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105th Precinct’s ranks gain 34 to turn tide of crime

Some community members want a satellite precinct in Rosedale to be the site for a new police precinct. Photo by Nykeema Williams
TimesLedger Newspapers

The NYPD has fulfilled a request by Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis for more boots on the ground to combat rising crime trends in the 105th Precinct, but the community’s wishes for a new precinct appear to have been looked over once again.

The 105th’s commanding officer had made a request for an impact zone, an area where the department deploys an increased number of new officers fresh out of the academy to fight concentrated crime. Thirty-four new officers were deployed to areas like Queens Village and Cambria Heights beginning April 20, and will remain under Courtesis’ command for an indeterminate amount of time.

The community has also long sought to have the 105th split in half, with a new precinct created in the southern section. The NYPD opened a satellite precinct house in Rosedale in 2007, and community members want it to be made into the new 116th Precinct. Dan Andrews, spokesman for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, said it was a “longstanding request due to response time and length of precinct.”

Marshall made it one of her budget priorities this year, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not include it in his preliminary fiscal year 2013 budget released last week.

The precinct, which stretches along the Queens-Nassau County border from Glen Oaks in the north to Springfield Gardens in the south, is experiencing an overall increase in major crimes of more than 15 percent over last year, with the largest spikes coming from robberies, felony assaults and grand larcenies.

Crime is up compared to last year in nearly every category for the week of April 23-29. The precinct experienced a 17 percent increase in robberies, a 16 percent increase in assaults and a 32 percent increase in auto theft, although the precinct saw an 11 percent decline in rapes.

Detective Javoda Cooper, with the precinct’s community affairs office, said the impact zone will be constantly evaluated and the officers will be deployed based on analyses of crime patterns.

“They are targeting robberies, burglaries and shooting locations, for example. Officers will be posted along Springfield and Francis Lewis boulevards to combat bus stop robberies,” she said. “The officers will also address quality-of-life conditions such as disorderly groups during school dismissals, house parties, graffiti, drinking and marijuana use. By addressing these conditions, more serious criminal activity may be prevented.”

Courtesis had previously said he believed impact zones in the adjacent 103rd and 113th precincts may have been displacing crime to the 105th.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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