BY TRONE DOWD
Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, the new commanding officer of the 103rd Precinct, held his first community council meeting on Tuesday, with mostly positive news concerning crime statistics for the most recent 28-day period.
The 103rd Precinct will be Fortune’s third command following leadership roles at the 114th Precinct in western Queens and the PSA5 Housing Bureau in Manhattan. The 18-year veteran said that he was “excited to be” working in Southeast Queens and gave residents a rundown of what he believes policing is all about.
“I want the community to know that there are three ‘Cs’ in this line of work: Crime, cops and community,” he said. “It has nothing to do with that order, they are interchangeable. Without the community, cops can’t survive and crime can’t survive. If crime goes up, community goes down. The morale of the police department goes down. They all work hand in hand.”
Fortune said that he has already told the officers in his command that the goal is to work alongside the community as a team.
“It’s an honor to replace Inspector John Cappelmann,” he said. “I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill.”
Regarding crime statistics, Fortune informed residents that crime was down 10.5 percent this month, compared to the same period last month. There were no murders or rapes within the confines of the 103rd Precinct. Felony assaults were down 44 percent, with 19 incidents versus 44 last year. Grand larcenies were down 3 percent, with 37 incidents compared to 38 last year. The commanding officer mentioned that while the decrease may seem insignificant, an increase in stolen items is expected during the height of the holiday season.
“Prior to being a victim, remember to put those pocketbooks around your shoulder and keep that wallet in your pocket,” he said, asking residents to be vigilant while shopping for gifts this season. “Because just like how me and you want to get out and get some shopping done, these criminals think of that too.”
He also warned residents to be aware of stolen package deliveries. He recommended post office pickups or timed deliveries when applicable.
Grand larceny autos were down 67 percent, with two incidents compared to six last year.
Lastly, one shooting occurred this month in Hollis at the corner of 100th Avenue and 197th Street. Police said that they have already made three arrests in the case, two by the NYPD and one by Long Island authorities, with one remaining accomplice still at large. Fortune said that the four men are a part of a home invasion crew that has haunted the area for some time.
“They seemed to work in the areas of Nassau County and Queens,” he said. “They were connected to four robberies in Queens and one in Port Washington.”
During the meeting, Fortune announced that the city’s Department of Transportation will install 10 cameras along the busy 165th Street shopping strip between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue. Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz allocated money towards the installation of the cameras to help prevent negligent drivers from taking the pedestrian walkway as a shortcut to Hillside Avenue.