Deputy Inspector Michael Coyle of the NYPD made his first visit to Community Board 13 on Monday as commanding officer of the 105th Precinct.
“Have I mentioned how thrilled I am to be back?” he asked, referring to his past tenure in the 105th as its executive officer.
Some of the faces at the Bellerose Assembly of God Church were familiar and for those who were not, he has a simple explanation of his philosophy for running a precinct.
“I want to treat your problems the way I would want my family’s problems treated,” he said.
Coyle said crime statistics are heading in a positive direction, though the 105th, like any precinct, has its challenges and occasional flashpoints.
One instance he cited was a recent rash of burglaries in Rosedale.
“I put an army down there,” he said. “I transferred people who normally would not have duty down there. I used auxiliaries.”
The result, he said, was the arrest of two people with suspected connections to five of the 13 recent burglaries.
He also pointed to two other suspects whom he considers “high value arrests” in connection with a series of robberies.
Gun crime, he said, has taken a steep dive.
“We’ve had eight shooting victims year to date as opposed to 17 this time last year,” Coyle said. “I don’t want to say any more because I don’t want to jinx us.”
But he did say that his officers cannot cut crime by themselves, and said civilians taking simple precautions and exercising common sense can keep themselves from becoming victims.
Some of the robberies, he said, have come in a spike anticipated with warmer weather and school getting out for the summer.
“Something that drives me crazy is a 13-year-old walking around using an iPhone or an iPad,” he said. “It says ‘I’m a perfect victim. Here I am.’”
He also said people would not believe the valuable items that his officers have reported as stolen from automobiles, including wallets, cell phones “and some people with two and three laptops left out in plain sight,” he said.
“I’ll just say that if a thief walks up to your car and sees nothing, he’ll move on to the next car.”
Business owners too, he said, sometimes do not help themselves.
“We’ve had a number of commercial burglaries where the alarm system wasn’t set,” Coyle said. “And we have plenty of videos from security systems that show if the alarm goes off, burglars leave.”
During a question-and-answer session, the inspector fielded a number of inquiries about noise complaints.
He said he has a special detail to deal solely with the issue, much of which is centered on summer parties.
He said if they receive enough complaints to make a residence or a business a chronic offender, they go on a new list.
“And when we get a complaint about any address on that list, a supervisor is required to go there and address it,” he said.
Coyle said in terms of loud parties, residents often can help the precinct help them.
“You know where parties happen,” he said. “You know what’s going on when someone had porta-potties delivered or puts up big tents. Let us know.”
He gave an example of intelligence they developed a few weeks ago about a party with a group that had a history of rowdiness and violence from similar events.
“We went there and shut that party down before it even began,” he said.
Coyle also said his officers are not phased by mammoth speakers that can keep entire neighborhoods awake at night.
“I’ll be happy to seize those once they start shaking a neighborhood,” he said matter-of factly.”