November 100th Precinct Community Council Meeting Recap

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 The latest 100thPreinct Community Council meeting was an opportunity for residents to hear from the new domestic violence and community affairs officers, updated crime stats and more.

About 50 people gathered for the meeting on Zoom on Wednesday, November 17. Council president Kathy Heavey began the meeting by taking a few moments to remember the late Lew. M. Simon, who was active at 100th Precinct meetings and events. “Rockaway is really going to miss you,” Heavey said. She asked that people join on Monday, November 29 at 4:30 p.m. on Beach 116th Street for the annual menorah lighting for Hanukkah, in honor of Lew Simon.

Next, the newest member of the precinct’s domestic violence unit, Officer Michael Guerrini introduced himself and spoke about what the unit does. “It’s important to note domestic violence truly does affect everyone. The number one thing we can do to intervene is with help from that victim. That’s the hardest thing to do because it happens at home,” he said, He added that the unit works with a number of resources to assist those involved in a domestic violence situation, whether between siblings, spouses, domestic partners or any situation. “Don’t ever fear to call, to seek help,” he said. In an emergency, people  should call 911. Otherwise, for questions or resources, the unit can be reached at 718-318-4251. Officer Guerrini can be reached directly at 917-861-0533.

He was followed by elected officials and their representatives. Maria, a new community liaison for Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato spoke about the recently signed whippits bill that will make it illegal for anyone under than 21 to purchase whipped cream chargers or whippits, which have been used by youth as an inhalant. The assemblywoman is also hosting a dress for success drive and is collecting professional women’s wear that is gently used. New councilwoman-elect Joann Ariola introduced herself and said she’ll maintain Councilman Eric Ulrich’s current Rockaway office location. She will be sworn in at City Hall on January 3 and will have a community swearing in at the American Legion in Broad Channel on January 9. “I look forward to working with this precinct council and all the precinct councils through the district,” she said.

New community affairs officer Lauren Haber introduced herself, though she is no stranger to the precinct, having worked there for seven years. She previously covered crime prevention and was recently on maternity leave. Anyone with questions for the community affairs unit can call 718-318-4233.

Fellow community affairs officer Victor Boamah provided some updates from previous meetings. At the last meeting, Principal Finn brought up an issue of people speeding on motorbikes around the school playground at Beach 66th and Almeda Avenue. Officer Boamah said he has spoken with Principal Finn and other staff, and sector officers have shown an increased presence there, resulting in the issue being decreased. “The most important thing to me is someone keeping their word, so I really appreciate that,” Principal Finn said. “The activity around the school has definitely decreased a lot so we’re very thankful.”

Officer Boamah said they’re also continuing to monitor past complaints of issues of panhandling at Stop and Shop, quality of life issues on Beach 116th and a double parking issue on Beach 122nd, which were brought up at past meetings.

Next, recently promoted to Deputy Inspector, Carlos Fabara provided crime updates. “Overall, major crime for the 28-day period is down 38.5%.  We had 24 major crimes versus 39 major crimes. We’re down in the 56 days period and down 300 vs 423 for the year to date, so we’re seeing those improvements in the crime rate consistent as the year progresses, which I think is a testament to the hard work that the men and women of the precinct are doing and I’m very proud of the results that we’re seeing,” he said. “We haven’t had crime this low in over a decade, so good news on the crime front.” The precinct has been stepping up firearm arrests, but stats are down in six out of seven major crime categories. He advised people to be vigilant of package thefts and scam calls around the holidays.

Richard Berger brought up the new speed humps on Shore Front Parkway, and while they’re more of a DOT issue, traffic Sergeant Charles Grimm provided some information. He said there will be 18 from Beach 108th to Beach 73rd Street. “We all know Shore Front is a big issue, especially in the summertime. The year to date, from 108th to 73rd, we had 18 total accidents, seven with injuries and we had the one fatality over the summertime,” he said. Trishia Bermudez brought up another traffic concern on Beach 60th Street, which had a directional change last year. She said that people are still going down the block the wrong way, which could cause an accident. Sgt. Grimm said he will send more patrols to the area during early rush hour to try to address this.

The meeting ended with a Thanksgiving prayer from Rev. Joyce Duggar of the Frist Congregational Church. The next 100th Precinct Community Council meeting will be Wednesday, December 29 at 7 p.m. on Zoom.

 By Katie McFadden

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