Earl Roberts Jr. went directly to the point Monday night in his first meeting as president of the 113th Precinct Community Council.
“What is happening in the precinct with stop and frisk?” Roberts asked.
The question comes weeks after a federal judge imposed numerous checks on how the NYPD carries out the practice, and Deputy Inspector Miltiadis Marmara, commanding officer of the 113th, said all is done in accordance with laws.
“You have to use common sense,” Marmara said. He explained that the practice in the precinct, particularly with new officers, is to acquaint them with high-crime areas, or those areas known to have significant drug or gang activity.
“We train officers what to look for, like people who are flashing gang signs or who have things like gang symbols on a backpack,” he said. “ ... You have to have probable cause.”
And Marmara said the tactic, properly applied, is a useful and effective tool, noting for example, that his precinct has seized more illegal guns this year than any other precinct on the South Queens command.
Marmara said other numbers are showing that his officers are gaining ground in just about every major crime category.
“Year to date we are down 17.6 percent,” he said. “We have had four homicides this year. We haven’t had numbers that low since 1993 when we started keeping track.”
The 29 shootings are at the lowest level since 2001, while car thefts are plummeting.
“We’ve had 97 this year,” he said. “Do you know how many we had in 1993? 11,000.”
For the most recent four-week period, felony assaults are down to 38 from 51 in the same period last year, while burglaries have dropped from 38 to 31.
Three rapes were reported as opposed to zero last year, and grand larceny, including identity theft and credit card fraud, have ticked up.