Thursday, June 26, 2008

Katz Swears Members in at 112th Precinct's Community Council Meeting

By Conor Greene

This month's meeting of the 112th Precinct's Community Council included a presentation honoring the Cops of the Month, and a swearing in ceremony led by Councilwoman Melinda Katz.

Members of the precinct’s anti-crime team were honored for turning down that a suspected drug dealer tried to offer them in exchange for letting him go, announced Captain Tamola. On June 3, the unit arrested a man for selling marijuana. While being taken into custody, the suspect asked the officers if they could “work this out” and offered them $2,000 cash to drop the charges.

The unit’s sergeant told the captain about the offer and said he got the perpertrator to repeat it on tape. The suspect was found to have $53,000 on him at the time, said Captain Tamola. “He really wanted to get out of it,” said Captain Tamola. “In this day and age, the officers showed tremendous, tremendous integrity... These are my crime fighters. They have to be smarter and know where crimes are being committed.”

Officer Demitrios Raptis was also honored this month after taking a disorderly person who stabbed him into custody. On June 6, Officer Raptis responded by himself to a report of a suspicious person hanging out in a park. Without waiting for backup, the officer approached the man, who turned suddenly and stabbed the officer in the chest.

“His vest stopped the knife from piercing his body,” said Tamola. Officer Raptis then chased and caught the suspect, who has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer. “Sometimes, it turns out they are a really bad criminal,” he said. “That is our biggest fear as a police officer.” After Raptis received his award, Tamola told him to change out of his dress uniform “and get back out on the street.”

Captain Tamola reported that the precinct has seen the largest drop in overall crime so far this year within the area covered by Borough Patrol Queens North, with a twenty percent decline. That ranks the 112th Precinct as the fourth best in the city in terms of overall crime decrease.

“I owe all that to the hard work of the men and women of the 112th,” he said, also crediting the framework left behind by former commanding officer, Captain Richard Napolitano, who is now commanding officer of the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst. He also thanked the residents who support the community council each month. “The people in this room are the ones helping us,” he said.

Councilwoman Melinda Katz and her newborn son Carter stopped by to help swear in the council’s executive board members. “Just so you know how dedicated I am to the 112th Precinct Community Council,” she said after arriving amidst a rainstorm. “I guess he should get used to it now,” she added about Carter’s public appearance. She joked that Carter was born six weeks early, at which point giving birth was “not on my schedule.”

She reported that after being born premature, the baby is doing great and now weighs seven pounds. Katz, who is eyeing a run for the city comptroller’s position when term limits force her out of the City Council next year, told the audience that she is in the middle of the budget process, which is due to be voted on June 26.

“Every year you hear the horror stories about cutting senior program, and cutting education,” she said. “It scares people, but the council is fighting for a lot of this stuff.”

She swore in the following board members to new terms: Heidi Harrison Chain, president, Alan Hackman, vice president, Gail Gordon, second vice president, Todd Reisman, treasurer, Renee Lobo, secretary, Karen Mongiello, sergeant at arms and William Engel, assistant secretary.


Anonymous said...

It would be nice if the community council would mobilize against the illegal nightclubs for the Bukharan community that dot Queens Boulevard. All calls to 311 and the 112th precinct are ignored, and Melinda Katz herself approved the conversion of the historic Trylon Theatre. These nightclubs are a serious quality of life issue; they depress property values, make life difficult for surrounding residents and are a general neighborhood scourge. Unfortunately, most city agencies suffer from corruption, and it's been rumored that people in the Department of Buildings and Environmental Protection have been paid off to look the other way.

Anonymous said...

Things are not the same since Debbie and Dave left Community Affairs (sigh).