Smith Introduces ‘Operation Safe Peninsula’
One of the major features of the new program will be a monthly meeting, held every second Thursday inside the Meditation Room at Peninsula Hospital Center at 6:30 p.m., attended by officials from the 100 and 101 Precincts as well as the Queens Borough Commander, Queens District Attorney’s office, and local community leaders.
Smith says that the program is modeled after Operation Safe Southeast Queens, which was formed in 2005, and which allows residents to come to the monthly meetings and have a safe and anonymous forum to address crime issues, ask questions or provide tips to police.
“This allows people to talk confidentially with police without fear of retaliation,” Smith said. “This is a cooperative effort between the police and community. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the 8 percent decrease in crime throughout southeast Queens can largely be attributed to Operation Safe Southeast Queens. It is a model for crime prevention that works.”
The first meeting was held this Thursday before press time; however the next meeting will take place at PHC on May 13.
The presidents of the 100 and 101 Precinct Community Council were on hand to support the initiative.
Danny Ruscillo, president of the 100 Precinct Community Council, says the first thing he will push for is more NYPD Argus security cameras along the peninsula, which he believes help deter crime.
“These cameras are useful, especially with the decease in police personnel,” he said. Far Rockaway NAACP President Ed Williams says the time has come for the peninsula’s two precincts to put their anti-crime strategies together in one effort.
Smith added that this initiative brings residents together under a “veil of safety” and helps the local police maximize their resources.
“People don’t care if it is the 100 or the 101 Precinct,” he said. “They don’t differentiate the two because all someone wants is to be kept safe and that is our number one priority.”