2000-04-08 / Editorial/Opinion

Community-Police Partnership

Good news came this week for the 100 Precinct. Crime, as of this month, declined 23 percent for the same period year to date as last year. We are the safest precinct in the City of New York, with the exception of Central Park, which has no residents. The numbers did not fair so well in the 101 Precinct, but both Captain Scirica (100) and Deputy Inspector Morley (101) should be complimented on their dedication to making Rockaway’s streets safer. They have both proven to be exemplary leaders, who have mobilized their officers in very efficient and productive ways.

The future success of both precincts does not only lie in the hands of Scirica, Morley, or the police officers. The responsibility also is in the hands of the community. That’s right! Each of us has a responsibility in making our neighborhood safer. Now, that does not mean we’re going to be a bunch of vigilantes, armed with bats protecting our streets. We are going to be partners with police in the safest way possible. That is by communicating with both precincts, informing them of the problems faced in our neighborhoods.

How do we become partners with the police?

First is to realize that they are on our side. They are not our enemies! There are bad apples in every bunch, but to label each cop as being out there to "get us" is wrong. For the most part, and for most of the police officers, they are out there to protect us. With this understanding, we can work together with the police.

The next step is to trust the police. If you have information on illegal activity in your neighborhood, share that information with the police. Tips are very important to the police, and the more information you provide the better. The best part is you can do this without giving your name. You can provide information in various ways; stop by the precinct, fill out information forms that are distributed by the precinct, or attend Precinct Community Council meetings.

Finally, the precincts offer many programs, which are free to the public, on crime prevention. You can participate in these programs, which include safety measures for homes, apartments and businesses, anti-auto theft reduction programs, and ways to properly display jewelry and pocketbooks. Contact the crime prevention officers in the precincts and find out when these programs are offered. Finding out ways to protect yourself from being victimized can be very empowering.

This partnership between Rockaway residents and the 100 and 101 precincts can begin today. The end result is safer streets for every single resident of this community. Now, that should be all the motivation we need to join forces…






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