2017-02-16 / Other News

Neighborhood Safety - A Concern At United Canarsie South Civic Meeting

By Keciah Bailey

Community Affairs Officer Samuel Maria speaking to residents about safety concerns and recent crime in Canarsie. Community Affairs Officer Samuel Maria speaking to residents about safety concerns and recent crime in Canarsie. Following the death of a young man who lost his life to gun violence on Super Bowl Sunday, 69th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Samuel Maria urged residents at Tuesday’s meeting of the United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA) to be cautious and alert to ensure their safety.

“Please be vigilant. There are guns in Canarsie; there are some gangs in Canarsie that we are aware of and that we are monitoring, so please, please be careful,” Officer Maria warned.

According to the report published in the February 9th edition of the Canarsie Courier (see “Shot In The Head, Left For Dead”), police responded to a 911 call at East 84th Street and Avenue J that evening and found Darren Harrison, 22, lying in a pool of blood with a gunshot wound to the head. Police say he was pronounced dead at the scene, and the 19-year-old victim lying next to him suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach.

“It was tragic, Maria said. “He was accompanied by another male who was also shot but he's still alive.”

While Maria did not say whether the shooting was gang-related, he informed residents that the increase in gang activity in the East 80’s section of Canarsie was a cause for concern, and police have been carefully monitoring that section of the neighborhood.

“There are certain areas that are more active - more so in the 80's anywhere between Avenue K, going north. We had some gang activity in the East 100's, but they have not been as active in recent times as the 80's have been.”

Maria said he could not give any information on the shooting as the investigation is ongoing and police are still looking for suspects and a motive, but he urged residents who have any information to contact Community Affairs at 718-257-6205 or, to leave an anonymous tip, call 718-257-6215.

The public can also contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or by logging on to www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

Maria said the latest crime statistics for the community show a decrease in robbery and grand larceny compared to this time last year (down 41 percent and 42 percent respectively); however, auto theft has been on the rise.

“Unfortunately, some of these delivery drivers were leaving their vehicles unoccupied while making deliveries and some young people decided to jump in the cars and take them for a joyride,” Maria said.

He encouraged residents to exercise caution and take the time to lock their vehicles upon exiting to avoid any possibility of theft.

“For those like myself who jump out of vehicles to run to the bodega for a second, please be careful. That's all it takes is a second.”

Despite the latest shooting and grim auto theft reports, Maria said the 69th Precinct will soon have additional officers on board to help maintain the safety of the community.

“We have 12 new recruits joining the 69th Precinct. They did a tour today and will be coming on board once they finish the academy.”

The next UCSCA meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14th at 7:30 p.m. at the Hebrew Educational Society, 9502 Seaview Avenue. All residents are encouraged to attend.

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