The 114th Precinct will send out an additional squad car to patrol Astoria Park on weekend nights this fall following an increase in quality-of-life crimes as well as a murder in the park during the summer, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said.
The councilman said his office has received numerous complaints from Astoria residents about blaring radios and other noise, speeding cars along Shore Boulevard and litter in the park.
In July, a 32-year-old Astoria man was strangled to death in the park and a transient couple was charged in the murder. The 114th Precinct will dispatch a squad car on weekends this fall to drive around Ditmars and Shore boulevards, Astoria Park South and 19th Street, Vallone said.
“Astoria Park has seen an increase in quality-of-life crimes,” Vallone said. “They always build up over the summer, but it seems to me to be worse around the park this year.”
The councilman said the precinct’s new deputy inspector, Stephen Cirabisi, agreed to add the patrol car after they had a discussion about crime at the park.
Earlier this summer, Vallone called on the city Department of Homeless Services to dispatch a team to provide “alternative solutions” for homeless men and women who are sleeping on neighborhood streets or at the park.
State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) wrote a letter to city Police Commissioner Ray Kelly during the summer to call for additional officers to be added to the 114th Precinct following a rash of murders.
In addition to the Astoria Park strangling, a reputed Hell’s Angels member from Glen Cove, L.I., was found dead on 28th Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 21st Avenue. He had multiple gunshot wounds to his head.
Another shooting took place near the popular Mike’s Diner on 31st Street, but it was not fatal, Gianaris said.
The western Queens neighborhood is typically low on violent crime, but two homicides and another shooting occurred in the community during the summer.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2010 Community News Group
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