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Comrie forum addresses rise in SE Queens crime

Aleatra Kersh, a St. Albans resident, said the neighborhood suffers from quality−of−life problems.

“I feel that the precincts do not enforce your local quality−of−life issues,” she said, which include late house parties and loud music. “There absolutely is no police presence in the neighborhood, except if something goes wrong.”

Sgt. Penny Walthall, a community affairs officer with Patrol Borough Queens South, said the community needs to take advantage of monthly precinct community council meetings.

“It’s ridiculous. We have to get more involved in our community,” she said. “I can’t stress it enough that we have to attend these meetings.”

Police Officer Tanya Duhaney of the 113th Precinct in Jamaica said there were six shootings this month in the precinct as of Saturday, including an innocent bystander who was shot in a barbershop by a disgruntled customer who did not want to pay for his haircut.

“If we don’t start working together, these shootings are going to continue and it’s going to get worse,” she said.

She said one murder victim knew who shot him, but would not divulge the shooter’s identity to cops who visited him in the hospital because he did not want to be seen as a snitch. He later died.

“Now he’s dead and somebody’s walking the street with this gun,” Duhaney said.

State Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D−Queens Village), who also attended the meeting, said some neighborhood stores are operating too late at night.

“You don’t go to other residential communities and see stores open until 3 o’clock in the morning,” she said.

She said one particular store, whose owner lives outside the community, has pictures of rhinoceroses having sex on the walls. She said the owner also said neighborhood parents use drugs together with their children.

Clark said the community should not support the store.

“People come into our community and believe they could do whatever they want and they add to the degradation that’s going on and we do nothing,” she said.

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