By Trone Dowd &
During the 103rd Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday, Capt. Joseph Seminara had a mixed report on crime in Jamaica.
For the last month crime was down six percent; Year to date however, crime has risen seven percent for the area. Despite the crime increase overall, murders are down 50 percent with last year a total of eight murders compared to the four this year.
“That is four more humans who are living life.” Seminara said.
Gun arrests in the area have increased. This time last year there were just two gun arrests, this past month there were a total of twelve.
“Guns are still a problem we are cognizant of that.” said Capt. Seminara. He went on to discuss the incident of a man who went to the emergency room with one gunshot wound claiming the incident occurred on 175th Street and Union Turnpike.
“There were no calls made to 911 about shots fired, no ballistics, no damage to the area. Detectives reviewed hours of surveillance video and see no activity. We are jumping to no conclusions however we will try to determine where the shooting occurred.” said Capt. Seminara who expressed his hopes for updates in the next meeting.
Another gun-related incident occurred on Dec. 7 on Guy R Brewer Boulevard and Archer Avenue, when a heavily tinted car with a male driver, male in the passenger seat and a female in the back driving near York College was stopped by police officers. While waiting for the registration the driver opened the console which contained a loaded firearm. The police officers calmly got all three passengers out of the vehicle without incident. The driver took full responsibility for the firearm.
“Without excessive force the right person is going to jail without two innocent people going to jail for being in the wrong car at the wrong time.” said Capt. Seminara.
Seminara described the new initiative to heavily enforce drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. He explained even with increased enforcement people still get hit with cars at what he described as an alarming rate.
“I want to scream this to everyone in South Jamaica we are going to enforce very strictly people who fail to yield. I have seen too many people too many children get hit by cars.”
The captain explained a new initiative where civil violations will now be given out. The civil violations will be written when a witness sees a driver hit a pedestrian and can relay the information to the arriving officers. The new violations will include a “hefty fine” for drivers.