The May 24th meeting of the 63rd Precinct Community Council marked an overall decline in crime within the precinct since the previous month.
“Overall, the work that the officers are doing out there seems to be working,” Deputy Inspector Rachael Kosak said. “Hopefully that stays the course, as long as they keep doing what they’re doing out there every single day.”
Held at the John Malone Center, at 2335 Bergen Avenue, the meeting kicked off with the Cop of the Month ceremony. The award went to Public Safety Officer Harry Cruz for his arrests of two citywide car thieves. One is a parolee who Cruz arrested twice in two weeks for stealing a car; the other is a local recidivist who steals cars and plates. From just these two individuals, the precinct was able to close at least five incidents.
At the same time as these thefts, though, crime has generally trended downward in the precinct since the previous meeting, where it had been reported that crime had spiked by 60%. “I don’t have too much this month,” Kosak said. “It was an overall good month within the 63, at least from my perspective.”
Catalytic converter thefts are still occurring, and the Auto Crime Unit will be holding a catalytic converter etching event at Floyd Bennett Field sometime in the coming months. Getting your car’s catalytic converter etched allows the police to trace and possibly return the auto part if it gets stolen and is then found.
People can also request catalytic converter and bicycle etchings, as well as home and small business security surveys, from the precinct’s Crime Prevention Officer Ryan Walsh, who just recently took over that position.
On the topic of car crimes, 50 abandoned and derelict vehicles were taken off the streets during this month’s tow operation, which was done as a collaboration between the 63rd Precinct and the Department of Sanitation.
A representative of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office announced a takedown of 32 gang members from two separate gangs who were committing crimes and warring against each other in the neighboring 67th, 69th, 70th and 73rd Precincts. These gang members were responsible for 13 shootings within the past year and a half. During the takedown, 19 guns were also recovered.
“We expect that this will help us have a quieter summer because we will have less of these individuals out on the streets,” he said.
The meeting also featured nominations for the Community Council’s executive board. Executive board members are elected to a two-year term and are allowed to be elected for more than one consecutive term. Only members in good standing — people who have signed the attendance book at least four times in the past 12 months — are allowed to nominate, vote and be nominated.
Current board President Greg Borruso and Treasurer Bernice Vixamar were nominated to retain their roles but were absent and could not accept the nominations on the spot. Elba Melendez and Michael Benjamin were nominated for and accepted their current positions of recording secretary and sergeant at arms, respectively. Terri Cadet-Donald was nominated to be vice president and accepted the nomination. She would replace current Vice President Nick Miller, who will be moving.
“The 63 always works hard and we all know that,” Miller said. “We appreciate that you guys come out to support.”
The next meeting of the 63rd Precinct Community Council will be held on June 28th at 7 p.m. at the John Malone Center.