The latest 100th Precinct Community Council meeting on July 24 was a celebratory affair with the installation of three new executive board members. Plus with summer parking issues being a hot-button topic of discussion, attendance was high.
The meeting began with the induction of three 100th Precinct Community Council executive board members by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato. Those sworn include Kathy Heavey as President, Andy McGee as Vice President and Jean Daouphars as Corresponding Secretary.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, a few speakers provided updates to the crown. Aishling Walsh, a victims advocate from Safe Horizon who works with the 100th Precinct, spoke about victim services offered to the community. Next up were Community Affairs Officer PO Hylton of Transit District 23 Neighborhod Community Officers (NCOs), PO Milien and PO Cadet, who introduced themselves and informed the room about transit safety.
Commanding Officer Captain Louron Hall then provided some precinct updates and took questions. He first spoke about an uptick in crime. Over a 28-day period, the 100th Precinct saw a 45% increase in crime. Robberies increased from three to seven. Felony assaults increased from 11 to 18. Grand Larceny increased from 13 to 16. Of 18 assaults, arrests were made in nine of them. Eight of those were domestic violence-related. Other assaults included recent slashings on the beach, typically occurring around 11 p.m. As a result, the precinct has moved some officers off of the dayshift to cover the late-night hours. These officers will patrol the boardwalk and beach to ensure people are not in these areas when the beach and boardwalk are closed. Hall also spoke of an incident in which shots were fired over the heat wave weekend. No one was hit, but shell cases were found. As a result, the anti-crime officers are being changed and the new officers will be in unmarked vehicles, patrolling until 6 a.m. Expanding on the grand larcenies, Hall explained that most included property stolen from cars that were left unlocked, and people that leave property like credit cards alone on the sand while at the beach.
Then came the hot-button issue of beach parking. Hall explained that he’s received multiple complaints about illegal parking, especially on weekends. “The rules are the rules. There’s no parking on Shore Front Parkway, no parking on Rockaway Freeway, and officers are out there conducting enforcement in these locations. All of your complaints are being heard and we’re following up,” he said. He explained that there has been a major increase in tickets as compared to last summer. From Memorial Day until now, there has been a 386% increase in summonses for parking violations. There have been 510 summons given out so far compared to 105 last year, just on Shore Front Parkway. Those summonses just include ones issued by officers from the precinct, and not traffic agents. Despite tickets being given out, Hall explained that it doesn’t exactly serve as a deterrent. “People are coming down there and they’re taking a risk in parking vehicles and splitting summonses three, four, five ways,” he said. He also added that tow trucks have been out towing cars, but with only three available tow trucks, and having to remove and transport vehicles, the process can sometimes take a while. So far, 63 vehicles have been towed since June 29.
Another issue that was brought up is a parking lot being used on weekends to charge people to park on weekends, located between Rockaway Freeway and Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Beach 87th Street. Some neighbors are concerned that this lot is being used illegally, and that it is causing traffic backups and safety issues. The officers explained that they are looking into the legality of this parking lot and will follow up with the appropriate actions. Another resident brought up issues of credit card skimming. The officers said that they do check bank ATMs for skimmers, but have not checked individual stores and advised the crowd to avoid credit card machines that look suspicious.
PO Haber ended the meeting with a reminder that she is available to do etching of the community's bikes and vehicles in order to increase the ability to recover in the case of theft.
President Kathy Heavey invites all to the National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 6 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 94th Street. It is a fun family event with a DJ, rides, hot dogs, ices, cotton candy, popcorn and more! Tons of entertainers are scheduled including JUMP Dance Studio, ZUMBA with Lisa G and FITQB, Stan's Pepper Steppers, Demos by CROM Martial Arts, Beyond the Belt Karate Center and more! Also, this year the Council plans to raffle off a great Rockaway gift card basket, as well as a bicycle! There will also be a 50/50 in effect.
The next 100th Precinct Community Council meeting is Wednesday, August 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus (333 Beach 90th Street).BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS