Thursday, October 28, 2010

102nd Precinct CO Reflects on First Year by Stephen Geffon - Queens Chronicle

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Capt. DeLeon has been commanding officer of the 102 Pct for about a year. In that time felony crime complaints have dropped significantly. File Photo

As he reflects on his first year as commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, Capt. Armando DeLeon has a lot to be proud of.

His use of focused enforcement to reduce crime and quality of life violations in the community appears to have been successful, at least according to the latest NYPD crime statistics for the precinct.

NYPD CompStat statistics for the 102nd Precinct for the year to date show that felony crime complaints have dropped almost 6 percent compared to last year, the largest reduction in all of the Patrol Borough Queens South region.

In addition, the figures also show that for the week ending Oct. 10 major felony complaints fell by almost 25 percent compared to the same week in 2009. Auto thefts dropped 54 percent, burglaries fell 37 percent and felonious assaults went down 25 percent as well.

DeLeon said that using his focused enforcement concept means problems are identified early and are tackled right away.

“We still have a lot of work to do and there are still areas that we need to address and focus on,” he said. “But as of now I’m very happy with what we have done so far.”

Focused enforcement also relies on assigning officers with a special interest in tackling certain areas, such as noise, illegal auto dealing and loitering, for example. Those officers address the problem right away and are responsible to ensure that they do not reoccur, he said.

DeLeon also attributed the crime drop to listening to the community and their complaints and addressing them in an expeditious manner.

He added that residents believe in the 102nd Precinct, and that the police will address their complaints.

“It helps us combat crime and quality of life [violations],” said DeLeon.

Deleon said that his officers visit first-time offenders and their families and offer referrals to agencies that can help them in an effort to guide them away from a life of crime.

DeLeon said that although noise is still the number one quality of life problem in the precinct, specifically Woodhaven and Richmond Hill, it has gotten better. He said that his approach is to take it one house and one block at a time.

The captain said that when he came to the precinct there were an average of 67 noise complaints per block for a Friday to Sunday period. Now, his analysis showed that it had dropped to between 16 and 22 complaints.

Explaining the noise complaint drop, DeLeon said that police officers knock on the doors of chronic noisemakers and hand them a letter.

“That letter and that knock sometimes sends a message that ‘maybe I have to tone it down a bit,’” he said.

Graffiti is another quality of life complaint that has been addressed by 102nd Precinct officers, he said.

According to DeLeon, graffiti arrests throughout the precinct are up. He said that graffiti unit officers are able to identify tags, take photos, do research and question and debrief individuals that are arrested for graffiti violations.

Discussing scams, DeLeon gave credit to the precinct detective squad for their investigation and apprehension of two women who he said were preying on elderly men in their 70s and 80s and defrauding them out of tens of thousands of dollars.

DeLeon said his relationship with the community is great, “even better than when I first came here.”

Looking forward, DeLeon said he would like to reduce crime further in the area and continue to build a bridge to the community, a process he says has been growing daily.

DeLeon further said he will continue to use crime strategies that have shown to be successful, while implementing new ones in the 102nd Precinct.