102nd Precinct commander wants to address problems


The most recent 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting drew a larger crowd than usual, according to Community Council President Maria Thomson and Deputy Inspector Armando DeLeon.

More than 50 local residents attended the monthly meeting in Richmond Hill on Tuesday, September 20 to voice their current concerns, as well as issues they encountered over the summer.

DeLeon commenced the meeting with the Precinct’s Cop of the Month award, given to Officer Anthony Scapicchio.

Scapicchio was honored for arrests he made on September 11. During his routine walk throughout Richmond Hill, Scapicchio saw three evasive and suspicious men kneeling down by a nearby vehicle, DeLeon said. After calling for back-up and upon further investigation, Scapicchio found two loaded firearms near the wheel well of the vehicle and one man pretending to be asleep inside.

The three men were arrested. The precinct later found that one of the men had a prior murder conviction and was on parole; another had a “laundry list” of charges and close to 20 prior arrests, and the third was a known drug dealer.

One of the firearms had the serial number scratched off and the other was discovered stolen, Community Affairs Officer Joseph Martins said.

“It was clear they were going to do something bad, whether or not it was related to 9/11,” DeLeon said. “Officer Scapicchio was able to stop it before it happened.”

DeLeon then addressed residents’ concerns about nearby break-ins on 107th Street and the slow response time of 9-1-1 calls.

Martins said there were no robberies on 107th Street after a 10-day observation period, which was held after a resident expressed concern that his neighbor had a door kicked in.

DeLeon then explained how the precinct has limited resources and that all calls are answered according to high priority.
“If you’re waiting five minutes and it’s an emergency, I understand it’s going to feel like an hour,” he said. “We will answer your calls, but it may not be as fast as three or four minutes.”

The majority of complaints residents made were about increased noise pollution in the area, especially over the summer. At least three different residents said they ran into altercations with neighbors who were playing loud music outside. In two cases, the neighbors became confrontational and threatening.

DeLeon asked the residents to never confront their neighbors and to call the precinct instead.

“It can become more dangerous for you if you’re no longer anonymous and they know you’re the one who called the police,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, DeLeon asked the residents to call him directly so that he may address issues as soon as possible.

“If you run into a problem tomorrow, don’t wait until next month’s meeting to tell me,” he said. “I have never turned away a single person who walked into the precinct to talk to me about any issues they may have. Not once.”

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