Subway crimes are soaring all over New York City. Plans to put more police officers on trains – and stay posted at various stations – are sporadic. However, due to the shortage of Transit Police citywide, precincts across the board are scrambling to assign their officers to the “beat” of troubled stations and show a heavy presence at locations that reportedly need more security.
Fortunately, the 69th Precinct has assigned some Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) and steady sector patrol officers to keep conditions safe at the local “L” train stations in the northeast portion of the command.
NCOs Ioana Matiuta and Nicholas Ringelspaugh hosted their Build the Block meeting on Thursday, November 3rd via Zoom and updated residents on crime statistics in Sector A, which encompasses the east side of Ralph Avenue to the west side of Louisiana Avenue and Avenue D to the north side of Flatlands Avenue.
Since the sector includes two “L” train stations – Rockaway Parkway and East 105th Street – Officer Matiuta shared the precinct’s crime findings now that four officers cover the beat of highly-trafficked stops.
“We’ve found that a lot of crimes which start outside train stations spill onto train platforms and then onto the commuter trains,” Matiuta stated. “But we’ve found at both train stations that there are a lot of emotionally disturbed persons. We’ll oftentimes take those individuals off the trains and bring them to a hospital or call aid to get them resources.”
Matiuta also wants commuters to know that there is a difference between transit police and precinct police. Train dispatchers now announce stops where NYPD is available to assist at their respective Transit Bureau locations, as there is a difference in reporting a crime to your local precinct and reporting subway activity to appropriate authorities.
“Even though we have officers who cover TD 33 (Transit District 33), our officers will only stay on the platforms and patrol – they won’t leave their post within the precinct,” she said. “The city’s MTA Transit Police will actually ride the trains from stop to stop along the line and move through the system, so it’s important to know who to report a crime to depending on where it happens while you’re traveling.”
The NCOs also provided routine crime updates to the nearly 20 in attendance. The increase in house burglaries was discussed, as perpetrators are pushing air conditioners into homes and accessing properties through unlocked windows.
“These robberies are happening in broad daylight,” said Matiuta. “We had a burglary occur in the sector where the thief got away with $5,000 worth of jewelry. There were also two houses robbed on Bayview Place – it’s a much smaller street with less foot traffic, so thieves know where to target their next break-in.”
The officers recommended installing floodlights with motion sensors around your home as well as security cameras to capture any images of those trespassing on your property.
What the officers can’t control, Matiuta said, is the fact that low-level offenders who are committing “minor crimes” like robberies are put through the legal process of being arrested and processed through the Central Booking and the Kings Country judicial system and then released back into society to carry out more heinous crimes.
“It’s truly a cat-and-mouse game because we see the same people out on the street a few days after we arrest them,” she said.
The NCO Build the Block program aims to create communication transparency within each of the four sectors in the 69th Precinct. To find out when your sector meets and the borders of each sector, visit their Twitter page @NYPD69PCT.