there ever since. Rak and Condes brought up his unsanitary habits and generally deplored Kavanagh's apparently flippant attitude about their case. Rak found it nothing to joke about, saying of that part of Woodside: "It's where I live." At one point, the commander said it might be a case for the precinct conditions team that had just been given Cop of the Month awards.

Pat Dorfman, Sunnyside resident and 108th Precinct Community Council member, designed a plaque full of words of tribute for the departing Yule. John Vogt and Terry Facciuto of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce presented a plaque of their own (in addition to a lot of hamburgers from White Castle, for which restaurant they work, for the celebrants to eat), and Facciuto became so fervent in her praise for Yule that he had to pull down the cap he was wearing to conceal his eyes. City Councilmember Eric Gioia sent an award, too. All that tribute finally moved Yule to remind these honoring him, "I'm not retiring and I'm not dying." His assignment to cover a larger part of Western Queens came about because the new PBQN commander, Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, is aware he is quite familiar with it.

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