COP104: Protect yourself this holiday season - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2004 Juniper Berry Magazine

COP104: Protect yourself this holiday season

GRAFFITI SQUAD IS WRITTEN OFF

NY Daily News, August 19th headline.

WRONG!!!

The NY Daily News reported that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has discussed this proposal ‒ to merge the Anti-Graffiti and Anti-Vandalism unit with the Transit Bureau's Vandals Squad ‒ with top police brass. The article was erroneous!

The fact is that the NYPD has reorganized the Transit Vandal Squad so that there is now a citywide, unified, aggressive war on graffiti. This new approach integrates every precinct and Borough Command into a heightened treatment of graffiti and graffiti vandals. Graffiti is a criminal matter and the vandals will be treated as criminals!

You can help. Look for graffiti and report it. Don't wait for an attack on your own block, or on your garage. Unreported graffiti and graffiti that is not removed promptly is an invitation to the criminal vandals that your neighborhood and property welcomes the vandals. To report graffiti, phone the 104th Precinct Graffiti Report Line at: 718-386-2446.

Then, report the sighting to your Civic Association (JPCA Phone: 718-651-5865). Phone GCOP/104COP (Civilian Observation Patrol) at: 718-497-1500).

The 104 Precinct Commander, Captain Scott Shanley went after the scooters and has succeeded in confiscating more than 172 of them. He promised to rid the precinct of this menace and largely fulfilled that promise. (Report them if you still see them). Now, with the new citywide war on graffiti, he has taken the same kind of aggressive stance to tackle these criminal graffiti vandals. But, Captain Shanley and the Officers in the precinct need your help. Look for the vandalism ‒ no matter how small ‒ no matter how artistic. Then, report it. If possible, photograph it for the new citywide database of these tags. This database will connect the vandalism with the perpetrator, as well as trace the vandals as they travel throughout our neighborhoods. If you are able, join the numerous graffiti cleanup projects that are organized in our community. Or, arrange with your neighbors to adopt your block to clean up mailboxes, light posts, walls and garage doors for some of the elderly and disabled who need help. Never confront a graffiti vandal. Some of these criminals can be dangerous, no matter what the age. Always notify the police. Phone GCOP/104COP ‒ 718-497-1500 ‒ to learn about the Civilian Observation Patrol. Your participation helps the Police as well as your community.

Above all: REPORT GRAFFITI TO THE POLICE.GRAFFITI IS A CRIME!

SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS:

Holiday shopping is wearisome enough without having some criminal turn the event into a nightmare.

Ladies: keep your purse under control at all times. Please, don't leave your purse or any valuables unattended. Don't lay your purse, wallet or credit card on a countertop, shopping cart or stroller. Don't turn your attention for just one moment ‒ that's all it takes ‒ and it can be gone. Please, don't carry any more cash or credit cards than you realistically need for shopping. Consider using a belly bag or waist purse.

Keep your eyes on your belongings and your surroundings. If you feel threatened by someone suspicious, promptly get to a well lighted, populated place and phone 911. Report your location and suspicions.

ALERT:

When you are visiting a loved one at the cemetery, leave no valuables visible in the car, close the windows and lock the car. If possible, keep the car as close to your visit as is decently possible.

At some of our cemeteries (particularly St. John's) there have been instances of felony theft from unattended cars. As low a crime as this is, there are criminals who specialize in this sort of felony. They are aware that you are preoccupied with your visit and may neglect the ordinary precautions. Naturally, report any such theft to the police. In our community is a thief who watches women pedestrians from a stolen (car and plates) white Honda Civic. He will park at hydrants, double park or park at an expired meter. He spots a target victim who is near the car, jumps out, grabs the purse, returns to the car and flees. Carry your purse carefully, with the purse facing away from the street. If you are a victim, report the crime to the police. If you feel threatened, again, get to a well-lit, public location and phone 911, identifying your location and suspicions.

FEEDBACK:

Thanks to the good neighbors who have sent letters to this column, your letters were forwarded to Captain Shanley, Commander of the 104th Precinct. You may contact him directly via email at:

ADM104@GW.NYPD.ORG.

We welcome all communication from the community ‒ residents or police officials. You can email your comments to: PoliceBeat104@AOL.COM. You can mail your comments to Police Beat 104, C/O Juniper Park Civic Association, P.O. Box 790275, Middle Village, NY 11379.

Feel free to report all graffiti locations, new or old, to this column (after you call 311).

Your feedback will drive this column.