2012-03-07 / Features

Crime Up In 114th Precinct, So Is Awareness

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

One month into the first quarter of the year, crime is up in the 114th Precinct. Index crime categories are up 24.7 percent so far in 2012 through the week ending February 19, according to the latest NYPD Compstat numbers.

Over the last 28-day period, increases in burglaries (up 39.3 percent), grand larcenies (up 20.4 percent) and robberies (up 20 percent) have fueled that rise, although robberies did decline 37.5 percent for the week of February 19, Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi, commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, said.

“It’s a rough year,” said Cirabisi at the February 28 precinct community council meeting held at Riccardo’s. Crime is up throughout the city by almost five percent. Theft of electronic devices by “phone snatchers” at the N and R stations is a new phenomenon, Cirabisi said. “We are working with Transit (police) and there have been quite a few arrests made,” he added.

The 114th has not had any new police officers assigned to it in about a year. “We’re waiting for a little extra support,” Cirabisi said.

Two police officers exemplified the NYPD commitment to fight crime. Kimberly Washington and Winston McDonald were recipients of Cop-of-the- Month honors. Washington, working the midnight anti-crime shift, responded to a 911 call on Sunday, February 5 at 4:15 a.m. of shots fired in the vicinity of 34th Avenue and Steinway Street.

“There was a fight on the street where one individual stabbed a second individual and then the second individual pulled out a .380 caliber firearm and began shooting,” Cirabisi told the audience. “[Police Officer] Washington responded, arrested the individuals and recovered a .380 caliber firearm at the scene,” he said. “[P.O. Washington] is out there when you’re sleeping.”

After thanking her fellow officers, Washington, holding the plaques and certificates awarded monthly to Cop of the Month officers by the Broadway Professionals and Merchants Association, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan and Aravella Simotas and Councilmembers Peter Vallone Jr. and Jimmy Van Bramer, commented: “I feel like I’m at the Oscars. Thank you all very much.”

McDonald, a member of the anti-crime day unit, was working on Saturday, January 28 when at 6:20 p.m. he responded to a 911 call in the vicinity of Northern Boulevard and 36th Avenue of a robbery at knife point.

“A female, white, age 26, was entering the subway when she was stopped at knifepoint by two individuals,” Cirabisi said. They fled, but the woman gave McDonald a location and descriptions and the suspects were arrested.

“I’d like to thank every cop in the precinct,” McDonald said. “Everyone in the 114th works hard to try and prevent crime.”

Lieutenant Gerry Pizzano and Detective Ray Ramos of the Queens Gang Unit and School Safety Agent Jeff Gralto, Commanding Officer of the Queens North School Safety Unit, were guest speakers.

“There is rarely any gang enforcement in the 114th,” Ramos, a 20-year veteran with 14 years of experience in the gang unit, said. “You do have Bloods and Crips and some Mexican gangs as well. But most of our work is in other areas.”

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