2002-08-03 / Front Page

Precinct C.O. Responds To Community

Precinct C.O. Responds To Community


Captain Charles Talamo, the Commanding Officer of the 100 Precinct was asked by The Wave to respond to complaints that his officers are diminishing the quality of life for Rockaway residents by cracking down on people using the beach for "prohibited" activities such as surfing and fishing. This is his response:

There are many members of this community who have requested that the police address quality of life issues that arise from the Beach area. For example, I refer to the letter addressed to The Wave editor earlier this month entitled, "Take Pride In Rockaway" from Mr. Joseph Lavalle. Mr. Lavalle’s words reflect the opinion of many others in the community when he wrote, "I realize the police are focusing on keeping the neighborhood safe, but while they are patrolling, they could also say something to those violating the boardwalk and beach rules."

Complaints have been personally related to me by our residents through; elected officials, local civic associations, via telephone, written correspondence, and in person. Issues of concern expressed by residents of Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor, and Neponsit in particular include but are not limited to parking, dogs, bicycles, bottles, cans, garbage, noise, and alcohol, as well as marijuana usage all related to our beautiful beach. In a dedicated effort to keep our community safe, and to maintain the quality of life standards these citizens of Rockaway demand and most assuredly deserve, the police officers from the 100 Precinct at my insistence aggressively police our neighborhoods attacking the complete spectrum of public safety hazards from the most minor quality of life violations, to the most serious felony.

The Parks Department rules and regulations are a versatile tool that the 100 Precinct is using to cite those persons whose behavior infringes on the quality of life of our residents. I have forwarded photographs of some of the clearly posted signs that state beach closing times. This rule along with others, is being enforced to address the complaint of noise and parties on the beach that allegedly occur after hours, not to mention the trash that is left behind.

Unfortunately, despite the positive feedback that I have received, there are some people who feel negatively impacted by the enforcement of these laws. The majority of whom have been either the recipients of summonses or their parents. Most commonly I hear phrases like; "that’s what I did as a kid", "there’s nothing else for them to do here", or even simply "but this is Rockaway!". These weak rationalizations from some do not outweigh the good of all and will not deter us from performing our duty to the community as a whole.

If the majority of the community desires adjustments to the local laws and ordinances, there are political mechanisms that exist for legislative change. Until then, the officers will continue to perform their duties professionally with a courteous demeanor and an objective impartiality. New York City Laws and Regulations will be enforced in an even handed manner equally, against all violators, whether they live, "Uptown", "Arverne", "The Hammels", or just are "Down for the Day".


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