Scary . ..
I received an e-mail from Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, the other day with an attached editorial from its newsletter headlined: "NYPD Precincts & Technology: Welcome to the 1950s."
Low-tech police precincts a shameful crime
Holden says that in the 104th Precinct - covering 7 square miles, including Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood - the cops do not even have such basic telecommunications technology as voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, "or any other advancement made in the last 50 years."
And this is after a $100,000 telecommunications upgrade just three years ago. "For an extra $10,000, they could have had all that," Holden says. "Precinct offices that relied on answering machines bought their own with staff contributions," Holden writes. "Still, most of the 104th Precinct offices don't have any answering device whatsoever."
No wonder many times, when you call a local precinct, the line is busy or goes unanswered or gets cut off after 10 rings.
Meanwhile, the average bad guy has a smart phone that can take messages, make conference calls, surf the Net and send and receive e-mail while our police wait for the mailman to deliver crimefighting tips via snail mail.
Like every precinct, the 104th has a color-coded pin map, showing local crime patterns. "But they have no way of dispensing this to someone like me at a civic association where I can forward it to our 2,600 members who can help spot and fight crime," says Holden. "Communication is the modern way to fight crime. But our cops have no communication technology."