Crime rates drop in pair of precincts

By Daniel Massey

Overall crime in the 106th Precinct dropped almost 22 percent in the first six months of 2002 when compared to the same period last year, the second steepest decline in the entire borough, Police Department statistics showed.

Crime also was down in the 102nd Precinct, falling by more than 8 percent from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2002 from a year earlier, although rapes increased dramatically.

During a visit to Ozone Park last month for a town meeting, Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid tribute to the safer streets of both precincts, saying the crime statistics were “particularly good.”

Crime declined in every major crime category in the 106th Precinct, with the biggest drop of 41 percent coming in felony assaults. Overall, there were 795 incidents reported, compared to 1,014 in the first six months of 2001, for a drop of 21.6 percent. The precinct covers Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach.

The only other precinct in the borough that saw a larger decline in overall crime was the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway, which has been led since early this year by former 106th Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lindahl. Overall crime fell more than 37 percent in that precinct.

In the most violent crimes, there were two homicides in the 106th Precinct this year compared to three last year, and the number of rapes dropped from eight to seven.

Elizabeth Bratton, president of the 106th Precinct Community Council and chairwoman of Community Board 10, said the brighter crime statistics are due to stellar precinct leadership.

“There has been excellent management on the part of the commanding officers Capt. [Kenneth] Lindahl and Capt. [Thomas] Manzolillo,” she said. “There’s been a definite focus on maintaining the drop in crime and really focusing on the crime issues.”

But Bratton said the decline might be short-lived if manpower issues are not resolved.

“We get rewarded by getting our officers taken away,” she said. “We’re down about a dozen…which is sending warning signals out to the community.”

In the 102nd Precinct, which includes Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Kew Gardens and parts of Ozone Park, overall crime dropped 8.44 percent, with 1,095 incidents reported as compared to 1,196 the first six months of last year.

The largest decline was seen in burglaries, which fell from 288 to 207, a 28 percent drop.

The sharpest rise was in rapes, which went up 128.5 percent from seven last year to 16 in the first half of 2002. Felony assaults were up 5.5 percent and murders held steady at one.

Grand larceny crimes fell 7.7 percent and auto theft dropped 3.1 percent. Overall crime was down nearly 22.94 percent when compared to two years ago and 68.39 percent over the last nine years, the police statistics showed.

Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at [email protected] or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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