Sept. 13, 2017 By Christian Murray
Crime has plummeted in the 108 Police Precinct this year, even more so than the significant decline citywide.
There were no murders within the confines of the 108 Precinct–which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City–for the year through September 3, compared to three for the same period in 2016.
This trend mirrors the decline in the number of murders reported citywide, where there were only 179 homicides for the year through September 1, down from 231 for the same period a year ago.
“We’re going in the right direction,” said Captain Ralph Forgione, commanding officer of the 108 Precinct. “We continue to see crime go down in most of the major categories.”
For the year through September 3, the precinct reported 648 major indexed crimes, down 8.5 percent from the 708 reported for the same period in 2016. Across the city, the number of major indexed crimes is down about 6 percent year to date.
Crime has been going down in the 108 precinct for a number of years. For instance, in 2014 there were 149 robberies for the entire year compared to 103 robberies in 2016 year. The number of reported burglaries in 2014 was 229, compared to 149 in 2016.
Forgione said that the former precinct commander Deputy Inspector John Travaglia did a great job getting those numbers down during that two-year period. Forgione said he is glad that the trend is continuing.
The number of reported rapes for the year through September 3 was 7, down from 9 for the same period last year. The number of reported robberies was down 20 percent for the year through September 3, from 74 to 59; felony assaults were down 2.1 percent from 96 to 94; grand larcenies were down 7 percent from 360 to 334; and stolen vehicles down 20 percent from 77 to 62.
The only category where there was an increase was in the number of burglaries. The number reported was up a little over 3 percent for the year through September 3, from 89 to 92.
Forgione said the precinct has done a good job reducing the number of burglaries in recent months. He said at the beginning of April there were 21 more burglaries compared to the same period 2016 year. He said the difference has been whittled down to three.
The precinct has been working on reducing the homeless population in recent months.
Officers have been going to sites known for being homeless hotspots with the non-profit agency Breaking Ground that provides services and shelter.
The precinct has focused on locations such as 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue, 61st Street by the LIRR tracks, Doughboy Park, Big Bush Park and Noonan Playground.
Forgione said that unless the homeless are drinking or committing some sort of crime there is little the precinct can do other than try to connect them with social service providers.