Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Astoria's new crime fighting program
From DNA Info:
Astoria is armed with dozens of newly trained block-watch experts ready to rein in the neighborhood's 5 percent uptick in major crime.
The neighborhood watch — the first of its kind in Astoria in more than 25 years — is set to become "extra eyes and ears for police officers," officials said.
It's the brainchild of Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who posted the idea on Facebook and other sites in November and organized the first training session last week.
Last week, volunteers were given block-watcher IDs, trained how to detect suspicious behavior and activity — and instructed how to give useful specifics when they call 311 or 911. Local officials said they hope the program will soon expand beyond 30 volunteers.
Major crime in the 114th Precinct is up about 5 percent this year through May 20, according to NYPD statistics.