The 34th Precinct's Community Council met last evening in the gathering hall of the S.T.A.R. Senior Center on 187th Street. The upshot of this meeting is that residents in the 34th Precinct are deeply concerned about "quality of life" offenses like noise and unruly gatherings on sidewalks. This isn't particularly surprising given how long and hot this past summer was. Facing the street or even a park in this City can be a curse in the summer when throngs seek some relief from sweltering apartments. The cold weather can almost be a relief for the quiet that it brings.
The Community Council is a nonprofit organization led by a president, George Espinal, and several others who have been elected by undisclosed voters to serve a new term from 2010-2012. Last night's meeting kicks off that new term and 100-200 community members were in attendance to listen and share comments and concerns during the "open mic" portion of the program. The NYPD had a very healthy showing at the meeting, including the new precinct chief (Jose Navarro), one of the precinct's community affairs officers (Christian Perez), the NYPD's chief of community affairs (Philip Banks) and others. Newly installed Captain Navarro addressed the crowd and invited community members to bring their concerns to him. For example, he cited an anonymous letter from residents who are concerned about open drug dealing in their building near Saint Nicholas Avenue. This letter has led the 34th Precinct to conduct undercover operations in that building, seize drugs and one weapon. Captain Navarro was surprisingly warm in his remarks and seemed to genuinely invite community comments (he is a veteran of the precinct).
The Community Council meets monthly. For times and locations, residents can call the 34th Precinct's Community Affairs Unit at 212-927-0576/0287. Ask to speak with the community affairs officers Christian Perez or Haydee Pabey. Crime concerns can also be relayed to these officers. You can also contact the president of the council, Mr. Espinal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.