Chief: casino neighborhood will see additional cops
by Stephen Geffon
Jun 14, 2011 | 2633 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the September opening day for the Resorts World New York casino in Ozone Park approaches, nervous neighborhood residents concerned about their safety were assured that more cops hitting their streets.

Patrol Borough Queens South Assistant Chief James Secreto told the members of the 106th Precinct Community Council at their meeting last week that if One Police Plaza didn’t give him the additional police officers he has requested, he will provide them from the borough’s resources.

“One way or another we are going to have cops there,” he said.

Residents fear that the influx of an estimated 8.4 million people a year into their neighborhood will add additional traffic and increase the risk of crimes and quality of life issues. Some expressed concern that prostitutes may be drawn into the area.

Councilman Eric Ulrich has also voiced concerns, asking for additional police offices for the 106th Precinct in advance of the opening of the casino at Aqueduct Racetrack.

“Despite the fact that vehicular and foot traffic will increase, it still remains unclear if and when the local precinct will receive additional police personnel,” Ulrich wrote in a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. “Undoubtedly, more police officers will be needed to patrol the residential neighborhoods surrounding the facility.”

David Quintana of Ozone Park told Secreto that when he was in Manhattan last week he saw a large contingent of police officers standing around the New York Stock Exchange building. He said that in view of the expected 30,000 visitors a day coming into the neighborhood surrounding the casino, “We could use some of those officers out here.”

On the noise abatement front, the precinct’s ongoing effort to quiet noisemakers resulted in the issuance of 26 noise summonses during the period from May 30 to June 5, said Community Affairs officer Ken Zorn. He added that 32 noise summonses were issued the week before.

And with the Fourth of July approaching, 106th precinct police officers will be taking a zero tolerance stance on fireworks use.

“For children’s safety and the safety of all residents, we are going to make sure that we prevent the discharge of fireworks,” said a police department official.

Captain Thomas Pascale said that 40 additional police officers will be assigned to the precinct’s fireworks detail on July 4, and that a police command post will be set up in front of Starbucks on Crossbay Boulevard.

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