The 69th Precinct Community Council held their final meeting of the year at St. Alban’s Church on Tuesday, November 29th, where plans for a safer New Year were discussed and awards were given to four special people who help make Canarsie a better community.
Council President Gardy Brazela announced that there will be a Toy Distribution on Saturday, December 17th. Families, with toddlers to age 16, can stop by the precinct at 9720 Foster Avenue between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to pick out a toy for the holidays.
Captain Khandakar Abdullah, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, wished everyone a happy holiday and said he wants to see a “safer, more prosperous Canarsie in 2023.” He is confident that this goal can be accomplished due to the tireless work of his officers. He thanked them for the “tremendous work that they do” and said that it is important to look at crime trends because violence is going down.
In 2020, there were 32 incidents of shootings in the precinct, whereas in 2021, there were 21 shootings and 20 shootings this year. “Make no mistake, every incident is one too many, and I will continue to do everything in my power to get rid of violence,” Captain Abdullah said.
The most prevalent quality of life complaint by residents is abandoned and derelict vehicles, which take up precious parking spots. Captain Abdullah said that it takes a lot of background work and coordination with row tow companies to remove these unwanted vehicles, but his NCOs were successful in arranging for 169 vehicles to be towed this year.
Captain Abdullah said that crime over the recent 28-day period is down nearly 10%. Five out of the seven major index crimes are down, but there was a marginal increase in robberies and felony assaults, of which numerous arrests were made. He was proud to say that there has been a 47% increase in gun charges this year.
He recognized two officers – Officer Dhaliwal and Officer Lau – and presented them with Cop of the Month awards for October for apprehending an individual who committed numerous burglaries all over the city, including two in Canarsie.
The captain said the officers went to the location where the burglar lives and saw him in a vehicle that had a license plate which did not match the vehicle. When they attempted to make a car stop, the car would not stop. They followed the vehicle, which was driving erratically. The car’s tire blew out, and the perpetrators ran out of the car but were eventually caught by both officers, Abdullah told attendees.
“Because of their intelligent work, because of their focus, because of their drive to prevent any more crimes in Canarsie, let’s give them a big round of applause,” Captain Abdullah said.
Dhaliwal has two years on the job, has made 24 arrests and has recently moved to the Public Safety Team. Lau has five years on the job and has made 38 arrests. Both have previously received citations for excellent police duty.
In addition to these two brave officers, Captain Abdullah recognized “two individuals in the community who are always praying for us.” He said, “They show up at roll calls, they come out during their own time to pray for the officers; they are there all the time.” He was referring to Faith Williams who he affectionately calls “Mamma Faith” and Laurine Joseph-Lofaso. “Wonderful ladies who are always there for every program, whether it’s a breast cancer walk, Halloween, Thanksgiving event or a summer program, they are there devoting their own personal time. They do it for the community, and they do it for the precinct.”
He presented both women, who are members of the 69th Precinct Clergy Council, with Certificates of Appreciation. Williams is a Canarsie resident since 1974. After a 29-year career with the MTA, she became a chaplain in 2014 and joined the 69th Precinct Clergy Council in 2016. Joseph-Lofaso joined the Clergy Council in April 2020. She is also a chaplain, as well as a marriage officiant, and performs pastoral care at Brookdale Hospital.