2015-11-25 / Front Page

108th Pct. Holds Community Council Meeting

By Thomas Cogan

The 108th Police Precinct Community Council’s November meeting was moved up six days because no one wanted it to occur two days before Thanksgiving, no doubt worrying that turnout would be small.  Turnout, it turned out, was small anyway, Commander Captain John Travaglia saying it was “lighter than average.”  In his crime report he concentrated on the latest 28-day period, saying that overall crime was up 8 percent.  The traffic report was similar, with slight increases in the number of accidents and injuries.  There was some description of problems along the Roosevelt Avenue corridor running from Woodside to Jackson Heights where, it so happens, the Cop of the Month tracked down and arrested two perpetrators of an assault and robbery.

That Cop of the Month was Patrol Officer Katherine Kiefer, who responded to an early morning call (near 4:00) on Tuesday, November 3 about an armed robbery on Roosevelt Avenue.  Two men with knives had assailed a woman and taken her cell phone, a debit card and $100 cash.  P.O. Kiefer patrolled the area and found the two assailants within a few blocks of the crime.  She quickly apprehended them.

The index crimes that gained during the recent week (Nov. 9-15) and 28-day period (Oct. 18-Nov. 15) did not gain in the year to date (Jan. 1-Nov. 15), but a trend upward might still be evident.  During the latest week, burglaries increased 200 percent over last year (six to two) and 37.5 percent during the 28-day period (22-16) but were down significantly (13.5 percent or 180-208) for the year to date.  Robberies were up for the weekly period by 100 percent (two to one) and by 16.7 percent during the 28-day period (22-16) but for the year to date were down 27.3 percent (101-139).  Grand larceny showed a 6.5 percent gain (49-46) in the 28-day period but was down 36.4 percent for the week (7-11) and 22.3 percent for the year to date (387-498); and grand larceny auto had a 28-day gain of 7.7 percent (14-13) and a 0.8 percent gain (134-133) in the year to date but was down by a small amount during the week (50 percent or two to one).  There were no rapes during the week, but there was one during the 28-day period (down from two, a 50 percent drop).  In the year to date there was an increase to 15 from 14 (7.1 percent).

  A look at the numbers over the last 22 years (1993-2015) shows amazing declines in nearly all index crimes (murder down 87.5 percent; robbery down 88.6 percent; felonious assault down 49.8 percent; burglary down 86.6 percent; grand larceny down 51.9 percent; and grand larceny auto down 92.8 percent).  The cumulative decline is 81.6 percent.  One crime, however, runs militantly counter to the trend:  rape has gone up 36.4 percent.  More recent percentages for years to date are far lower (7.1 percent increases in each of the last two years and a zero percent rate over the last five), but rape’s status as a strong exception to the deep decline in the crime rate is striking.

The captain reported that the number of traffic accidents for the year to date stood at 418, up from last year’s 411.  The total number of injuries was 2 percent lower, however, coming in at 100, down from last year’s 113.The assault-robbery incident handled by P.O. Kiefer, the Cop of the Month, occurred on Roosevelt Avenue, in what Capt. Travaglia called the Roosevelt corridor. At the point where the 108th, 110th and 115th Precincts converge a lot of trouble ensues, and at several other points too.  At question time, a man living on 60th Street between Woodside and 43rd Avenues, a three-block area with Roosevelt Avenue right nearby, said that many persons who have had too much alcohol, purchased from their choice of several local purveyors, wander around being bothersome or, more seriously, get into fights or attacks on the street.  The captain knew what the man meant, referring to an assault in the vicinity on Sunday, November 1.  He said that bar owners inform him they’re quite familiar with a number of heavy drinkers and barroom fighters and have formally banned them from their establishments.  The captain looked ahead to the five-week holiday period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s and said the Roosevelt corridor would be monitored intensely during that time.    

 

   

 

 

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