Commander Details Efforts In Bushwick
The 83rd Precinct is battling back against car thefts and burglaries in Bushwick, its commanding officer told residents at the Tuesday, May 15 meeting of the 83rd Precinct Community Council in the command’s stationhouse.
“It’s pretty much the same as when we met last month,” said Deputy inspector Anthony Tasso, the precinct’s commander. “We’re having a difficult year in crime so far.”
The precinct is up 16 percent so far this year, with assaults and car thefts driving the increase.
While the NYPD has made “great strides” in combating auto thefts, the command is up about 20 thefts in 2012.
Motorcycles and mid-’90s Nissan Maxima models are the most targeted vehicles, with some criminals attempting to swap out cycle parts to claim them as their own.
As for the Maximas, the cars are being used for joyrides or sold for scrap metal. “They’re easy to steal,” Tasso warned.
Car break-ins have also risen, although the command has made “some good arrests” in the past month, said Tasso.
Robberies are down in the precinct; however, burglaries are up, particularly in the southern end of the precinct, where foreclosed and vacant homes are being looted for their fixtures, which are sold as scrap metal.
In the northern portion of the 83rd, crooks are breaking into homes through the rear and stealing electronics and phones. Tasso reminded residents to keep their windows and doors closed and to properly secure their air conditioning units to prevent burglars from dislodging them and entering the home.
“A lot of these burglars are opportunistic,” Tasso explained, urging the crowd to “secure your residences.”
“If you see something suspicious,” he added, “please call us.”
The precinct also continues its enforcement of area prostitution and issues in local nightclubs, with one “illegal social club” recently broken up.
Turning to manpower, Tasso announced that the precinct has, as expected, lost one of its two IMPACT zones-specifically the southern zonebut had gained eight officers to the precinct who will be deployed to the area previously covered by that zone.
P.O. Daniel Lapommeroy and Sgt. Tony Caggiano of the Patrol Borough Brooklyn North Community Affairs Unit gave the crowd an overview of what the precinct is doing to combat bullying.
“As you know across the country, bullying has been a big issue,” said Lapommeroy, with students harassing other students through social media (a phenomenon known as cyberbullying).
Some parents may not even know that their children are using the Internet to bully others.
Children are told to go to an adult if they are getting bullied, whether it is their parents or a school teacher.
“If you know your child is getting abused,” he added, “you have to make an appointment to go down to the school to talk to the principal, and have the police department come by too.”
Caggiano told the crowd about several programs available for local students ages 40-16 that offer “physical and mental training,” such as the Explorers program.
Caggiano and Franco also announced that the 83rd Precinct is looking to set up a Block Watcher program in the area.
(Editor’s Note: the 112th Precinct went through a Block Watcher training presentation at its meeting on Monday, May. 14. See the story on Page 14 for more information.)
Robert Camacho, who heads Brooklyn Community Board 4’s parks Committee, thanked the 83rd Precinct-and P.O. Damarys Franco of the precinct’s Community Affairs Unit-for working to enforce the rules at Bushwick parks and for helping out during a recent Bushwick Little League parade.
Eric Fleischman, Irma Lewis and Lorena Herron of the Institute for Community Living came to introduce residents to their program, which offers living spaces to families or single residents who have mental or developmental issues or substance abuse problems.
According to Herron, the agency works to “put them back in the community.”
“You have folks that are coming from such challenges in life, such pain and hurt, and put them in these programs and watch them just blossom,” she added. “It’s a really great program.”
It was announced that Det. Dennis Diaz of the precinct’s Community Affairs Unit is retiring.
The precinct’s June meeting will be a meeting between local youths and 83rd Precinct officers. While the precinct council had considered a space outside of the stationhouse, the meeting will indeed take place inside the 83rd Precinct stationhouse at 480 Knickerbocker Ave. on Tuesday, June 19.