2018-07-04 / Features

108th Closes Out Season, See You In September


On the last Tuesday evening in June, the 108th Police Precinct Community Council ended its meeting season.

The Night Out on Crime was played up enthusiastically as a reunion on the first Tuesday evening in August. That’s an event with lots of activities for kids who might not be interested in discussing quality of-life issues and such but on the other hand could really relate to big slides, face painting, bouncy castles and pony rides.

There was no Cop of the Month award at the June 26 event, but crime-stopping marches on and took big strides in the monthly report. Fortunately, murder and rape were completely absent in the 28- day reports for June of this year and the last, but a dismal difference was seen in the number of robberies, 12 this year versus two in 2017, and felonious assault, a total of 10 this year and, again, two in 2017. Burglaries were even at seven apiece and grand larceny was down this year to 26, from 33. But grand larceny auto stood at 13, up from eight. The overall total of index crimes for this year’s 28- day period was 68, up from 52.

Commander Captain Ralph Forgione said motorcycle thefts are driving grand larceny auto. He believes he and investigating officers may be on to a ring that steals the motorbikes by rolling them into vans and taking them away.

The complaints continue about all-night parking on the streets of Woodside where it is prohibited. The captain said he might be making progress in issuing summonses. He said he went to a company and warned the owner that if the several company trucks were parked illegally, summonses would be issued to them, repeatedly if necessary. The owner in turn told his drivers that paying for those summonses would be their responsibility. The captain said the number of parking violations dropped quickly and sharply.

Diane Ballek, head of the precinct’s community council since June 24, 1997, was honored for reaching the 21st anniversary of time in office the previous Sunday. Capt. Forgione praised her as tireless (she also works in the office of Assembly Member Cathy Nolan) and an officer read from the plaque that was made for and presented to her. (It was not a surprise ceremony; she was informed of it so) her daughter and grandchildren could be at the meeting for the presentation. Ballek said she has always honored police work and has a personal connection to it. “I lost a brother to the job,” she said.

The precinct’s part in the Night Out Against Crime activities will take place in Little Bush Park, Laurel Hill Boulevard and 61st Street in Woodside, beginning at 5 pm on August 7 before concluding at 8 pm

Capt. Forgione also announced that on Sunday, September 30, the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Event will be held in Hunters Point at Gantry Park. The captain said a lot of money was raised for breast cancer research in 2017 and he wants to see even more raised in 2018. There will probably be a further announcement about this event at the next 108th Precinct Community Council meeting, Tuesday, September 25, at 7 pm

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