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Crime is down and scholarships are up

April 20, 2017
Queens Chronicle: New York

As commanding officer of the NYPD’s 113th Precinct, Inspector Frederick Grover is seldom understated as his officers keep driving down crime numbers — particularly when it comes to guns.

And he had reason to brag Monday night at the monthly meeting of the 113th Precinct Community Council.

“Since we last met, 11 guns were taken off the street by the 113th Precinct, resulting in 17 arrests,” Grover said, adding “It was a good month.”

Grover said one arrest was credited to ShotSpotter technology, which identifies the sound of gunfire, triangulating the location and notifying the NYPD in about one second. The adjacent 103rd Precinct also was recently augmented with the technology.

“We have the information and location in real time,” he said. Another arrest came after an irate patron pulled a gun on a Dunkin’ Donuts employee following a run-in with a cab driver.

Another arrest came when police responded to a report of a man waving a gun on a street at about 3 a.m.

He said it took very careful inspection by his officers to determine that the weapon was in fact a pellet gun that fires from a CO2 cartridge.

“It looked exactly like my sidearm,” Grover said. “Metal, plastic grips.”

The inspector said even with three shootings in the last 28-day period, the precinct still finished the first quarter of 2017 tying its own record for the fewest number of first-quarter shootings since the beginning of the CompStat era in 1993, and down nearly 46 percent from the same time in 2016.

Grover also said the precinct has been cracking down on nuisance vehicles, particularly dollar vans.

He said his neighborhood coordination officers have run three operations in the last month with the Taxi & Limousine Commission to stop either illegally operating vans or legal ones being operated in an illegal or dangerous manner.

Grover said with the weather turning far warmer in recent days, police are anticipating more trouble than they have encountered thus far with illegal motorcycles, quads and other off-road vehicles.

“If we can make a safe stop, we stop them and we seize them,” he said. “And about 99 percent of the time, since there is no legal way to register or insure them, they don’t get them back.”

In community-based news, the Council has revived its past practice of awarding $100 scholarships for students to attend or participate in various summer programs.

Council President Karen Clemmens said the seven children from the New Visions Advanced Math and Science IV High School were chosen based their grades, recommendations and essays. Three who are not currently on spring break, Edrie Dorbor, Alicia Davis and Alejandro Parra, were present to accept their awards.

“And at the end of the summer, they’ll write essays and come back to us,” Clemmens said.

She said Council Vice President Garfield Towler was the driving force behind restoring the program.