Cops tame ‘Wild’ times at I.S. 201 – Many applaud beefed up patrols

By Lesley Grimm

Cops have beefed up patrols around one Dyker Heights middle school after citizens complained of unruly schoolchildren. Those police efforts may already be paying dividends; residents say students leaving I.S. 201 on 8010 12th Avenue are now better behaved. “We have deployed extra resources,” said Captain Eric Rodriguez, Commanding Officer of the 68th Precinct, as he addressed a recent meeting of the Dyker Heights Civic Association. The 68th Precinct recently welcomed 14 additional officers, allowing the department to conduct extra foot patrols near the school. Captain Rodriguez also reported that he recently met with I.S. 201 Principal Madeleine Brennan, and has also “walked the streets up there.” Neighborhood complaints peaked in 2006, and ranged from loitering to vandalism and littering. “They’re 12-year-old kids, so in many cases our hands are tied,” Rodriguez said. Nonetheless, just the very presence of uniformed officers seems to be paying off. Citizens who attended the recent meeting in Dyker Heights gave cops the thumbs up. “The police have really gotten on top of it,” said Fran Vella-Marrone, President of the Dyker Heights Civic Association. Vella-Marrone said her organization sent a letter in January to Brennan, encouraging her to impress upon students the need to respect the neighborhood and personal property. John Adesso lives next door to the school, and said children have thrown rocks at this home, and have also left graffiti on his property. “The kids are just wild,” Adesso said. “They were so brazen, they were taking mail!” “The police presence has done an amazing job,” Adesso stated. While Adesso was full of praise for the 68th Precinct, he cautioned “when it turns spring, that will be the real test.” Carlo Scissura, President of the District 20 Community Education Council, said officers were now at I.S. 201 during dismissal time on “most days”. Scissura said he hopes the officers are there to stay. “As a community, we have been asking for a police presence for a long time, and we finally got one,” Scissura said. “We’ve seen noticeable improvements.” Captain Rodriguez said he had no plans to scale back the neighborhood sweeps, despite the good report card. “This is going to be ongoing,” Rodriguez said. “Every year the faces are going to change.” Brennan did not return calls for comment before press time.

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