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Queens Chronicle

CB 11 hears from NYPD, Constantinides

111th cop talks burglary prevention; pol touts environmental legislation

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:56 pm, Thu Feb 14, 2019.

Don’t want to be a burglary victim? Follow some tips from the NYPD.

Officer John Erdman of the 111th Precinct’s Community Affairs Unit spoke at Community Board 11’s Monday meeting about how folks can help make sure no one sneaks into and raids their home.

Those who live in apartments should make sure their street-facing common doors aren’t open, he explained.

“Make sure that door remains locked,” Erdman said.

The community affairs cop also warned apartment dwellers to make sure their fire escape windows are locked to prevent break-ins.

Other anti-crime advice is applicable to all residents of the 111th Precinct, which is one of the city’s lowest-crime commands.

“Even if you live in a safe neighborhood,” Erdman said, locking doors and making sure windows are closed is always a good idea.

The community affairs officer also told the crowd that high-quality surveillance cameras for homes are much cheaper than they were “eight or nine years ago.”

Erdman also urged the crowd to report any suspicious activity they might see near their homes.

“You know who lives on your block better than anybody else,” he said. “If you see someone walking into your neighbor’s yard who you don’t recognize, please, call 911. Let us figure it out.”

Scams remain a problem to be wary of, Erdman added.

He told the story of a 27-year-old woman in Queens who recently paid more than $17,000 in what is known as a “consulate scam.” She was told that if she didn’t fork over the money, her immigration status would get revoked.

Some of the scams ask for the money in the form of gift cards.

“No city agency, no government agency, is going to request payment ... in gift cards,” the community affairs officer said.

In much of Queens, mail fishing — when someone steals envelopes by lowering a bottle or other adhesive-covered object on a string into a mailbox — has been problematic. And the 111th Precinct hasn’t been immune to it.

Giving an update on the issue at the CB 11 meeting, Erdman said that many but not all of the mailboxes in the 111th Precinct have been retrofitted by the United States Postal Service to prevent the “fishing.”

CB 11 also heard City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection, discuss legislation he’s put forth — Intro. 1253 — to cut emissions from large buildings by 40 percent over a decade and help the city reach its aim of bringing down total emissions 80 percent by 2050.

The legislation, which is aimed at fighting climate change, has been endorsed by a long list of environmental advocacy groups.

“This bill, the environmental work that we’re doing, it matters because we are at a crossroads,” Constantinides said.

He brought up that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government recently issued reports warning of catastrophic consequences if major reforms are not soon made to radically decrease emissions.

CB 11 member Henry Euler suggested that the board pass a nonbinding resolution in support of Intro. 1253 and a companion bill, Intro. 1252, which would establish a sustainable energy loan program.

But another member of the panel brought up that CB 11 hadn’t heard from any opponents of the bills and said it should before passing a resolution. The the board referred the matter to its Environmental Committee.

At last month’s board meeting, CB 11 member John Kelly called for the panel to send a letter to the Department of Sanitation inquiring about whether the agency’s official policy dictates that snow be plowed onto sidewalks. The missive sought to urge the policy be changed if, in fact, DSNY practice is to plow onto sidewalks in all circumstances.

Kelly had brought the issue up because of snow being plowed onto sidewalks after residents had already cleared them.

At Monday’s meeting, CB 11 agreed to slightly modify the language of a draft letter to the DSNY and send it to the agency afterwards.

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