BY TRONE DOWD
Despite a relatively small turnout for Wednesday night’s general meeting, 113th Precinct Deputy Inspector Frederick Grover paid a visit to Community Board 12 with some good news regarding crime in the precinct as well as some information relating to police activity in Southeast Queens.
The 113th Precinct continues to see significant drops in index crimes, a trend that first began in 2015. And just three months into the new year, the numbers seem to be following the same pattern. At the end of 2016, the 113th saw an 11 percent drop in crime, compared to the prior year. So far in 2017, the precinct is down 14 percent in crime. Among the individual crime categories, the most significant decrease has been in the number of shooting incidents.
“In particular, if you look at gun violence, shooting incidents are down 70 percent so far this year,” Grover said to collective applause.
Despite the overall downward trend of crime, grand larceny autos are up in the region, with a seemingly sudden interest in catalytic converters.
“We have about 25 that have been reported for the year,” Grover said. “We would have had more than that, but through investigations on a significant amount, [it] turned out that the car was not genuinely stolen.”
As explained by the commanding officer, some vehicles were reported stolen by car owners who intentionally misplaced their cars in hopes of avoiding payments.
According to the Public Safety Committee chairman Patrick Evans, the 113th has also seen a noticeable dent in quality of life issues, something that Grover has attributed to Neighborhood Coordinating Officers.
“My phone has been ringing a whole lot less,” Grover said. “Before, our leaders in the command would call me directly. Now, we have our NCOs working to solve local issues and improve general quality of life.”
He asked that the community keep an eye out for issues in their immediate vicinities and report to the NCO officers in their sector or to their community board which will relay that information them to their local precinct. By doing so, NCOs can deal with these issues directly and swiftly.
During the meeting, Evans brought up the fate of another tool that the NYPD was using to solve community issues: Ideascale, which was an online service for residents to report quality of life issues with a few swipes of a smart phone. Police were then able to track and address these issues by corresponding with residents through the service.
According to Sgt. Widy Geritano, the brief pilot of Ideascale has been terminated, but not without a planned replacement.
“The contract with the parent company that was running Ideascale was not renewed,” Geritano said. “But there are other forms of social media platforms. Soon we will have Facebook pages that will facilitate that same sort of correspondence between the community and the precinct going forward.”
Geritano told the Press of Southeast Queens that the roll out of the Facebook pages is currently scheduled to come before the summer. All precincts across the city will get these pages, with hopes of fulfilling the same functionality of Ideascale.