Canarsie residents gathered at St. Alban’s Church for the monthly meeting of the 69th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday, October 25th, where subway crime and smoke shops were some of the many topics discussed.
Captain Khandakar Abdullah, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, thanked everyone who attended the precinct’s Breast Cancer/Domestic Violence walk in Canarsie Park on Saturday, October 22nd to raise awareness for both important causes.
With everyone nervous about taking the subway these days (subway crime has increased over 40% this year), Captain Abdullah made an announcement that should calm some people’s fears. Effective October 25th, two additional officers were added at both the Rockaway Parkway and East 105th Street stations on the “L” line. The officers will be on duty during rush hour (from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3:30 to 8 p.m.). They will stay on the platform, where the conductor stops, so they can address any situations that may arise.
Smoke shops are a growing concern among Canarsie residents – and the robberies and crime that are associated with them. Abdullah said that there are 10 smoke shops in Canarsie (three on Rockaway Parkway, three on Avenue L, two on Glenwood Road and two on Flatlands Avenue).
“It’s not the easiest thing for police to do an inspection of these shops because unlike licensed locations such as state liquor authority licensed locations, we can’t just go in and start inspecting them. There are rules and stipulations that we have to follow,” he explained.
The captain plans on having Community Affairs Officer Sammy Maria reach out to all the smoke shops to schedule in-person meetings. “If there is a location that continues to be a problem, we’ll take other measures,” he said, referring to administrative agencies, such as the Sheriff’s office, that can address any issues.
Crime is down in most major categories over the recent 28-day period, except for Grand Larceny Auto, which could be prevented if people did not leave their cars running and unattended. Problematic areas include Rockaway Parkway, south of Seaview Avenue, and Flatlands Avenue, near the 80s, specifically by Peppa’s restaurant, where cars double park to pick up food.
Shootings are down 66% over the 28-day period (three shootings last year versus one this year), and there has been an impressive 50% increase in gun charges (127 this year versus 85 last year) and a 26% increase in gun recoveries. Abdullah credits this to precision policing…“targeting the people who are causing problems day in and day out – and the hardworking, dedicated men who are bringing the people causing chaos in the community to justice.”
Two of those hardworking men received Cop of the Month awards – Police Officers Andy JeanClaude and Travis Smikle, both who are assigned to the Neighborhood Safety Team, which addresses violent street crimes, specifically the use of illegal firearms. Abdullah said, “Between both officers, they are responsible for over 30 gun arrests within the past two years.”
Officers JeanClaude, a Blue Chip mentor, and Smikle both knew at a young age that they wanted to become police officers to make a difference in the community and be positive role models for young males.
On September 19th, the officers were on patrol in the Breukelen Houses when they saw a black BMW sedan with Minnesota license plates and excessive window tints heading southbound on East 108th Street. The officers conducted a vehicle stop, and after checking the VIN number, discovered that the car was stolen from New Jersey.
“The operator of the vehicle was placed under arrest for grand larceny of auto and upon an inventory check of the vehicle, a loaded 9 mm Taurus was recovered inside a fanny pack in the front passenger seat,” Abdullah said.
The next meeting of the 69th Precinct Community Council will be held on Tuesday, November 29th at St. Alban’s Church, 9408 Farragut Road.