While more than a decade has passed since Police Department brass transferred mounted police officers and their horses from the stables in the 102nd Precinct to Manhattan, the precinct’s community council president has not forgotten about the cops known as Troop G.
And she wants them back.
Citing the recent attempted rape of a 13-year-old girl who was running on a trail in Forest Park, Council President Maria Thomson said at the precinct council meeting last week that Troop G should be returned to Richmond Hill.
“When you have the mounted in the park, they can go anywhere and they have a vantage point from being on a horse,” Thomson said. “They have a view of the park that a patrol car or a scooter would not have.”
“They were really effective in the park,” she added.
The precinct council members gave their unanimous support for the return of the mounted police officers.
Although Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has not responded to Thomson’s repeated requests to bring the mounted officers back to the 102nd Precinct, he has acknowledged their usefulness to the NYPD.
“These highly specialized officers cover an enormous amount of complex, urban terrain, and they play a tremendous role in deterring crime with their stately presence,” Kelly said in a press release.
µeveral residents at the council meeting expressed concerns to Deputy Inspector Armando DeLeon, the precinct’s commanding officer, and asked for his help in solving their problems.
Prior to addressing their complaints, DeLeon told the audience that he has an open-door policy.
“I have never turned anybody away who wants to come into the precinct,” DeLeon said. “Call me if you have a complaint about a quality of life issue on your block that you can’t tolerate anymore. Don’t wait until the council meeting.”
A resident complained about trucks parking overnight on Atlantic Avenue. DeLeon, while acknowledging that the situation was “a work in progress,” said it was being addressed. He noted that precinct officers have issued 81 summonses for this violation during the month.
A representative of the Briarwood Action Network complained that the construction work on Queens Boulevard by the Van Wyck Expressway has forced the closure of one of two exits at the nearby subway station, creating a dangerous condition for the riding public. He said the only exit now available to subway riders was at the Van Wyck Expressway service road and Queens Boulevard, where there is a high volume of traffic and no stop signs or traffic lights.
He asked for a police officer to be assigned to the area to ensure the safety of the riders on their way to and from work.
Another resident told DeLeon that he was concerned about a rash of recent break-ins that were occurring on 107th Street, south of Jamaica Avenue between Jamaica Avenue and 93rd Avenue in Richmond Hill.
Community Affairs Officer Joseph Martins said he had checked precinct records for the last 10 or 12 days and found no reported break-ins for that period of time.
DeLeon told the audience of two recent captures of alleged burglars by precinct officers.
He said that during the Sikh parade in Richmond Hill a resident ran to one of the officers on parade duty and told him there was a burglar in her home at 95th Avenue and 117th Street.
Several officers went to the location and apprehended the burglar in the house, according to DeLeon.
DeLeon said on that same day, precinct officers chased and captured three individuals, who he said were in the process of burglarizing a house near 95th Avenue and 132nd Street in South Richmond Hill.
A representative of Forest Park Co-ops thanked the inspector for his efforts in reducing the break-ins in the area.
However, he complained about the commercial vehicles parked overnight and cars for sale parked on the street with no plates.
DeLeon said that police action would be taken on his complaints. The inspector added that the cars would be towed if cooperation is not forthcoming from the owners.
Residents complained about an inconsiderate neighbor holding loud parties on an Ozone Park block and then being abusive when asked to lower the volume of the music. One spokeswoman said they no longer knew where to turn.
“I can’t promise that he’s going to stop giving you dirty looks, but I can promise you that we’re going to get him to shut that music off, that I promise,” DeLeon told the residents.