Goldfeder Says More Cops Are Needed
In response to rising crime statistics and increasing concerns from local communities, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder has called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop ignoring the problem and give the NYPD the tools and resources they need to be successful in keeping our neighborhoods safe. “Commissioner Ray Kelly and our local precincts do an outstanding job with the very limited resources that they are given,” said Goldfeder. “The Mayor’s unwillingness to admit that there is even a problem with crime in this city demonstrates that he is completely out of touch with our neighborhoods.” At its peak in 2001, the NYPD had a force of almost 41,000 officers, whereas today they are hovering under 35,000, which adds to the sentiment throughout Queens that there is no longer a police presence to keep the community safe, Goldfeder wrote in his letter. According to the most recent CompStat reports compiled by the NYPD, crime is on the rise in every borough across the city. In the areas of Southern Queens and Rockaway, under the authority of Patrol Borough Queens South, crime has risen more than 6 percent compared to the similar time period last year.
Specifically, the 100, 101, and 106 Precincts, which cover Southwestern Queens and Rockaway, have seen an increase in crime of almost 17 percent. In addition, according to the Mayor’s Management Report, the average NYPD response time in 2012 was 9.1 minutes compared to 8.4 minutes in 2003, a 21 percent jump. When every second counts, slow response time is unacceptable and could mean the difference between a fair or devastating outcome for a resident, added Goldfeder. “In the last ten years the number of our NYPD officers has declined. Public safety is a number one priority,” said Danny Ruscillo, president of the 100 Precinct Community Council. “Mayor Bloomberg, our communities are asking you to please bring back the number of New York’s Finest to where it was approximately ten years ago; not only will this increase public safety but will also benefit the officers out there doing the job.” “The Mayor relies heavily on his crime statistics when they are down, however asks us to ignore them when they clearly show a rise in crime,” said Goldfeder, “Our streets are not as safe as they should be and the Mayor must take immediate action to give the NYPD the personnel they need to keep our families and children protected.”
Despite the rising crime levels, southern Queens and Rockaway have seen a large population and construction boom. According to the Assemblyman, the opening of the Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, the renaissance of the Rockaway Peninsula as a tourist haven and the increase of visitors to Jamaica Bay all require the resources and attention of City Hall and the Mayor to maintain safe streets and a strong neighborhood.