Four 112th Precinct police officers were honored as Cops of the Month at the Nov. 20 meeting of the precinct’s community council.
Officers Raymond Abear, Anthony Lomonaco, Brian Benedict and Ronald Scrimenti were celebrated for helping apprehend a notable alleged thief and recovering two loaded firearms in the month of October.
“I want to recognize the actions of these four officers of the 112th Precinct,” Capt. Thomas Conforti, the precinct commander, said. “On two separate occasions, due to their courageous acts, they managed to recover two loaded firearms off the streets of this precinct.”
The first incident occurred on Oct. 8. Lomonaco and his partners, who were all dressed in plain clothes, were on patrol and noticed a man acting suspiciously in a car.
Once the man took Lomonaco and the other officers to be law enforcement officials, he sped off in his car and threw a loaded 40-millimeter firearm out of the passenger side window, Conforti said.
The second firearm recovery happened on Oct. 18, one week after two robberies at gunpoint were reported within 20 minutes of each other on Oct. 12.
The officers patrolling the area where the robberies had occurred noticed three men acting suspiciously inside of a car.
When the officers approached the vehicle, they arrested a suspect who was positively identified as the previous week’s alleged criminal and recovered a loaded 9 mm handgun.
“Thanks to the actions of these four officers,” Conforti said, “the streets are that much safer.”
In terms of the precinct’s crime statistics, Conforti heralds the district as one of the safest in the city this year.
“I’m happy to say that we’re outpacing the entire city,” he said. “The entire city is down roughly 1 percent this year and we’re down just under 6 percent.”
Despite the yearly drop, grand larceny is up 166 percent in the last two weeks as opposed to the same time period last year. However, Conforti attributes that to the lack of crime in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“The best crime fighter out there is mother nature,” he said. “During the two weeks after Sandy, there was basically no crime reported.”
Also touched upon at the community council meeting was the Cases-for-Kids donation program, in which residents can donate backpacks and other bags, which go to foster children who use black garbage bags to transport their possessions between foster homes.
Former Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club Gov. Bob Libin spoke at the meeting, commending both Cases-for-Kids and the Lions Clubs International Foundation’s response to Typhoon Haiyan’s destructive path through the Philippines on Nov. 8, as well as the tornadoes that wreaked havoc in the Midwest last week.
“Over $500,000 has already gone out to the Philippines to help with disaster relief,” Libin said. “Thirty thousand dollars has already gone out to the Chicago area and more will be on the way.”