Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, commanding officer of the 110th Precinct, says “they’ve been struggling a little.”
Crime in Corona is up 16 percent, he said, with the most notable increase being in burglaries, which are up by eight incidents. A major issue he told Community Board 4 members on Tuesday night was street robberies and people not being aware of their surroundings.
“No text message is that important,” Leyson said. Many people get out of the train and immediately check their phones for messages or start listening to music, which makes them vulnerable to theft.
He also noted more serious crimes such as gang violence at LeFrak City, an apartment complex housing about 14,000 people. Secondly, the precinct is looking for the suspect in a recent murder, which Leyson said stemmed from a domestic violence dispute.
“We’re one of the busiest commands in Queens North,” Leyson said. “We’re trying to do more with less.”
The precinct recently received 15 additional officers, which increases staffing to 185 — half of which are assigned to patrol divisions. These new officers replace the 15 positions the precinct has lost to promotions, attrition and moves, during the four months Leyson has served as commanding officer.
Board members brought up additional issues such as loud parties. One board member said these “go on continuously.”
Board member Rovenia McGowan raised concerns about vendors under the overpass on 111th Steet. NYPD is working with the Parks Department, Leyson said, to rid the area of people selling food without the proper licenses.
The two departments are planning a sweep of the area, he said. By coordinating the two departments he hopes that when truck drivers are asked to leave they don’t relocate close by — and if they do the other department will be on hand.
Events in Flushing Meadows Park can sometimes lead to quality of life issues, according to another board member. She said after the Cinco de Mayo event last month, she had people urinating behind her parked car.
Attendees also wanted to know more about a large homeless population in the area.
“That’s a difficult situation,” Leyson said. “Ultimately we would like to get them services, but it has to be voluntary.”
The police can enforce laws not allowing adults in some playgrounds without a child, but otherwise the individual can stay.
Also, the police can ask the person to leave, but they have to go on their own accord. In winter months, police can remove homeless people, because they may be a hazard to themselves in freezing conditions.
The summer is a different story.