IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS?
No. We have some great news! 104 Precinct Commander Scott A. Shanley is no longer a Captain. He has been recently promoted to Deputy Inspector. Congratulations Inspector Shanley! The community and the Juniper Park Civic Association are delighted with the news.
But, when the brass upstairs try to reassign you to another command, please refuse on the grounds that this community thinks you are too valuable to be transferred. Agreed?
DO YOU HAVE ANY USEFUL INFORMATION TO MAKE ME SAFER?
The police reported that burglaries are up by 13 in the precinct. Of that number, eight occurred on the night of January 27, in a mix of commercial and residential burglaries. More recently, there have been two additional burglaries of commercial establishments on Eliot Ave.
In the discussion of this crime, the subject of installing alarm systems arose. This writer has a home fire/burglary alarm system connected to a central office, which contacts police or fire whether you are home or away.
We pay a monthly fee. Our home insurance discounts our premium by pretty close to that amount because of the presence of the alarm. Much like an auto alarm helps lower auto insurance premiums. So, we look at our alarm as free. The insurance company views the alarm as lowering possible claims. Burglars view it as something to fear. It all works out.
So, today ‒ right now ‒ phone your home insurance agent and ask about a reduction in premium if you install an alarm. You will be happier.
WHEN IS THE NEXT COP104 MEETING? WHERE?
The next COP104 meeting will be on Thursday, March 22, starting at 7:30PM, at Our Lady Of Hope Auditorium (on Eliot Ave and 71st Street, Middle Village).
This is an opportunity to meet the officers and officials of the 104th Precinct. The precinct officials speak for a few moments, providing crime statistics in the precinct, as well as useful information for the residents to be a little more secure.
The balance of the time is given over to the attending residents to ask questions or provide information on criminal conditions they are aware of and want handled by the police. Information provided by the public can be confidential (this is a common choice), or can be provided from the floor.
What can be accomplished at a COP104 Meeting?
Great question. In the January meeting, neighbors from Northeast Middle Village attended to convey to Inspector Shanley their deep concerns about the arson fires that had struck 11 or 12 locations that we knew of. It turned out that the number of fires was 18. The meeting was on a Wednesday, the arsonist was arrested two days later on Friday, 19, January.
Those readers whose property is afflicted with graffiti will love to know, that on Thursday, January 18, several stupid teen graffiti vandals went into the vicinity where the police and Fire Investigators were staked out looking for the arsonist. The teens started vandalizing someone's property and were pounced upon by a large number of undercover police. Fire Investigators informed this writer that there is a connection between graffiti vandalism and arson.
Don't walk past graffiti. The vandal may have worse intentions than marking property.
At the February meeting, one of our good neighbors, the Mom whose home was burglarized on the night of Saturday, January 27th attended to describe how devastating it is to arrive home to a home that's been ransacked. This terrific family is the one whose 2 year-old daughter's Yorkshire Terrier ‒ Buddy ‒ was stolen, along with cash and jewelry. The callous, heartless burglars have not yet been arrested, but we are confident that Inspector Shanley, whose police specialty has been in the NYPD Burglary Unit, wants these thugs arrested ‒ actually, he wants the dog to be returned, as do the Mom and Dad and daughter. The Juniper Park Civic Association is offering $500 for the safe return of the dog.
The Mom and Dad are so overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindnesses from so many people who responded to the news of the stolen Yorkie, Buddie and use this opportunity to say thanks Neighbors!
However, they are not so thankful to this mayor who refuses to increase staffing at the 104th. On the night of the discovery of the burglary, the 911 system and the police response time was miserable. It took over an hour and a half for the police to respond. That's our mayor, looking out for the little people.
HOW CAN I CONTACT INSPECTOR SHANLEY?
If you would like to talk to Inspector Shanley about any police matter or concerns you have in your neighborhood, feel free to attend a monthly COP104 meeting, held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at locations throughout the precinct. Look for posters announcing the next meeting and its location. These meetings are useful to learn more about your community, and for you and your neighbors to inform the Inspector of incidents and problems in your neighborhood.
Also, you can e-mail the Inspector at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The email at the 104th has been disabled for nearly 18 months, resulting in your emails to Inspector Shanley being returned. As an alternative until the email connection is restored, write the Inspector at: 64-02 Catalpa Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385-5257.
Are you annoyed that the Mayor will not provide you the modern access to your precinct officials? Just tell him. Do you ever wonder why nobody answers the phone at our precinct? Wouldn't you think there would be a phone answering system? Perhaps we are being shortchanged on officer staffing. That's on the mayor, not the precinct commander. Your home is far better equipped with modern hardware and software ‒ even if it is ten or fifteen years old ‒ than is your precinct. Your teenagers have far more modern communications facilities with cell phones, I-Pods, Blackberries, Instant messaging than do the officers you depend on to respond to your need for help. That's the Mayor, taking care of the Little People. Let him know what YOU think.
Or, while the Mayor gets around to bringing the 104th Precinct into at least the 20th Century, so we little people can actually convey our concerns to the officers, you may feel free to send the mail to email@example.com or to POLICEBEAT104@AOL.COM with the request that we get your information to the precinct. If the matter is confidential or you prefer we do not read your mail, mail your information to the address above.
Are you interested in participating in civilian patrol of the community, phone GCOP/104COP at 718-497-1500.
Do you have questions or comments for Inspector Shanley that you want published in the next issue of this column? Just e-mail: POLICEBEAT104@AOL.COM or write this column at: Police Beat 104, C/O Juniper Park Civic Association, P.O. Box 790275, Middle Village, NY 11379. We will keep your identity private if you request. If you request, we will forward your question or comment to Inspector Shanley and publish his reply in the next issue.