Nov. 13, 2023 By Anthony Medina
The 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) is in desperate need of drivers, volunteers and funds.
At the final meeting for the volunteer organization on Thursday, Nov. 9, held at Christ The King High School in Middle Village, the group remained in high spirits, despite being continuously challenged by the many hardships faced throughout the year.
The group’s need for aid in acting as the watchful eyes of Glendale and the surrounding neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood remains paramount. A state grant was approved for the group giving upwards of $2,000, but the rest of the funds are held up by the city and the necessary forms for fiscal year 2023 are awaiting resubmission approval, according to 104COP.
Money given to the group would reimburse many of the fees involved in running an observation patrol such as gas for drivers. The tightening of funds also forced the group to band together and pay out of pocket for their annual December celebration.
Despite its financial hardships and low volunteer turnout, 104COP continues to provide its services to civic groups and locals in the nearby neighborhoods it serves.
In one major event covered by the group in October, 104COP helped secure Myrtle Avenue for the Glendale Kiwanis Annual Halloween Parade. Hundreds of locals came out to this year’s parade, with a costume contest ending the festivities later into the night.
104COP members Ronnie Roth and Thomas Studley also completed the six-week course of the NYPD Civilian Police Academy in October, which acted more as a recap for the two experienced patrol volunteers.
Looking ahead, 104COP members expect to attend the Christmas tree lighting event at the Glendale Veterans Triangle on Sunday, Dec. 3. Tree lighting events happen throughout December and should be announced by event organizers this month.
President Elizabeth Delacruz then gave her report on the latest happenings in the area and within the 104th Precinct. At the same time last year, Delacruz made it her mission to attend as many community meetings as possible to stay informed of what goes on in the neighborhood and her success didn’t go unnoticed.
Mention of another meeting from the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) civic group by 104COP member Agustin Lopez, who also aided in the group’s presence at community meetings this year, was revisited after hearing word from the 104th Precinct on crime patterns in the area.
The 104th Precinct also secured funding for an AirTag distribution event in response to grand theft auto incidents and an increase in robberies within the precinct’s confines, according to 104COP membership.
Additionally, the group mentioned of the 104th Precinct pilot program that’s sending traffic enforcement agents to answer illegal parking 311 complaints.
Guest speakers for the night included Eva Grech, the community liaison for Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. She announced multiple upcoming events hosted by the legislator for this month and December.
On Friday, Nov. 17, Addabbo will host a job fair with over 60 representatives from employers at Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park. His office is also accepting coats for the New York Cares Coat Drive this year.
Delacruz offered some final key words for members and prospective members thinking to join the group.
“This is my motto: I don’t need to be with my uniform on patrol to be the eyes and ears of the community,” she said. “When you’re driving home or running errands, or whatever, always, always think as a member.”