Nov. 22, 2023 By Anthony Medina
Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the commanding officer for the 104th Precinct, reflected on nearly a year of combating crime and other quality-of-life issues during the precinct‘s community council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
About 16 guests attended the last meeting for the year inside the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church, in Glendale. In addition to being able to speak with the leadership of the 104th Precinct, residents were also reminded of what to expect moving forward.
“We would be down in crime this year if not for auto theft, grand larceny auto,” Coleman said. “For the year we are up 20% in auto crime.”
The issues with increased auto-related crimes spread across all the neighborhoods of Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Glendale, Coleman added. He urged residents to remember to lock their car doors, not to leave their keys in the car and to check with auto manufacturers for faulty locks that need replacing.
Coleman went on to address issues with crooks and thieves riding motorbikes, mopeds and scooters. He mentioned the arrest of a suspect who robbed a man in Ridgewood in October. In September, a duo allegedly robbed Ridgewood residents during the early morning hours.
Another robbery involving members of the men’s shelter on Cooper Avenue, in Glendale, was also mentioned by the CO, based on their targeting of delivery workers. He did recognize the shelter workers for collaborating with police to apprehend the residents.
The 104th Precinct shared its endeavor to rid the streets of moped riders on its social media accounts earlier in the year. Coleman reiterated that getting rid of the moped riders solves the safety issue and quality-of-life issues with reckless riders.
Despite some of the challenges faced, Coleman did share how this year was certainly better than the last.
“We up in crime only 2.7%,” Coleman said. “Last year, was a very rough year. I think we ended the year with 20% to 21% and this year, we still have our challenges and so on, but I think we are heading in the right direction.”
For the year, the 104th Precinct was down 25% in burglaries — a significant drop from 240 reported cases last year to 178 this year.
Moving away from crime talks, Coleman recognized the promotion of longtime Community Affairs Officer Michael Berish to the rank of detective.
Coleman said Berish was essential in cultivating the precinct’s relationship with the community and praised the officer for his many years of service.
“I think a lot of you here know that Mike is a staple of the 104 and is involved in a lot,” said Coleman. “Anything we’re successful at, Mike was involved in that.”
Coleman also shared news of the precinct’s pilot program, which was exclusively shared with QNS in November. The program sends traffic enforcement agents to answer 311 calls on illegal parking complaints, in conjunction with officers on patrol.
In some parting words, the deputy inspector alerted residents to the precinct’s continued towing efforts and awareness of the illegal smoke shops.
Council President Jon Kablack and Coleman wished the public a happy Thanksgiving and encouraged others to give their thanks however way possible.
On Thanksgiving Day, the precinct’s council planned on giving officers a breakfast and Thanksgiving meal for working during the holiday.
The next community council meeting is expected to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 20.