Cops Set Gun Buy-Back Program
The 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, working with the Queens' District Attorney's office, will be taking part in a guns for cash program next month. That announcement was made by precinct's the commanding officer at January's Precinct Community Council meeting last week.
Deputy Inspector Brian McMahon spoke about the buy-back program, the rise in gun arrests and that one of the precinct's own became a victim of violent crime as he addressed the crime statistics for the first month of 2009.
"Gun arrests are way up already - 20 versus 3 [in 2008] … twenty gun arrests tells you there's still a tremendous amount of guns out there," said McMahon.
In February, with assistance from the district attorney's office and other units, and sponsored by Councilman James Sanders Jr., the precinct will take part in a cash for guns program. Sanders' office has announced the date of February 21 for the buy-back, but locations and other information are still being worked out.
Besides getting the guns off the streets, McMahon talked about other benefits and restrictions to the gun buy-back.
"If you have any old guns lying around the house, you can get some cash when you cash them in," he said.
"Shot guns and rifles we don't give any money for unless they have been modified."
McMahon went on to say it is an excellent opportunity for older people who were in the military and former police officers to turn in weapons that have been in their possession for years and in return receive monetary help.
The gun buy-back announcement came as McMahon reported a drop in major crimes for the beginning of this year. The CompStat statistics report released the Sunday after the meeting, for the week ending January 25, shows a more than 27 percent drop in crime for the precinct with 29 index crimes reported as opposed to 40 for the same time in 2008. CompStat tracks the seven major crimes as defined by the New York State Penal Law Definitions. Rape, burglary and grand larceny auto show increases from last year; while murder, robbery, felonious assault and grand larceny are all down.
"The burglaries are mostly commercial van related," said McMahon.
While the drop in crime is good news for the precinct, the 101 is still reeling from the stabbing of Sergeant Timothy Smith as he answered a call concerning an emotionally disputed person on January 15.
"The individual came out of the bedroom with a knife and he stabbed the sergeant in the eye," McMahon said.
Smith, who is currently in Bellevue Hospital, lost his eye and sustained brain trauma and bleeding on the brain.
"I don't think he realizes how much trouble he's really in," said McMahon. "There's a chance he might have some brain injuries."