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Queens Chronicle

Cops ready to tackle summertime issues

102nd Precinct to focus on traffic safety, adds patrols to Forest Park

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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:08 am, Thu Jun 26, 2014.

Be safe this summer.

That was the message Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, delivered to the community council at its Tuesday meeting at the Richmond Hill Library — the last until September.

Sautner said his officers have been, and will continue to be, cracking down on traffic infractions as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program.

“Last year we had six pedestrian fatalities in the command,” Sautner said.

A mobile command post was set up at Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, considered to be the most dangerous intersection in the 102nd Precinct.

“Anything we can do to reduce fatalities, we’re going to do it,” he said.

Simcha Waisman, of the Richmond Hill Block Association, said he was concerned about pedestrian safety along Myrtle Avenue between Freedom Drive and Park Lane South within Forest Park. The stretch of road, roughly a third of a mile long, has no lights or traffic control and is notorious for speeding. Waisman said there was a fatality there many years ago

“We should not wait for a fatality to do something there,” Waisman said.

The biggest issues as of late in the precinct have been burglaries in City Line and stolen tires and rims in Kew Gardens, Sautner said.

“City Line is difficult, we’re having some struggles over there,” he said.

Police have worked with the 106th Precinct and 75th Precinct in Brooklyn to crack down on the drug problem and burglaries — much of which are stemming from one group of people. Arrests have been made and some of those suspects have been sent to prison, but issues remain.

“We were optimistic that we cut off the head, but unfortunately there are others trying to come up there,” Sautner said.

At least five cars have had rims or tires stolen in Kew Gardens in the past week. The cars targeted were of various makes and models, but were all in the same area between Lefferts Boulevard and Forest Park north of Metropolitan Avenue.

He urged residents to use their driveways if they have them.

Sautner said he has added a third person to his Forest Park detail, which he created after a series of sexual assaults occurred there. New vehicles, including scooters, have been requested for the cops on patrol in the park.

“They’ll be going around, you’ll see them there,” he said, noting that there will be seven-day patrols of the park and a special focus on problem areas, notably around Victory Field at Myrtle Avenue near Woodhaven Boulevard, where car break-ins have been common.

Sautner told people who go to the park and see them on patrol to stop and talk to the cops and let them know of any concerns going on.

“They’re out there and they want to be approached, good or bad,” he said.

A resident who lives near 104th Street and 95th Avenue in Ozone Park complained that an auto body shop in the area is a nuisnance, revving the engines of sports cars there causing noise and odor issues for himself and other residents.

“Even the dean at [High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture] has complained about it,” he said, further suggesting that a speed bump should be placed along 95th Avenue.

Sautner said he would pay a visit to the area and suggested a traffic safety survey there.

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