2015-12-02 / Features

Crime Is Down, Hero Cops Honored At 114th Meeting

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

Crime is down nine percent as we move into December, according to the 114th Precinct. That was the good news.

Continuing his report at the November 24 meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council, Commanding Officer Capt. Peter Fortune referred to the Paris terror attacks last month that took 130 lives, including one American.

“It could easily happen in our own backyard,” he noted, adding, “If you see something and it doesn’t seem right, make a phone call.”

Asked if people should call only for significant things, Capt. Fortune replied, “I’d rather (you) be cautious than not. If you think something is wrong make a phone call (911),” he repeated.

On November 16, NYPD rolled out 100 officers in the newly formed Critical Response Command (CRC), headed by Assistant Chief James Waters, eventually to grow to 527 officers by the end of the year.

At different times and in various formations, CRC patrol cars, equipped with Colt M4 semiautomatic assault rifles, travel the city as a deterrent, able to respond to an incident in minutes.

Another 800 officers in the Strategic Response Group (SRG), equipped with M4 rifles, give NYPD about 1,300 officers dedicated to combat terrorism.

“(NYPD) has, over the last year, double or triple our ability to respond to a situation where there are multiple locations, multiple shooters,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller in a November 21 New York Times report.

Cop-of-the-Month was awarded to Police Officers Gabriel Tovar, James Bing, and Tanong Hongdilokkul for a brave rescue of four men from a burning building on October 12.

The officers responded to a 1031 (burglary in progress) call at 23-44 28th Street at 2:15 pm, but as the trio rushed to the location they observed thick, black smoke coming from the structure.

“(Making) a life and death decision to enter,” said Capt. Fortune, they found the door bolted shut. “They then pushed in an air conditioner and entered the house.”

Inside, the officers found a man in his 60s in a wheelchair.

“They picked him up in the chair and carried him out,” said Capt. Fortune.

Going around the back of the house another man was safely removed and then two more individuals hanging out of a window were safely caught after dropping 30 feet down.

All four occupants were safely removed from the burning building and, along with Officers Tovar, Bing and Hongdilokkul, were treated for smoke inhalation at Mount Sinai Queens Hospital.

“That was truly an outstanding job,” said precinct council attendee John Pellettieri commenting to Capt. Fortune on the rescue.

“It truly was,” replied Capt. Fortune. “Their faces were blackened by smoke (but) thank God everybody came out OK.”

“Christmas is around the corner,” said Capt. Fortune reminding shoppers to lock their car doors, put presents in the trunk and not leave valuables in sight.

“For bad people – your (unprotected) shopping items are their presents,” said Capt. Fortune, wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays.

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