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111th Community Council Setting Up Civilian Patrol in Wake of Burglary Spike

Group hopes local civic groups will volunteer members to take part in patrol with break-ins on the rise.

The 111th Precinct Community Council is seeking northeast Queens residents to take part in a civilian patrol following a recent spike of burglaries in Bayside.

At Community Board 11’s Dec. 3 meeting, 111th Precinct spokesman Bill Conway said that a whopping 20 burglaries had taken place within a week’s time. Most of the incidents took place between Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway.

The precinct was also up from 149 burglaries in 2011 to 197 this year so far. Conway said the burglars were getting in and out of homes within minutes, searching through mattresses, dresser drawers and closets.

Jack Fried, president of the 111th Precinct’s community council, said his group was now attempting to convince local civic groups and northeast Queens residents to take part in a civilian watch group for Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck.

“They are not vigilantes, but just local residents driving down the street looking for things that appear to be problems,” Fried said.

Members of the patrol would use their own cars and cell phones and would report anything suspicious to the precinct.

Police would notify patrol members of things to look for, such as a particular license plate number or a vehicle idling with the lights off.

“It’s a secondary pair of eyes and ears for the police department,” Fried said. “We’re trying to stimulate the community to start something like this. We’ve had a tremendous spike in burglaries and the police have made arrests. But this would give police a helping hand in capturing these criminals.”

The NYPD would train members on what they would be allowed to do and what not to do while patrolling.

Fried said the precinct has been receiving calls from residents about the patrol, but nothing has been officially set up yet.

“It’s created a little excitement within the community and people are becoming interested,” he said. “If one or two civics get involved, maybe others will follow suit.”

He said the patrol would be the most cost effective method of handling the recent burglary spike.

“It will hopefully keep our community safer,” he said. “To go out and hire professional security is very expensive. A patrol has minimal costs because it is run by volunteers.”

Those interested in taking part in the civilian patrol should call the 111th Precinct’s community affairs office at 718-229-5295.

Fried said he hoped the civilian patrol would remain active all year-round.

“The burglaries are what stimulated us to move forward,” he said. “But we’re not going to stop it once the burglaries are under control. We want to run this 365 days a year.”

Michael Tesoriero December 13, 2012 at 02:00 PM
About a week ago my son was leaving for school when her saw 2 strange men walking out of my neighbors yard. He new they did not belong there and called 911. The 911 operator proceeded to get into a debate with my son as to who these men might be. First she said is it possible they are from con ed or maybe they are inspecting for damage from the hurricane. Did she want my 19 year old son to approach two strangers and ask what they were doing in someones yard? Maybe we should inform the 911 operators that when someone calls to report suspisous activity in an area with a large burglary problem she should simply send the police and not debate an emergency call from a concerned citizen. My son was always taught to call 911 in the event of an emergency and the first time he does he is made to feel like a fool. Maybe this is why the burgars are having such a field day in our community when you call 911 the operator thinks they work for con ed.
THERESA December 13, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I WHOLE-HEARTEDLY AGREE REGARDING THE UNNECESSARY HESITATION OF THE 911 DISPATCHER. WOULD IT NOT BE MORE INTELLIGENT TO HAVE A PATROL CAR CHECK OUT THE SITUATION RATHER THEN LET IT GO AND EITHER A RESIDENTS HOME IS BURGLARIZED, THE RESIDENTS ARE IN DISTRESS, THE PERSON CALLING IN THE REPORTED INCIDENT IS IN DANGER? I AM NOT FEELING VERY SAFE AND SECURE NOW. I LIVE IN BAYSIDE WITHIN THE AREA SO STATED.
Carrie December 17, 2012 at 01:32 PM
We called 911 on Dec. 3 because we saw a suspcious person on our block. 911 was completely cooperative, the police came and caught the person. They thanked us for helping them do their job. Don't Hesitate if your gut tells u something is wrong.

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