By Phil Corso
Crime is down in the 111th Precinct, according to Capt. Jason Huerta, who updated residents last Thursday at the Jefferson Democratic Club’s monthly meeting and provided tips on how to stay safe.
Huerta, who joined the 111th Precinct in February, said crime has fallen nearly 15 percent in comparison to last year at this time. He said there were 58 reported crimes within the current 28-day period this year, compared to last year’s 68 crimes.
In detailing those 58 crimes, Huerta said the data included one rape, seven robberies, four felony assaults, 12 burglaries, 23 grand larcenies and 11 grand larceny auto incidents.
The most notable decrease, Huerta said, was in the burglary statistics with six less reported than last year.
“Being down six burglaries is a welcome change, as we’ve been up for most of the year,” Huerta said.
The commanding officer gave advice to those in attendance at the Jefferson Democratic Club’s April meeting April 12 at the Clearview Golf Course Clubhouse, at 202-12 Willets Point Blvd. in Bayside.
He said one of the most frequent crimes in the 111th Precinct stemmed from people leaving valuable items visible inside their vehicles that attracted thieves.
“If you can, pass this message along,” Huerta said. “Don’t leave valuables in your cars.”
The 111th Precinct covers areas in northeast Queens, including Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Hollis Hills and Fresh Meadows.
Another trend in the area, Huerta said, involved burglaries.
“Sometimes there’s not a whole lot you can do when someone is intentionally targeting you,” Huerta said. “But for the most part, burglars are looking for easy opportunities, so we encourage you to invest in protecting yourself.”
Huerta said residents should consider purchasing deadbolts for their doors, home alarm systems and keeping their homes lit with motion-sensor lighting.
It was welcome advice as residents applauded the commanding officer after he took time to answer their individual questions.
“He responds because he’s really listening,” Democratic District Leader Carol Gresser said. “He wants to hear from you.”
The Jefferson Democratic Club sponsors the 111th Precinct’s monthly Cops of the Month campaign by helping to provide plaques to officers being recognized for their heroics. Club President David Fischer said it was the least they could do to help the precinct’s community council.
“It’s been a real honor for our club to sponsor the precinct’s Cops of the Month program,” Fischer said. “Their community council has been a little low on funds for the awards, so the Jefferson Democratic Club stepped up and will sponsor the program until the end of the year.”
Huerta said it was a welcomed program within the precinct.
“We all really appreciate it because we like to acknowledge hard work. It goes a long way,” Huerta said. “Some of the cops might think it’s a little corny. But once they make Cop of the Month, they bring their whole family in to see.”
Cops of the Month honors are awarded at the precinct’s community council meetings on the first Tuesday of every month, at 45-06 215th St. in Bayside.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.