BY BROOKE SMITH
Preparedness is the name of the game for the 112th Precinct Community Council.
During its most recent meeting on Jan. 20, the council learned crime prevention tips from the precinct’s commanding officer and lifesaving techniques from trained professionals.
Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison, the 112th Precinct’s commander, encouraged residents to combat potential property crimes by making it harder for criminals by locking garage doors, car doors and windows.
“People leave their bags, computer equipment and cameras visible in the rear seat. I wonder sometimes if it’s just really a crime of opportunity,” Harrison said. “You make it very easy when you leave your doors unlocked.”
Programs such as the NYPD Block Watchers initiative are also available for residents who wish to take an active role in assisting police protecting their communities. The program offers training to teach residents how to properly identify a perpetrator in the case that a crime should be witnessed.
Each block watcher is given a number to identify themselves to a 911 operator. This lets the operator know that they have some prior training with police of how to identify a person or vehicle.
The council honored two 112th Precinct members — Police Officers David Castro and Sandro Sime — as Cops of the Month for apprehending individuals on Jan. 14 who were stealing untraceable cellphones off the shelves of several Sprint and electronic stores. Harrison credited their efforts, in part, due to the help of a witness.
“We got this because they were out there and being observant,” Captain Harrison said. “When they see someone who’s suspicious they don’t keep going or turn a blind eye, they follow, they prevail and do what they have to do.”
The Forest Hills/Rego Park Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was also on hand to promote the importance of preparedness in the case of an emergency. The team urged residents to fill out and keep in their home an emergency reference card with the names of all residents in a household or the names of every resident on an apartment floor. The card also contains lines for DOB, medical conditions, medications being taken, and an emergency contact number. This allows a record to be kept of every resident in the case of a fire or other emergency.
Volunteers from the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps taught attendees how to perform CPR in the case of a medical emergency, specifically a heart attack or cardiac arrest.