GPOA Warned Of Tire & Rim Thefts
On a night in which it celebrated its 100th anniversary, the Glendale Property Owners Association (GPOA) began its 101st year of service with a meeting last Thursday, Jan. 5, at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall that featured an update on crime and reports by local legislators.
P.O. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit was on hand to review the latest crime statistics and informed residents of a recent number of thefts of tires and rims from parked vehicles around Glendale.
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R ep. Bob Turner, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Assemblyman Mike Miller and City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley dropped by to not only congratulate the GPOA on reaching a milestone but to also discuss a number of hot legislative topics, including budget items and plans for the nation’s largest convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack/Resorts World New York casino in South Ozone Park.
For more information about the GPOA’s centennial celebration, see the story in our features section on Page 24.
Speaking on behalf of Capt. Michael Cody, commanding officer of the precinct, Officer Bell warned drivers to take extra precautions when parking their vehicles after the 104th Precinct catalogued five incidents over the last 28-day period in which tires and rims were stolen from automobiles in the area. The five thefts made up the majority of the eight grand larcenies which were reported in Glendale during the period.
Drivers should turn their wheels in toward the curb before shutting off the ignition after completing their park, Bell said. This makes it difficult for bandits to use a jack to elevate the automobile and gain access to the wheels.
The officer also stressed the importance of vigilance and urged residents to report any suspicious activities or persons to 911 immediately.
“If you see anybody on your street that you do not recognize, call it in,” Bell said. “Don’t think that you’re bothering us,” noting that tips from the public help police catch a criminal quickly.
He also addressed concerns about the presence of a mobile NYPD command center that had been parked along 86th Street last month. Bell stated that the unit was brought to Glendale as part of an increased presence in the area following a pattern of recent armed robberies involving motorcycle riding bandits.
“We use it as another base,” he said. “It’s just another way to have our eyes and ears” in the neighborhood.
The 104th Precinct’s mobile unit was recently taken off the street for maintenance and will be relocated to other parts of the command in the months ahead, Bell added.
Local services and security
Along with attending congressional sessions, Turner told residents that he and his staff have been busy establishing offices within the Ninth Congressional District and answering inquiries made while the seat was vacant following the resignation of Anthony Weiner last June.
After Weiner stepped down, the office remained staffed to field inquiries and grievances from constituents until a successor was elected.
“We handled a backlog of 4,000 inquiries over a three month period” while the district had no representation in Congress, he said. The office has been handling nearly 400 inquiries since Turner took the seat after winning a special election in September.
The congressman noted that he is an active member of the Homeland Security Committee and is working with its chairman, Rep. Peter King of Long Island, to ensure that New York receives the funding necessary to operate counter-terrorism programs coordinated by the NYPD.
Pointing out that there are 1,000 police officers assigned to counterterrorism duties in New York City every day, Turner said that “it’s an enormous burden to the taxpayers” of the city. He observed that while smaller municipalities across the country that are at lower risk of terrorist attacks want their share of homeland security funding, New York City should get its proper share first.
For expanded gaming in N.Y.
Assemblyman Miller publicly announced his support of an amendment to the state constitution permitting expanded gambling-such as table games-across the Empire State.
“You know, I see these buses from all over New York going to New Jersey and Connecticut,” he said. “Why not keep it here?”
He stated that the measure would be a boon to the state in the form of additional tax revenue and the creation of new jobs from expanded or new casinos created across the state.
The amendment was also publicly favored by Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his State of the State address in Albany last Wednesday, Jan. 4. Miller attended the speech and noted that a number of activists were on hand urging the governor to opposed hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) gas drilling in upstate areas.
While crediting GPOA President Brian Dooley for bringing the issue to his and the public’s attention, the assemblyman urged residents to oppose hydrofracking, which involves the use of chemicals that may spread to upstate reservoirs through runoff and jeopardize the city’s water supply.
On drilling and convention center
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo also reiterated his opposition to hydrofracking, noting that while he is not opposed to drilling, the process itself puts residents at risk.
“Water is life,” he said. “Any process that jeopardizes our quality of water is dangerous.”
Addabbo also addressed plans outlined by Governor Cuomo for the construction of a convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack which promises to be the largest of its kind in the United States. He urged that the state “proceed forward very cautiously” in making sure that the center’s creation does not negatively impact the quality of life for the surrounding communities.
“We all want to grab the business that we lose elsewhere, but the site is nestled within a community,” he said. “We have to be careful when building something that the whole world will go to.”
The senator also expressed favor of expanded gaming, but stressed that the state should also raise the legal gambling age from 18 to 21.
Looking back and forward
Council Member Crowley observed that “2011 was a good year for Glendale,” as her office helped fund a number of capital projects and improvements to local public schools and thwart proposed cutbacks to vital services.
She noted that the neighborhood boasts “some of the best schools in the city” thanks, in part, to “dedicated teachers and parents.” Crowley provided funding to various schools in the area to upgrade computer systems and make repairs to facilities.
The legislator added that, as chairperson of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, she helped successfully oppose a plan last year to close 20 Fire Department units across the five boroughs. Most recently, the City Council provided additional funding to the Fire Department to help pay for overtime costs incurred since the agency is understaffed.
Crowley noted that the FDNY is developing a new admissions test following a legal challenge and she hopes that a new class of firefighters will graduate the academy before the end of 2012.
Throughout the coming year, the Council member pledged to continue a focus on “quality of life issues” and providing additional resources toward public improvements such as the next phase in the renovation of the Glendale public library.
The next Glendale Property Owners Association meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall, located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and 68th Street.