I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those in the community that I may have not yet met. I am Captain Michael Cody, Commanding Officer of the 104 Precinct. I received command of the 104 Precinct this past June, after serving for two years as the Commanding Officer of the Manhattan Gang Squad. Prior to that assignment I served as an Investigative Group Captain in the Brooklyn North Narcotics Division and as Executive Officer of the 88th Precinct.
Time flies by and it is hard to believe that almost six months have already passed since coming to the 104th Precinct. I have a daunting yet very rewarding responsibility as a Precinct Commander. It is my responsibility to effectively manage police resources for the diverse communities the 104th Precinct serves.
Over the months I have had the pleasure to meet many people in the Juniper Park community and listen to their concerns regarding police matters and quality of life conditions. In partnership with my staff and patrol force, I have tried to be responsive to these matters and develop plans to address conditions, which have a negative impact on the community. I have tasked those under my command with proactively addressing crime trends while balancing this with community concerns. In this article I would like to outline some of the steps I have taken in this regard as well as some tips on how to prevent crime. Crime prevention is a vital component of my strategy to reduce crime in the 104 Precinct, and is especially relevant as the holiday season approaches.
One of the things I noticed upon assuming command was that the 104 Precinct, by nature of its size and topography, experiences a great deal of traffic accidents. Several complaints were brought to my attention that members of the community had difficulty obtaining official copies of accident reports for insurance purposes. Thus, I directed that accident reports be made available to interested parties twenty-four hours a day at the 104 Precinct, provided of course that they have the proper credentials and required fee. The former policy at the precinct allowed only a limited time frame each day for such reports to be released. This policy has been working well and favorably received.
Additionally, I looked at how the 104 Precinct responded to reports for service generated by the 311 system. I noticed in certain instances the quality of service calls was lacking or not documented properly. I have tasked my Executive Officer and Supervisors to conduct random callbacks of 311 callers in order to enhance quality control and remedy any problems they may find. This is of course a work in progress, and the 311 system is a forum for the community to notify the precinct of quality of life matters. I have made it clear to the members of the 104 that the proper response to 311 calls is important to me and I want them addressed accordingly.
A common complaint I have received from the Juniper Park Community is that of commercial vehicles parked overnight on residential streets. This practice deprives people of already sparse parking spaces. Unattended commercial vehicles also create an inviting target for vandals and thieves. To help remedy this situation, I placed a priority on the issuance of commercial on-street parking summonses. Since this policy was implemented, the precinct has seen a 75% increase in these summonses. An added benefit to this is that several of the vehicles targeted for enforcement were previously reported stolen or deemed abandoned. Again this is an ongoing endeavor and the input of the community is appreciated.
I also have developed a response to complaints regarding conditions in and around Juniper Park. This facility is truly the centerpiece of the community and as such must maintain a family-friendly atmosphere. To this end, I have directed that members of the 104 Precinct conduct regular visits to Juniper Park. My precinct Conditions Team performs sweeps of the park after closing time in order to detect and deter criminal conduct. This policy has led to an increase in arrests in the park for infractions such as marijuana use and alcohol consumption. The area around the park is also monitored during the late night hours for suspicious vehicles lingering as well as speeders on the surrounding roads.
As the holiday season approaches, I would like to offer some tips on crime prevention. What I have to say is not unique or new, but I believe that it bears repeating simply as a reminder on how not to become a victim of crime. The driving crime in the 104 this year is Larceny (or theft) primarily from autos and the person. Larceny can also be conducted in cyberspace through Identity Theft or misuse of personal information. This is a crime, which can be prevented by taking some common-sense measures.
When I examine crime reports, it is often noticed that the victim has left property unattended whether inside a vehicle or outside a location. Also in many instances vehicles are unlocked while parked in front of residences or in driveways. This presents an easy opportunity for a thief. Please take the extra time to securely lock your vehicle and avoid leaving any property in plain view such as packages or electronics. Also, try to refrain from leaving wallets or purses inside vehicles, even if you are only leaving for a short time. The theft of credit cards and identification is the opening for a thief to totally compromise your identity. This leads to a cumbersome process of restoring your credit and peace of mind. It is also a good practice to shred any correspondence before discarding it as thieves often mine recycle bins for such documents that include credit card or account numbers. This information is again used to compromise your identity and open fraudulent accounts which wreak havoc on your credit rating.
The 104 Precinct also has been experiencing an increase in the theft of accessories from vehicles. The most prevalent accessories stolen are rims and tires mainly from late model Toyota, Honda and Acura sedans. Members of the precinct have made over 50 arrests to date this year involving the theft of vehicle accessories. Also, I ensure that information on those arrested and crime patterns are shared with Auto Crime Investigators as well as bordering precincts. There are some measures that can be taken to help prevent this type of theft. First, it is prudent to invest in a set of wheel lock lugs. This is a product, which serves as an extra layer of protection for tires and rims. The lug can only be removed with a special tool. They are inexpensive and designed for various auto models. Also whenever possible, park in a well-lighted area with your wheels close to the curb. It is also a good idea to cut your front wheels to the curb. These measures make it difficult for a thief to manipulate a tool on the rims, creating a deterrent.
In closing, the members of the 104th Precinct and I are dedicated to ensuring that crime is addressed along with community concerns. I have a Community Affairs and Crime Prevention Staff that is available to answer any question or concern you may have. Their contact information is posted on the NYPD Website at www.nypd.gov along with crime and traffic accident statistics for the 104th Precinct. Additionally, I attend community meetings along with my staff where I will answer any question and take time to listen to concerns.
On behalf of myself and all the members of the 104th Precinct thank you for allowing me to write a few words about the work we are doing. I wish all in the community the best for a happy holiday season and prosperous New Year!