Stephen Rex Brown Capt. John Cappelmann
Last night’s meeting of the Ninth Precinct Community Council featured several interesting details regarding recent crime in the neighborhood. Here’s a roundup, and check back later for more detailed posts about other recent arrests.
Capt. John Cappelmann, the new commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct, reported that four new officers started patrolling the neighborhood on Monday, as he promised in January. Four to six more officers should start in the next couple of weeks, some of whom will focus on quality of life issues. “It’s a tremendous boost for us in personnel numbers,” Capt. Cappelmann said. Read more…
Yesterday, City Room reported that “the picture of crime in New York City in 2011 is shaping up as virtually a mirror image of the year before, according to police statistics.” In the East Village, statistics released this week (tracking incidents reported to the Ninth Precinct in the period ending Dec. 11) show that crime complaints were almost universally down with three weeks left in the year. Petit larceny (theft of property valued at $1,000 or less), grand larceny auto, and misdemeanor sex crimes were the only categories that saw increases in reported crime following Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr’s appointment as precinct commander in January. Below, our chart comparing this year’s numbers with last year’s, and comparing the percentage of change in the Ninth Precinct to the same citywide.
East Village residents can eat free hot dogs, jump in a moon bounce and meet local N.Y.P.D. members at today’s National Night Out event hosted by the Ninth Police Precinct. The block party (which runs until 8 p.m. in the space across from the Precinct at 321 East Fifth Street) is one of many community events across the country designed to facilitate interaction between neighbors and police.
Rachel Citron The 7th Precinct has been targeting bar owners for serving drinks to minors.
The police crackdown on bars in the Lower East Side resulted in a dramatic increase in charges of underage drinking against business owners, data provided by the State Liquor Authority shows.
During a three-month stretch of intense enforcement early this year, the S.L.A., which acts on recommendations from the police, handed down 39 charges of underage drinking in the neighborhood, compared to 31 charges issued during all of 2009 and 2010.
Bar owners in the three zip codes that, taken together, include the East Village and Lower East Side faced 230 charges of serving minors from 2007 to 2011, resulting in $1,034,800 in fines. The data shows that large numbers of charges come during intense periods of enforcement, and bars in the Lower East Side in particular have faced an unprecedented and disproportionate amount of scrutiny this year.
Each offense results in fines of up to $10,000, and repeat offenders risk being shut down permanently. Some of the more high-profile watering holes caught in the dragnet include Mason Dixon (which eventually closed altogether) and Welcome to the Johnson’s.
The increase in enforcement came as the 7th Precinct resurrected its cabaret unit, which focuses on the Lower East Side’s booming nightlife scene, as well as the arrival of Capt. David Miller at the precinct last year. An officer with Community Affairs in the 7th Precinct would not comment on enforcement of sale of alcohol to minors.
In 2009, the East Village’s 9th Precinct disbanded its own cabaret unit, though at a recent community meeting Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr said underage drinking remained a priority.
Many bar owners say that they are being unfairly punished for an issue beyond their control.
Courtesy of NYPDA police photo of the suspect.
The police are searching for a suspect in an attempted bank robbery Monday morning. Around 10:30 a.m., a man entered Bank of America at 72 Second Avenue and passed a note demanding money. The authorities describe the suspect, who did not receive any money, as a man in his 40’s who was wearing a white shirt and carrying a black backpack.
Community Board 3 passed a resolution Tuesday night condemning the actions of the two former Ninth Precinct police officers who were convicted of official misconduct in May. The former officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin L. Mata, were acquitted of all other charges from the 2008 incident in which a woman said that she was raped by the officers after they helped her to her East Village home. The resolution calls on the sentencing judge to impose the harshest possible punishment on each of the men — two years in prison.
—Laura E. Lee
Laura E. Lee Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Fighting crime — on the Internet or on the street — takes community cooperation, said Manhattan’s district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who spoke to residents at the 9th Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday night.
Addressing a crowd of about 40 people at the precinct stationhouse, Mr. Vance said individuals have to be diligent about protecting personal information from identity theft. “The Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century,” he said.
While cybercrime is a real threat, Mr. Vance said the 500 attorneys in his office are continuing to collaborate with the local precincts to combat the more traditional crime involving “guns, gangs and drugs.”
Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr, commanding officer for the precinct, emphasized the need for citizens to take preventative action against crime as the weather grows warmer.
He warned the audience of some of the daily hazards in the summer, like leaving a window open or not keeping a careful eye on personal items at sidewalk cafes. Residents should be on the lookout for any unknown individuals on fire escapes and alert officers to their presence, he said.
Several residents voiced concerns about criminal activity in the region, mostly focused on underage drinking and drunken activity in the early morning hours.
“Underage drinking is a tremendous problem for us,” Inspector Lehr said. When police tested local bars for serving minors, 64 percent passed, he said.
The Council does not meet in July or August.