For the first time this open house took place at Gravesend Park, between 18 Ave. and 19 Ave. and 55 St. and 58 St in Boro Park, instead of on 60th Street, where the Precinct is located. A full house of pols, locals, a Brooklyn D.A., and the commander from Brooklyn Patrol Boro South, Thomas Chan, showed up to schmooze, glad hand, honor, and praise one another. Meanwhile on the basketball and handball courts at the rear, the game played on.
And that was just the start of what 66 Precinct Deputy Inspector Michael Deddo called a very successful summer. The various festivals, the Church McDonald Bangladeshi Business Association Mela, Ramadan and now the Jewish holidays went smoothly D.I. Deddo reported to the 66th Precinct Community Council meeting Thursday, Sept. 20. And he was at every event. The only cloud was the precinct’s softball loss to the Boro Park Shomrim 10-9 in the (David) Greenfield classic held 9.12.
The success was measured by the stats D.I. Deddo ran down: robbery down 65% in Kensington (only 6 this yr ); in the precinct overall, down 40%. Stolen cars down 30%; grand larceny—credit cards or purse snatchings—down 10%.
Speaking to the 40 people present, D.I. Deddo announced a new team will monitor late-night rowdiness at bars and elsewhere, while other officers will pay closer attention to evening park and playground denizens. Call 911 to report excessive noise and drinking or 311 to report other issues so the precinct has a record. Callers should get the name of the person taking the complaint, he said. “It makes them feel more accountable.“
“It’s not going to go away,“ Deddo said talking about the daily Coney Island Avenue traffic tango. “But we will draw some lines.“ Only the other day he‘d been at C.I.A. looking for more help from the NYPD Traffic Unit. “At its worst moment,” he acknowledged, “It can come down to one lane.”
As part of the NYPD’s counterterrorism moves, each day it sends out 13 patrol cars in a row, which show up unannounced at a location. The 66 Precinct is considered a likely terrorist target. At the moment the NYPD knows of nothing specific. Nonetheless Inspector Philip VanGostein, from the Brooklyn Patrol Boro South’s counterterrorism unit, stressed his listeners’ starring role in highlighting suspicious activity and forestalling any future attack.
After all, it was an observant street vendor and a security guard who tipped off the cops to the Times Square Bomber and the shooter at the Empire State Bldg. If someone leaves a package on the train, get off the train and call the police. And please don’t be waylaid by someone’s appearance, he advised. Look for odd behavior instead: an out-of-season heavy coat might be swaddling a lurking suicide belt. And here’s a parting fact: terrorists like to celebrate anniversaries. The Columbine Massacre occurred April 20, Hitler’s birthday.
The next 66 Community Council meeting will be held at CB 12’s office, at 5910 13th Avenue, Thursday, October 18th at 7:30 p.m.