May 20, 2016 By Michael Florio
A change in policing on Roosevelt Avenue last month appears to already be paying dividends, according to the 115 precinct.
The precinct saw 17 robberies in the 28-day period ending May 15, a 30 percent drop from 24 during the same period last year.
The decrease follows a new policing initiative on Roosevelt Avenue, Deputy Inspector Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of the 115 precinct, said at last night’s Community Board 3 meeting.
Last month, the precinct began stationing veteran officers along Roosevelt Avenue, as opposed to the rookies usually assigned there. The 110 precinct, which covers the south side of Roosevelt Avenue, is also implementing this change according to the NYPD.
“The last 13 years we would have the young police officers out of the academy assigned to Roosevelt Avenue,” Hennessy said. “We have now supplemented them with veteran officers from the precinct.”
Earlier this year, the precinct had seen an uptick in robberies on Roosevelt Avenue as well as Northern Boulevard between Junction Boulevard and 111th Street, according to Hennessy. The majority of victims are men between 25- and 40-years-old, who are often heading home from bars between midnight and 5:30 a.m.
“They oftentimes have money on them and are viewed as an easy opportunity,” Hennessy said. He added that the majority of perpetrators are males, between the ages of 18 and 23, who live within the confines of the 115 precinct.
The precinct has made 63 arrests so far this year in the Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard problem areas, which Hennessy attributed in part to the new policing intiative.
He added that the officers stationed along Roosevelt Avenue all have between five and eight years of experience working in the community.
“They have made some key arrests,” he said. “Since they’ve been there robbery has been going down.”
For the year so far, however, the precinct remains up in robberies compared to last year. There have been 122 this year compared to 105 at this time in 2015.
Grand Larceny has also been problematic for the precinct. In the past 28-day period, the precinct has had 69 incidents, compared to 57 in 2015.
There have been two key factors leading to this increase, according to Hennessy. The first is purses accidentally being left in restaurants, bars or and fast food joints.
“A purse is left on the counter and a perpetrator takes it and removes cash and credit cards,” he said.
The second factor has been skimming devices being placed on ATMs. Hennessy warned those in attendance to be cautious when taking money out of an ATM, particularly in a 7-Eleven or convenience store.
While some crime may be up in the precinct, Hennessy believes a small portion of the population is responsible.
“There is a small minority of people that cause a lot of crime,” Hennessy said.