Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Update from January's 76th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Last week the 76th precinct held its first meeting of 2015. Though controversial issues have thrust NYPD into the headlines recently, the vast majority of the agency's fine work goes under-reported and under-appreciated.  Thankfully, the packed room of attendees - including State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilman Brad Lander, and representatives from both Councilman Carlos Menchaca and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz - made it clear the our community greatly appreciates the work of Captain Justin Lenz and his officers putting themselves in harm's way for our safety.

Recapping 2014 included many positive highlights within the 76th precinct including
- Crime is down by 1.6% when compared to 2013. (633 crimes in '14 vs. 643 in '13)
- The 76th had had the 5th lowest overall crime across precinct's city
- There was a 19% drop in robberies in the 76th precinct. (85 such crimes in 2014 vs 105 in 2013.)
- There were 5 local shootings in 2014 (including 1 homicide in Red Hook, where the community offered tremendous support and tips to detectives)
- The category accounting for the biggest share of local crime was grand larceny. This includes identity theft, fraudulent checks, scam emails etc. Without these incidents, the 76th would have had 150 less crimes.
- There were just 6 transit crimes in the Transit District 30 area.
- Public Housing areas saw reduced crime as well: 91 in Red Hook houses and just 40 in the Gowanus houses.
- Vision Zero focus key for Captain Lenz.  Both vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries were down 10% when compared to 2013. Also more officers were trained to do speed enforcement and that meant there was 122% increase in speeding citations (288 in 2014). Capt Lenz also noted a 36% increases in failure to yield infractions, and overall more enforcement of bike lane blocking and double parking.
- What was especially interesting was hearing him say "I took away officers discretion to NOT get involved." They can use their judgement whether or not to issue the ticket but he said he wanted them to always get involved when they saw a potential hazard and so there were plenty more double parked cars that officers simply cleared away without stopping to write tickets.
- The precinct will only be getting 6 new officers from the newest class of recruits.
- This year will have 50 school crossing guards (over 47 last year).

Next month's community council meeting will again be at 7:30pm, February 3rd at the precinct.

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