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Crime Rate Tumbles Year-to-Date

March 2, 2015 By Michael Florio

The crime rate has taken a nosedive this year throughout the 108 Police Precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

Captain John Travaglia, the commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, said that the number of reported crimes for the year through Feb. 22 has dropped 25 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

The decline has been driven by the fall in property-related crimes, with there being 22 reported burglaries so far this year compared to 37 for the same time period a year ago. Furthermore, there have been 60 grand larcenies reported this year, compared to 87 a year ago.

“Burglaries have historically been a problem in this precinct and we are down 40 percent on the year,” Travaglia said. “We are very happy to report those numbers.”

The number of robberies reported so far this year is down–from 22 to nine.

Travaglia, who was spoke at the Community Board Council meeting in Sunnyside last Tuesday, spent a significant portion of the hour-long meeting paying tribute to his officers—particular William Caldarera and Corey Sarro.

The two officers received an award for saving the life of Bruce Brooks, a 66-year-old LaGuardia College professor.

Brooks suffered a heart attack and collapsed outside the college at 29-10 Thomson Avenue. The officers, who were on routine patrol, saw the professor lying motionless on the sidewalk, without a pulse.

Sarro began performing chest compressions, while Caldarera retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts, the pair revived him and then EMS transported him to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition.

Brooks, who was in attendance at the precinct meeting, presented the officers with a plaque that he had specially made.

“How can you thank someone for saving your life,” Brooks said.

“A doctor told me afterwards that less than two percent of people who collapse on the street actually survive without brain damage,” Brooks said. “I didn’t dodge a bullet, I dodged a bomb and it is all thanks to these guys.”

Brooks’ wife, Susan Gardner, was also in attendance to thank the officers.

“I can’t tell you how wonderful these officers were to me at a time when I was truly hysterical,” she said.

Gardner wanted to get the officers a gift, she said, until she was told it was against policy.

“But I realized there is no gift I could give them as great as the one that they gave me,” she said. “They have given me a chance to grow old with my husband. So, I thank them forever.”

The day of Brooks’ heart attack was the day he was retiring, according to Gardner.

Brooks spent 10 days at Elmhurst Hospital, before being transferred to NYU Hospital to undergo a triple bypass.

Now the doctors say Brooks, who is a lifelong handball player, will be playing again this summer, Gardner said.

Despite the decrease in crime, there was a murder reported on Vernon Blvd and 50th Street last month, the first murder reported this year. A man was struck and died when his head hit the ground.

The police arrested Kaheem Addison who now faces manslaughter charges.

“The [murder] investigation was spectacular and I couldn’t be happier with the detective squad,” he said. “I am very proud of them and the work they did in solving this homicide very quickly.”

For crime statistics, click here

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bikini machine

probably all the snow, I was thinking of takng out someone last week but honesltly, who the heck wants to leave their apt when its so toasty and warm inside! Thumbs up for low oil prices!

Reply
OldenDays

This is great news. And yet, the very next time you post an article about an apartment break-in, we’ll have dozens of comments here saying the neighborhood is going to s— and complaining about hipsters. Nevermind that it’s 40% less common than last year, and probably WAY less common than in the ’80s-’90s.

People don’t like to be honest about how it used to be, or acknowledge when things are really improving. I’m not saying this neighborhood was ever really bad, because it wasn’t, I’m just saying, be careful about those rose-colored glasses. And thank your police and community for keeping on top of things.

Reply
bks37

Having grown up in Sunnyside, you are absolutely right about how much better the neighborhood is when it comes to crime. But that is true of the city in general. It is great that the 108th’s numbers are down significantly but some of that is surely weather related. Street crime typically goes down in the brutal cold just as violent crime goes up during heat waves.
I think the reason people are critical of the 108 is the lack of a physical presence in the neighborhood. As western Queens as undergone significant development, with more on the way, our precinct is stretched thin in regards to police actually patrolling our streets. Years ago most of LIC was heavily industrial with a much smaller residential population.
I think people are also frustrated when the few times you see a patrol car, it is pulled over and both officers have their heads down looking at their phones. This is department wide problem but it is just adds to a sense that Sunnyside is being neglected regardless of what the statics tell us.

Reply
OldenDays

Good point, it is the city as a whole, that’s for sure. I remember when it was dangerous to go to the Upper West Side, now that sounds like a joke to people.

What I’m reacting to is just when people see one piece of bad news and they immediately start going nuts and they forget the bigger picture. There were definitely some bad, violent crimes last year, but overall things are pretty good. You’re right about the huge population growth here and the 108 being unresponsive at times, but one reason they won’t add more officers is because…it’s actually still really safe here overall. Even with more people, crime is still going down or at least not going up, which makes it hard for us to convince the NYPD we need more patrols. They just point to these numbers and say, ‘more cops for what?’

I just hope the next time something bad happens, we can still keep our perspective and think how far the city has come.

Reply
Sunnysideposthatesme17

you guys are delusional and flat out wrong. The string of robberies JUST happened a few months ago and the cops didn’t catch anybody. Of COURSE there’s less robberies now, its EFFIN COLD. everyone is home, no criminal is gonna break into an apartment now,

jesus christ you people are stupid.

come back here in the Spring when the robberies pick up again so you can be reminded of your idiocy. Still no cops patrolling Sunnyside. only a matter of time once the snow melts.

Reply
OldenDays

If you could read the article, you would have seen they are comparing it to the same period last year. It was also very cold then, if not colder.

Of course we will see more robberies in the summer. I’ll be out enjoying myself while you cower in the corner of your apartment.

bks37

Delusional ? If you lived anywhere in NYC during the last 30 years of the 20th century, you know how much the crime levels have been reduced. Of course, there will be crime in any major metropolitan area. Perhaps as Sunnyside has grown more affluent, it is being targeted.
I will not argue that Sunnyside might be get the short end of the stick regarding a strong police presence. More money in LIC and more crime in other areas of the precinct contribute to Sunnyside being a low priority.
Of course the cold affected the numbers, but the 108’s numbers were approximately 10% better year to date than our neighboring precincts, the 114 and 115.
I know calling people stupid is how you get your jollies but, isn’t this a bit of the pot calling the kettle ?

Silent majority

You really are a troll aren’t you? Did you ever think you may have a chemical imbalance in your brain. Maybe there is some medication you can take. If not just off yourself!

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