Greetings to all the members of the Juniper Park Civic Association. I’m Deputy Inspector Kevin J. Coleman, and I am delighted to write to you as the new Commanding Officer of the 104th Precinct. I’m proud and honored to be assigned to the 104th Precinct and although I’ve been here for only a few months, I can attest and assure you that your 104 cops are working hard for all of you. I’ve been extremely impressed by the dedication, motivation and efficiency of your 104 cops. As many of the various civic and community meetings resume this fall, I look forward to continuing to meet with members of the public and expand our engagement with the community. 

As of August 14, 2022, we have seen an increase in crime throughout the entire 104th Precinct, up 30% year-to-date compared to 2021. Middle Village has seen an increase of 11% this year and Maspeth 29%. This is synonymous with many precincts throughout the city. However, we will continue to do our best to combat crime and quality-of-life issues within the 104th Precinct. I am confident that, together, we will be able to increase public safety. 

Property crimes are the main drivers of crime in the Middle Village and Maspeth neighborhoods, including property stolen from parked vehicles, vehicle theft and catalytic converter theft. We advise you to take all your belongings from your vehicle when you park it. If a would-be thief sees a bag or other items in your car that’s an incentive for them to break into your vehicle. Regarding vehicle theft, do not leave your keys or key fobs in your vehicle – even if you’re only running into a store for 30 seconds – take the keys with you. Many thieves are looking and waiting for opportunities to commit a theft of some kind and these simple measures can prevent you from becoming a victim. The theft of catalytic converters from vehicles are also on the rise. If you’re able, a catalytic converter alarm or cover may be worth investing in. The 104th Precinct has held two catalytic converter etching events with a third scheduled for September. Please contact community affairs for more information (718-386-2431).

Additionally, there have been a high number of phone scams and jewelry theft scams. Beware of individuals approaching you on the street and offering jewelry as a gift, for their true intent is to swap their fake jewelry with the items you own. They are also known to use children to distract your attention. Regarding phone scams, if someone is calling you asking you to purchase a gift card or they claim to represent a government agency asking for money – do not fall for it! We recommend to immediately hang up the phone, or if you are not familiar with a particular phone number calling you, simply do not answer. If the call is important they will likely leave a message. 

Finally, we have made quality-of-life issues a priority this summer. This includes dispersing large parties and car meets that create loud noise at night (we have been seizing speaker systems where possible) so that the public might sleep more soundly. We’ve also focused on the seizure of illegal dirt bikes, ATVs, and mopeds in efforts to enhance public safety on our streets. We will continue our efforts in these areas. 

DI Coleman and PO Bonilla with local children at National Night Out

We hope that everyone has enjoyed a safe and healthy summer. The 104th Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime, held in Juniper Park in August, was a great success this summer and we thank everyone for coming out. The support of the communities we serve is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed by your 104 cops – thank you! Policing is a shared responsibly that goes hand-in-hand with the community, we cannot do what we do without the help and support of all of you.