2018-01-31 / Front Page

Crime Plummets In 114th Precinct

By Liz Goff
Police at the 114th Precinct have pulled in the welcome mat on crooks, criminals and thugs who seek to prey on innocent victims within the command

The precinct, which covers neighborhoods including Astoria, Long Island City, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills and Astoria Heights reported a decrease in all but one of the seven majors – crime categories singled out by the NYPD and the FBI that include murder, rape, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, grand larceny auto and felony assault.

Under the supervision of 114th Precinct commander, Capt. Osvaldo Nunez, crime plunged an overall 14.7 per cent in 2017, compared with 2016. A total of 1,551 major crimes were reported to the 114th in 2017, compared with 1,819 in 2016, Nunez said.

Local leaders told the Gazette they attribute the accomplishment to police officers assigned to the 114th Precinct who have established an extraordinary working relationship with the community.

Felony assaults remain a sticking point in overall crime reduction at the 114th Precinct, Nunez said. As overall crime plummeted, felony assaults spiked 6.6 per cent, from 319 assaults in 2016 to 340 in 2017, according to Nunez.

An uptick in felony assaults during a 28-day period ending January 14th was likely due, in part, to frigid weather that kept people at home, Nunez said. A total of 33 felony assaults were reported at the 114th Precinct during that period, up from 13 during the same time period last year.

Many of the felony assaults reported during the 28-day period ending January 14th were of a domestic nature, Nunez said. ”People were stuck indoors and relatives got on each other’s nerves.”

Nunez said Astoria’s active club and bar scene often fuels the number of felony assaults reported at the Astoria Boulevard stationhouse. Felony assaults are a common occurrence at bars and taverns that “over serve” alcohol to customers, Nunez said.

Some of the most frequent offenders, including Club La Boom and Club Fusion Lounge, are concentrated along Steinway Street, according to Nunez.

Nunez attributes the overall reduction in citywide crime to the Neighborhood Policing model adopted by the NYPD, and said the Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO) program has enhanced crime fighting throughout New York City. Under the program, teams of officers are assigned to specific portions of each precinct – a move that allows them to become familiar with the needs of the neighborhood. The initiative also enables officers to address conditions before they impact quality of life in neighborhoods.

Nunez said police at the 114th Precinct have also shifted to a precision policing initiative that targets areas with a history of gang violence. The 114th Precinct has, under the initiative, sought to bring federal charges that carry longer prison sentences against some repeat offenders, Nunez said.

Local leaders said the 114th Precinct has been very successful at addressing quality of life conditions in the command because police officers listen and take action when conditions are reported. A great deal of the precinct’s success can be attributed to relationships developed by Community Affairs officers at the 114th, who spend countless hours mediating and addressing the needs of the community, local leaders said.

Nunez is urging residents and business owners in the command to contact precinct Crime Prevention Officer, Gabriel Tovar, at 718-626-9324 to discuss crime prevention tips and programs offered free of charge by the NYPD.

Residents and business owners may also reach out to Tovar to set up an appointment for a free NYPD survey to help to determine how to better secure homes and property.

Residents and business owners are also urged to reach out to officers at the 114th Precinct Community Affairs Office at 718-626-9327 for a schedule of monthly Community Council meetings or for general information or assistance, Nunez said.




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