2011-10-07 / Letters

Going Shopping

Dear Editor,

I have spent most of my life as an admirer and supporter of the NYPD, having various family members who served honorably in their ranks, I also felt a special connection to the organization. The 100 Precinct and my recent experiences/observations with their personnel have changed that feeling. Quite simply, they are impotent in this community in terms of law enforcement, and very successful at harassing taxpayers regarding parking tickets and other minor traffic violations. Crime has skyrocketed in Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, as recent statistics have shown, while I imagine the revenue they have produced for Napoleon Bona Bloomberg has skyrocketed. Their commanding officers are obviously incompetent, their patrol’s presence invisible save for their usual headquarters parked on 116th St., bravely swooping down on cars at expired meters, and requisitioning free coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I was visiting friends in Belle Harbor recently, midweek on a sunny afternoon, when I observed two young black men, one riding a bike the other on handlebars, slowly riding up and down the block, peering down driveways. Were they paying someone a social call? Political correctness, God help me, made me refrain initially from doing or saying anything. For the next 30 minutes the two chaps circled a few block radius as if they were window shopping. This is not a comment on race or the youths; I imagine if I were born into their circumstances I might be developing the same enterprises. It was the brazen, carefree nature in which they went about it, obviously realizing, as I have come to, the police are nowhere to be found. Sitting on a porch numerous Friday nights this summer in Belle Harbor, I casually observed, for hours, not one squad car drive by. This also happens to be a busy block. Recently I was chatting with a friend on the boardwalk at 105th Street who related to me that the previous day in her building three masked men kicked in the door of a neighbor’s apartment, assaulting and robbing him. In the course of our ensuing conversation I watched an unmarked police car (black Chevrolet sedan fyi) pull over and ticket two citizens who appeared to be at least septuagenarians, and a mother with three small children in her car, for making a left turn into their complex, which unbeknownst to me, was technically illegal, but done hundreds of times a day and never enforced. Pathetic to say the least. The police I dreamed of joining as a child no longer exists, from my perspective, particularly not in the confines of the 100 Precinct. Fighting crime, solving cases and catching bad guys had a lot of appeal to me as a young man and generations of children before me. I don’t see the current local police role as glorified meter maid as having the same appeal, and that is sad. Our precinct’s current business plan as top ticket salesmen for Mayor Tom Thumbberg, who fiddles while the city burns, is an excellent strategy for alienating one of the few communities which were once staunch supporters.

FERGUS MCROY

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