Dec. 1, 2014 By Christian Murray
The crime rate took a nose dive in November throughout the 108 Police Precinct, which covers Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City.
Captain John Travaglia, the precinct’s new commanding officer who took the top job mid November, said that the crime rate for the past 28 day period had dropped 31%, compared to the same 28-day period a year ago.
The decline was driven by the fall in property-related crimes, with there being 10 burglaries in the past 28 day period compared to 15 for the same 28-day period a year ago.
However, six of those burglaries were in Sunnyside.
The number of robberies dropped from 12 to 11, grand larcenies from 46 to 32 and stolen vehicles from 18 to eight.
The decline came at an opportune time for Capt. John Travaglia since he held his first monthly precinct meeting last Tuesday.
Travaglia takes the reins from Capt. Brian Hennessy, who was in attendance and received several awards and platitudes from members of the police community council as well as political leaders.
“It was a great honor to work in this community for the past 18 months,” Hennessy said. “The support of the community…was above and beyond what I ever would have expected.”
Hennessy was appointed to take the top job at the 115th Precinct, which covers Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.
Travaglia said he had “big shoes to fill” and that Hennessy left the command in “spectacular shape” and as a “well oiled machine.”
Travaglia said that he had worked for 22 years for the NYPD with the past seven months in the 114th Precinct in Astoria as the executive office (No. 2 in the precinct). Prior to that, he had worked as the executive officer for 3 ½ years at the 104 Precinct in Maspeth. He also spent 10 years working in highway patrol.
This is the first time that Travaglia is a commanding officer.
Travaglia said he is familiar with this part of Queens through working in the 104 and 114th
Both of those precincts face many of the same issues as the 108 Precinct, where property-related crimes are the biggest problem.
Travaglia said it was important that the police department and the community work together in order to prevent these crimes.
“I am not going to sugar coat it, we cannot solve those crimes alone,” Travaglia saoid.
“They have to be solved with the community; someone giving us the heads up, someone seeing something out of place, someone saying those people do not look right by that house, and calling us just before a burglary occurs,” he said.
“I can work in this precinct 80 hours a week—which I will be– for the next five years but I am not going to know the precinct like someone who has lived here for the past 20 or 30 years,” he said.
“Something is going to look out of place to me but it will look out of place [to long time residents] quicker.”