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Residents of Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth seek transparency amid crime increase in the 104th Precinct

Feb. 26, 2024 By Anthony Medina

According to the latest report from the NYPD 104th Precinct Commanding Officer, crime is up by 6% in the neighborhoods of Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth year to date, with over 60% of all crime in the area coming from car break-ins and grand larceny cases.

“Car break-ins are a big issue in this area right now. We’re taking a significant number of car break-ins,” said Captain Karam Chowdhury, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, at a community council meeting on Feb. 20.

Chowdhury, who took over the reins of the 104th Precinct this year, warned residents to avoid leaving valuables inside their cars and to park in well-lit areas as a result of the rise in car break-ins.

The efforts of the 104th Precinct to thwart ongoing crime-related problems in the precinct continue, but residents say more needs to be done to address quality-of-life concerns. Furthermore, many of the residents spoke out in frustration about the city’s 311 service, saying that they are not being informed as to how their complaints are being handled.

104th pct CO Talks

Captain Karam Chowdhury speaks to a full room of residents and guests at the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Photo by Anthony Medina

“This year alone so far, we received close to 36,000 311 calls,” Chowdhury said, with 85% of the total number relating to traffic woes. The precinct received upwards of 40,000 calls last year in total.

The precinct is working with traffic enforcement agents who have been tasked with addressing 311 complaints pertaining to illegal parking in the area. The precinct’s collaboration with traffic enforcement officers began in November with the launch of a pilot program with the aim to tackle traffic-related issues.

However, despite the efforts from cops, attendees sought answers as to how they could better track police action pertaining to their 311 calls, including blocked fire hydrants, commercial cars in residential areas, and illegally parked vehicles.

The description given once a 311 call is closed often says: “The Police Department responded to the complaint and took action to fix the condition.”

Residents made clear they wanted to know more about what exactly is being done to solve their 311 complaints, such as whether a summons has been issued or a conversation has been had with the person(s) causing an issue.

The 311 system was among the many topics addressed at the meeting where cops were urged to take action.

The pressure for police action also came from Council Member Robert Holden, who asked police to work collaboratively with the victims of scams in his district. According to Holden, an elderly woman living alone was scammed out of $30,000 by fake roofers that ended up causing more damage to the home.

Outside of talks about crime and quality of life concerns, the 104th Precinct Cop of the Month awards were handed to two officers, PO Lyle and PO Otero, in recognition of their dedication to duty and the ideals of the community.

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