The 102nd Precinct is getting bigger.
Arriving late to Tuesday’s community council meeting because he was responding to a construction accident in Kew Gardens, Captain Hank Sautner, the precinct’s commanding officer, announced that 10 more officers will be assigned to the precinct at the end of this week.
“From my perspective, this is tremendous,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like a whole lot. Obviously, we want extra officers. I’m pleasantly surprised to get some out of this program. I never in my wildest dreams thought we’d get 10.”
Sautner added that the addition of new officers will allow some current cops at the precinct to take vacations and make moves to advance in their career.
Quality-of-life issues dominated the remainder of the meeting. Sautner said crime spiked in the precinct this year mainly due to grand larcenies, especially car break-ins and thefts, mainly against Nissans and Hondas.
The issue was spread out across the precinct, but especially prevalent in Woodhaven near the Brooklyn border.
Sautner announced that he assigned two officers to head a detail to patrol Forest Park. The pair will be charged with keeping an eye on safety issues in the park. In late March, a woman was attacked while jogging in Forest Park, leading to a temporary increase in police presence in the park.
“They’re going to be out there giving safety tips and enforcing park rules and regulations,” the captain said.
Updating the council on the issue of illegally parked tractor-trailers, Sautner said 204 summonses have been issued since May 25 for trucks parked overnight, especially along Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic and Jamaica avenues.
“These really have a negative impact on residential neighborhoods,” he said. “We’re trying to identify these trucks drivers to let them know they can’t take up these spots.”
The captain also heard a number of concerns about loud parties in Ozone Park. Sautner said he would look into allegations that one of the parties is stemming from an illegal nightclub on 95th Avenue.
Sonia, a resident of Ozone Park who did not want to give her last name, said twice the tires and rims from her and her son’s car have been stolen from in front of her home. She said she spotted a suspicious vehicle idling in front of her home one night a few months ago, but it was gone by the time officers arrived.
“We did make a tire-and -rim arrest about a month and a half ago,” Sautner said, but noted that the crimes that suspect was arrested for took place mainly in Woodhaven.
A resident of 101st Road in Ozone Park asked Sautner for an update on a home on her block whose residents have been causing issues. At least a half dozen residents had complained about the situation at the May meeting. Sautner said the Buildings Department and NYPD officers did gain access to the home, but no violations were issued. The resident said the people who throw parties at the home have now caught on to the police. She suggested plainclothes officers, but Sautner disagreed.
“I’m not that naive to say they’re not going to be aware of police presence there,” he said. “It’s a very small block and it’s tight over there. Sometimes I have to hedge my bets on what’s going to give me more bang for my buck and sometimes that uniform presence works better.”
He hinted that the situation would be taken care of soon.
“The people there were uncomfortable when the city came for the inspection,” he said. “Let’s put it that way.”