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Murdered Man Still Unidentified – QNS.com

Murdered Man Still Unidentified

By Thomas Tracy

Brooklyn South leads the city in graffiti arrests, police officials reported last week. The news came Thursday, following an NYPD Graffiti-Stat meeting. Graffiti-Stat, much like Comp-Stat, catalogues graffiti vandalism complaints and reports as well as arrests, keeping commanders accountable for their precincts. Lt. Steven Mona of the NYPD Graffiti Vandals Task Force outlined the results of the meeting at a recent clergy conference with Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, held at Maimonides Hospital in Borough Park. “Brooklyn South has a high number of arrests,” he said. “But the cops in Brooklyn South raise the bar. They [the cops] have been doing it a lot longer than the rest of the city has. They were out there last year making arrests before any other command did.” Mona said that, citywide, there have been 78 felony graffiti arrests so far this year – an unprecedented number. The exact number of Brooklyn South arrests had not been released as this paper went to press. “We’re fighting to eradicate a problem that’s been around since the pyramids,” he said. The ongoing war against graffiti vandalism took a turn in the city’s favor last October when the graffiti vandal’s squad and the vandal’s task force merged and made some major changes in how graffiti reports are investigated. At the same time, the City Council voted to raise the penalties on graffiti crimes, making them felonies. The city also opted to publicize a little-known but existing reward program for any information regarding graffiti vandalism. Using $10,000 donated from the Police Federation, police are offering up to $500 for any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of a graffiti vandal. “We hope to get some convictions and run through hat $10,000 very quickly,” he said. But, so far, only one cash reward has been submitted to a graffiti tipster – for $350. “The reward is only good for convictions,” he said. “The arrests that we are getting now are still going through the court system.” Getting to the nuts and bolts of the re-energized anti-graffiti effort, Mona told area religious leaders that each precinct has at least one police officer specifically assigned to investigate graffiti complaints and coordinate his investigations with the task force and the surrounding community. All of the cops in the command have been told of the importance of arresting graffiti vandals, especially the more prolific vandals. Mona said that complaints about graffiti or tags should be made to 311. If a resident witnesses a graffiti vandal leaving a tag, they should call 911 immediately. “[911] is for in progress crimes,” he said. “If you see something happening right there and then, call 911. The police will respond much quicker.” “A lot of people think that graffiti is a victimless crime, but it’s not,” said Mona. “It has an affect on people’s psyche.” “I can sit here and tell you how safe your neighborhood and your block is, but if your block is covered with graffiti, you feel unsafe. That’s what it comes down to.”

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