2015-02-11 / Front Page

Safety Briefing


Joining Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown (at podium) at his 23rd annual Legislative Breakfast are (l. to r.); former Councilmember Archie Spigner, Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry, Congressmember Grace Meng, Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Councilmember Rory Lancman, state Senator Mike Gianaris, Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilmember Mark Weprin, Assemblymembers David Weprin and Vivian Cook, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., Councilmembers Paul Vallone and Karen Koslowitz. (Also in attendance, but not in photo Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Daneek Miller and state Senator Leroy Comrie). Joining Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown (at podium) at his 23rd annual Legislative Breakfast are (l. to r.); former Councilmember Archie Spigner, Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry, Congressmember Grace Meng, Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Councilmember Rory Lancman, state Senator Mike Gianaris, Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilmember Mark Weprin, Assemblymembers David Weprin and Vivian Cook, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., Councilmembers Paul Vallone and Karen Koslowitz. (Also in attendance, but not in photo Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Daneek Miller and state Senator Leroy Comrie). District Attorney Richard A. Brown briefed city, state and federal elected officials from Queens at his annual legislative breakfast held at his Kew Gardens offices on February 6. The public safety briefing highlighted key accomplishments and major initiatives of the past year, as well as the difficult challenges facing the office in the year ahead.

“[The year] 2014 was another eventful and exciting year for us. It was a year in which Queens County was once again among the city’s leaders in crime reduction – and it was a year in which we, as prosecutors, contributed greatly to the city’s historic decline in serious crime while at the same time expeditiously handling more than 77,000 arrest cases,” Brown said.

The historic trend in index crimes – such as homicide, robberies, felony assaults, and burglaries – continued its downward spiral as compared with index crimes in 1993. For example, there has been a 76.7 percent decline in murders, an 80.5 percent decline in robberies, a 39.7 percent decline in felony assaults, and an 81.6 percent decline in burglaries.

Brown said, “These figures offer clear and compelling evidence that our law enforcement initiatives continue to have a profound impact in making Queens County one of the safest counties, not just in the city, but in the nation. Yet despite the overall improvement in the crime rate we remain steadfast in our commitment to aggressively go after violent crime, as illustrated by the fact that Queens County arrests 22.4 percent of the city’s violent felons, convicts 23 percent of those felons and sends nearly 14 percent of them to prison.”

The district attorney added that last year the office drafted more than 1,100 search warrants and assistants attended and supervised some 360 lineups in police precincts across the county. He noted that it is the only office that has an assistant at every lineup. Furthermore, it continues to be a national leader in the number of wiretaps that it conducts. Eight percent of all wiretaps in the United States were done in Queens County.

Brown said that, in pursuing the office’s mission to increase public safety and reduce crime in 2014, his office has prosecuted illegal cigarette traffickers, organized trademark counterfeiting rings and legitimate businesses and franchises that annually cheat the government out of millions of dollars of much needed state and city revenue. In addition, the office continues its aggressive pursuit of online child pornographers and sexual predators who troll the internet in an attempt to meet underage children for sexual relations.

“We have a first-class Child Advocacy Center on Queens Boulevard to assist young victims of physical and sexual abuse – and a Family Justice Center, located adjacent to the courthouse here in Kew Gardens, to help victims of domestic violence and their families,” he added.

To date, the Office has 13 Class B felony sex trafficking convictions and 26 additional defendants charged with sex trafficking. Further, the office assisted in 32 successful evictions in 2014 pertaining to prostitution, drug dealing, gambling and other crimes.

In conclusion, Brown said, “We are an office committed to the highest level of professionalism. We are an office that I believe is among the best in the state – indeed the best in the country – an office which has the respect of our law enforcement colleagues and the confidence of the 2.3 million residents of Queens County whom we represent.”

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