Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, told members of the Our Neighbor’s Civic Association in Ozone Park that crime has been stable in the precinct despite concerns about recent burglaries in Howard Beach that led to some criticism of his leadership.
While not addressing the issue directly, Schiff, who took over as commanding officer last fall, said crime in the precinct is slightly up for the year — just over 1 percent — because of a rash of car thefts over the winter. Most of the victims had their car stolen while leaving the vehicle running to warm it up or while unloading.
Serious crime, however, is down.
“Robberies are down and burglaries are down,” he said.
CompStat shows those have dropped 12 percent and 26 percent, respectively, as compared to the first three months of 2013. There also hasn’t been a single murder this year, compared to two by this time last year, or a single shooting, compared to four already at this point in 2013.
Schiff has faced criticism over a spree of five Howard Beach burglaries, and some have accused him of not taking the situation seriously enough.
“I always try to instill courtesy and professionalism in the officers in this precinct,” he said in Ozone Park Tuesday night. “I’m not in the business of politics and I have a thick skin. Our guys are going to do what they need to do to keep everyone safe.”
He also noted that crime had been on the upswing in the precinct since 2009.