2007-10-03 / Features

9 Officers Earn Cop Of The Month Honors At The 114th


Nine police officers whose beats run from Astoria Park to Queens Plaza South and along Broadway, Steinway Street and Ditmars Boulevard were honored for helping to keep the community safe over the summer.

Cop-of-the-Month awards for June, July and August were the top agenda item at the September meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council, held at Riccardo's.

Police Officers Lisa Velotta, Alexandra Sanchez and Abdiel Cruz were June recipients, while Adnan Chowdhury, Yuliya Davis and Joseph Ianno were recognized for July, and Silvio Cuevasmatos, Carl Miluso and David Rein got the nod for August.

Inspector Brian McCarthy, commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, presided at the monthly awards presentations, (the community council does not meet in July and August) and said presenting the awards is among his favorite duties. "You see some of the good work they do," he said.

Velotta was cited for her efforts in Astoria Park and as part of the prostitution sting detail in the Queens Plaza South area. Miluso, fresh out of the Police Academy, was also cited for his actions in Astoria Park. On August 7, Miluso arrested three individuals charged with robbery.

Sanchez, too, was recognized as part of the prostitution sting detail in the southern part of the precinct, as well as for an arrest at 48th Street and Broadway where she observed a person with a handgun. Cruz, observing a man trying to break into cars, made an arrest on June 1. Cruz found burglar tools and marijuana on the suspect, who was found to have 27 prior arrests.

In July, Chowdhury began a detailed investigation into area pawn shops. Among the six he investigated, Chowdhury noticed one had done business with a known criminal. Chowdhury intensified his investigation of the pawn shop, located at 37-14 Ditmars Blvd., and on July 17 executed a search warrant that turned up stolen merchandise.

Davis began a similar investigation of conditions on 14th Street after 96 calls to 311 were logged complaining about activities there. Observing drug activity at a barber shop, Davis executed a search warrant on July 19, nabbing three people charged with drug possession and business violations.

Ianno, working the anti-crime unit midnight shift, responded to a robbery call and conducted a canvass after obtaining a description of the attackers. Finding the suspects, Ianno detained them and they were identified by the complainant at the scene.

On August 2, a group of intoxicated people exited Club Central at 23rd Avenue and Steinway Street and began to damage nearby parked cars. Confronted by another person on the street about their actions, the individuals beat the person up and robbed him. Cuevasmatos, working the midnight shift in uniform, responded and carried out a canvass that netted the suspects, who were identified by the victim at the scene.

Rein, as part of the anti-crime unit, on August 22, recognized a known individual with multiple prior arrests driving a car. Rein ran the license plate and the vehicle turned out to be stolen. In an attempt to escape, the suspect crashed the car, got out, and ran. With cooperation from Emergency Services and Housing units, Rein established a perimeter in the area and apprehended the individual without incident.

Police officers received certificates from Assemblymembers Michael Gianaris and Cathleen Nolan, City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, the Broadway Merchants and Professionals Association and the 114th Precinct Community Council.

"We just want everybody to see the fine officers and the good work they do," Community Council President Ann Bruno said.

Detective Ray Ramos of the Queens Gang Unit was the guest speaker. The gang unit, based at the 114th Precinct, has about 30 detectives and responds to any gang incident.

The unit also participates in street enforcement and gathers information on gangs. In Queens, gang activity is mostly centered in the southern part of the borough, he said. "Fortunately, for you, I really don't have too much to report," said Ramos.

The 114th Precinct reported four gang incidents for the year to date, he said, down from six a year ago. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding gangs or gang activity in a neighborhood, can call Ramos at 718- 626-6630.

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