By Howard Koplowitz
Southeast Queens residents complained some members of the community have received unfair treatment from the police and urged them to use a more cordial tone while walking the beat during a meeting last week set up by state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans).
A Cambria Heights resident who attended the Operation Safe Southeast Queens meeting said residents were getting pulled over for tinted windows and he said one motorist was given four tickets for each window that was too darkly tinted.
“I just think that’s a bit over extreme,” the resident said.
Lt. Donohue, of the 105th Precinct, said the law is that car windows have to let in at least 70 percent of light for them to be legal and that the percentage applies to the front two windows and the front and back windshields.
Donohue, who said he uses a meter when he stops a car with tinted windows, said auto shops may carry three shades of tint, but cautioned residents that even the lightest shade is usually illegal.
Another resident complained of officers stopping youth on the street when they are minding their own business.
“Why can’t they walk down the street if they want to? He’s not a dog. He doesn’t have to come just because you say to come here,” the man said.
Donohue said the reasons for the questioning is because officers are stationed in problem areas in the command or at locations where problems may be brewing, such as Springfield, Linden and Merrick boulevards and Jamaica Avenue.
“We want people to be engaged in fruitful activity that will be positive,” Donohue said.
A community affairs officer from the precinct said there is a program called Community Partnership that takes rookie officers to meet clergy, elected officials and religious groups in the neighborhoods they patrol so they can get a feel for the community.
“They are getting some training,” the officer said. “It’s not like they’re thrown to the wolves.”
Deputy Inspector Charles McEvoy, of the 103rd Precinct, said the precinct is improving its crime numbers this year, although stolen cars and grand larcenies in the Jamaica Avenue shopping district are what the precinct is watching out for.
“We’re starting out the year really well,” he said. “For some reason, January is a very slow month for shootings.”
He said the crimes occurring in the precinct in 2012 are “nothing that’s alarming that we can’t get under control.
“All my indicators do show we’re going in the right direction,” McEvoy said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.