March 2, 2017 Opinion: By Mayor Bill de Blasio (exclusive to Astoria Post)
If you’re reading this news site then you know the neighborhoods served by the 114th Precinct – Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights and Woodside – are safe. Now, they are even safer. Crime is down 12.1 percent the first 26 days of February compared to the same stretch last year.
And there have been zero murders and zero shootings so far this year.
The extraordinary results we are seeing in northwest Queens are being replicated across the city. Overall crime is down 9.7 percent and shootings are down 35.5 percent citywide this February, compared to February of last year.
This didn’t happen by accident. We have a strategy that combines precision policing to target the small number of bad actors who commit most of the violence, with neighborhood policing to bring communities and cops together.
The 114th Precinct is a great example of our neighborhood policing strategy in action. We’ve freed up officers to walk the same streets every day, getting to know everyone and passing out cards and phone numbers. So, if you see your local officer, say hello and share information with them. You just might prevent a crime before it happens.
But neighborhood policing is just part of the story. We are making our city safer every month, because we are giving the NYPD tools like smartphones, bullet resistant helmets and vests and the best training in the world. This is the second month we are feeling the full effects of the 2,000 cops we’ve added.
I was thrilled to be at the 114th Precinct on Wednesday to thank the precinct commander, Peter Fortune, and all the men and women of the NYPD who serve with him. But this isn’t just their victory. This is a tribute to everyone who lives and works in northwest Queens.
Thank you all for helping to keep New York, the safest big city in the United States.