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Patrol Needs Boost In Vols

104COP Looks To Revamp Outreach

The 104th Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) is taking new steps to boost its membership and improve patrol communications, volunteers learned during the group’s meeting last Thursday, June 19, at St. Pancras Hall in Glendale.

The group’s president, Frank Kotnik, stated his disappointment about membership, especially pertaining to a recent barbecue held for members that saw a very low turnout.

Currently, 104COP has 67 members, out of some 170,000 residents in the 104th Precinct, according to Kotnik.

First Vice President Mark Pearson is heading up 104COP’s membership and recruitment programs and hopes to at least double the total members over the next two years.

Pearson plans on rebranding the group, getting away from the old “boys club” look of staged photo opportunities and award ceremonies. Instead he wants to attract younger members by tapping into social media tools such as Twitter (which they currently have) and Facebook.

He also plans on revamping the 104COP website and using it as a blog and posting more candid pictures that show 104COP members in action. At the same time, Pearson believes the more interesting missions and events get, the more younger people will want to join.

Kotnik, eager to grow 104COP, said, “Moving on, hopefully we will get more volunteers and make our community a safer place.

Pearson also noted that social media may be used to communicate more effectively with it’s on-duty patrol.

Currently they use a service that mass calls volunteers when they are needed. However, the call doesn’t always reach them, and if it does the information may not get properly recorded or relayed in the event of an emergency.

Pearson, said that by moving to mass texting and even utilizing social media down the road, patrols can receive real time, accurate information and refer to it when necessary.

Helping a civ-op start

The 106th Precinct will be getting its own civilian patrol that will start with cleaning up Howard Beach, according to Joe Thompson, who is starting the group and has been getting assistance from Kotnik and Det. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit.

Thompson said he’s tired of “being a coach potato” and is ready to do something.

“With everything going on in our community, I just can’t take it anymore,” said Thompson.

Thompson has been involved with local patrols in the 70th and 61st Precincts since he was 16 years old. He eventually became an officer in the 70th Precinct Auxiliary Unit followed by working with 61st Precinct Emergency Medical Services, finishing as a sergeant.

Other news

Members of 104COP did a fine job directing traffic for the Memorial Day parades in the area, Kotnik stated, noting that they were “pretty uneventful” and he said, “overall they were a success.”

Kotnik voiced his disapproval of the controversial homeless shelter proposed to be built at 78-16 Cooper Ave., saying the shelter will “not help people, and can’t be good for their dignity … it’s just warehousing.”

He noted recent reports that the proposed location is adjacent to a chemical storage facility.

While Kotnik doesn’t believe the shelter will go through, he knows Glendale will survive with or without it.

Elections for 104COP officers and directors were held and voted on at least weeks meeting. Elected as officers were President Frank Kotnik, First Vice President Pearson, Second Vice President John Wilczynski, Treasurer Camille Venezia, Sergeantat arms Raymond Hartman and Secretary Ronald Roth.

Serving as board directors are Tony DeFillippo, Krzysztof, Jon Kablack, Stephen Ficarola, Thomas Bruno, Nellie Rivera and Dieter Vey.

The next 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, July 10, at 8 p.m. at Yeshiva Godolah Seminary, located at 74-10 88th St. in Glendale. For more information, call 1-718-497-1500 or visit www.104cop.org.

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