Walking Into Road Danger

Pedestrian Woes Top 106th Council Meet

Pedestrians were faulted for causing at least half of the accidents in the 106th Precinct’s confines, the force’s executive officer told the 106th Precinct Community Council during its meeting last Wednesday, July 9, in Ozone Park.

Capt. John Ganley, who leads of its traffic bureau, explained that after careful analysis of accidents in the past 28 days, it was found that pedestrians were at fault 50 percent of the time.

Each accident undergoes a very detailed evaluation in order to fully understand the incident and accurately conclude the reason for the accident, explained Ganley.

This news come in light of concerns that only drivers are being blamed, not pedestrians.

Despite an increase in accidents and injuries, Ganley said the 106th Precinct is “very active in the Vision Zero program.”

He illustrated the three “E’s” of traffic: education, enforcement, and engineering. While enforcement is important, both drivers and pedestrians need to know what to do and what not to do on the roads.

Officers of the 106th Precinct will take to foot, passing out literature to pedestrians at hazardous intersections and educating the public on proper crossing procedures. Ganley said they also form partnerships with local businesses, providing them with literature to put in the store windows.

“Knowledge is power,” the captain said.

The precinct is up in summons for all six categories that Vision Zero focuses on, which includes speeding, running red lights and stop signs, improper turns and cell phone usage while driving.

The executive officer cited many injurious accidents to not wearing seat belts and strongly advised the room to do so, saying it does save lives.

Fighting break-ins, noise

The 106th Precinct has seen a slew of car break-ins, with eight in Howard Beach, which could have been avoided had the vehicles been secured, according to Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the force’s commanding officer.

“If you secure your car doors, chances are you won’t be a victim,” said Schiff.

Approximately 95 criminal court “class C” summons were issued last month for noise, and equipment was confiscated, according to Schiff, who is leading an aggressive attack on the 106th Precinct’s longtime noise problem.

Last month in Operation Silent Night (#operationsilentnight), residents could tweet Schiff noise complaints and he would personally show up with officers trained to use a sound meter and, if necessary, take enforcement action.

Frank Dardani, the council’s president said, “Word needs to travel that equipment is being confiscated and there is no tolerance [for noise].”

On July 4, the precinct dealt with 130 firework or noise complaints which did not include other incidents in the area.

Cop of the Month

P.O. Matthew Peters received the Cop of the Month award for assisting a 68-year-old man being robbed. Upon a disturbance call, Peters found the perpetrator and arrested him. He found what was thought to be a gun, which turned out to be a painted water pistol.

Peters received a plaque donated by the Times Newsweekly in recognition of his efforts.

Notable arrests

– Two males, 15 and 16 years old, were recently arrested for robbing a cellphone from a 16-year-old.

– Gary Grave, male, 51, was arrested for shoplifting electronics. He was on parole and had 102 prior arrests.

– A woman called in a home evasion, claiming a man broke into her house, chased her up the stairs to her bathroom, where she was punched in the face. After an investigation, police found it was a false report and the woman was arrested.

According to Schiff, crime is down 2 percent overall for the year. Robberies are up 28 percent, with 23 last month.

Legislators’ report

City Council Member Eric Ulrich commended the 106th Precinct on an outstanding job. He said the city budget was completed on June 26 at 2 a.m.

Ulrich stated, “Our community did receive a substantial amount.”

He noted that $75,000 was put towards renovating the community room and lobby at the 106th Precincthouse and $25,000 was allotted to graffiti clean-up which will be used for the monthly maintenance of main corridors.

Finally, a representative for Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder said $150,000 from a state library grant will be given to Ozone Park Library to upgrade the branch and make it more modern, efficient, and comfortable for its users. Also, Goldfeder will be pushing the MTA to increase bus service to the Rockaways, catering to an increased summer volume.

The 106th Precinct Community Council will not meet in August. Its next meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday night, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. at the Ozone Park stationhouse located at 103-53 101st St. For more information, call the 106th Precinct Community Affairs Unit at 1-718-845-2228.

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