Cirabisi Tells 114th Precinct Council ‘Better Days Ahead’
Two months into his tenure, Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi was welcomed at the September meeting of the 114th Police Precinct Community Council, his first since taking the helm as precinct commanding officer.
“This community is very supportive, very reactive [and] very much behind [their] police,” Cirabisi said. “That’s what helps bring crime down.”
Cirabisi moved to the 114th Precinct in Patrol Borough Queens North after four years as commanding officer at the 107th Precinct in Patrol Borough Queens South. “I know this year has been a little rough,” he said, alluding to a rise in crime in the 114th Precinct. “Better days are ahead.”
Cirabisi awarded July Cop-Of-The- Month honors to Police Officer Mubashshir Tahfafarosh for his actions while on routine patrol during the early morning hours of August 28.
“P.O. Tahfafarosh and his partner, P.O. Abraham, received a 911 call of a ‘1010’,” said Cirabisi. “Ten-ten” is police parlance for a person(s) with a gun.
“An individual noticed two females in a car passing a firearm between them and called 911,” Cirabisi said, emphasizing the importance of the call that gave a description of the vehicle.
The officers responded and were able to identify the vehicle. Tahfafarosh approached the car and upon investigation found the firearm, arresting the two females. Both are residents of the 114th Precinct and have prior records. “They’re no strangers to us,” Cirabisi said.
Cirabisi was asked about a homicide that occurred at 28th Street and Ditmars Boulevard on July 24.
“It’s still being investigated by the detective squad,” he replied. “There hasn’t been an arrest yet.”
Asked if the killing was drug-related, Cirabisi said, “Without giving away too much, a majority of these incidents revolve around narcotics, but it’s still an ongoing case.”
Cirabisi said other shootings in the precinct were centered in the housing developments. “It’s an area we’ve struggled with, but we’re concentrating on it,” he said.
As of the week of September 13 through September 19 in the 114th, the 28- day numbers for robbery were down by 11.5 percent (26 in 2009, 23 in 2010) while felony assaults are up 20 percent (15 in 2009, 18 in 2010) and burglaries are up 6.5 percent (46 in 2009, 49 in 2010). There were no murders during the 28-day period, but there have been seven so far in 2010, as opposed to two in 2009 for the same time period, an increase of 250 percent.
Cirabisi also mentioned recent complaints about incidents involving homeless people within the precinct. “Quality of life is the number one issue. It’s a pet peeve of mine—noise, homeless,” he said. “I’m going to do my best.”
“The [community] outreach has been really astounding,” Cirabisi, who grew up in Queens, said. “I’m honored to be here in Astoria – it’s always been a great place. I’m looking forward to working with all the members of the community and with Ann [Bruno, 114th Precinct Community Council president]. I should be here for a while.”
“We hope,” Bruno replied.