Cops grapple with fluctuating crime

The Brooklyn Paper
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While crime in Canarsie is beginning to level off, cops from the 69th Precinct aren’t going to be happy until they hit zero.

So promises Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, who said that he and his officers are getting a handle on crime fluctuations the precinct suffered through over the summer.

NYPD CompStat numbers seem to agree. Between September 8 and September 14, for example, felony crime in the 69th Precinct dropped by five percent, with just two robberies taking place in those seven days.

Crime is up for the year, but just slightly – by just less than one percent, statistics show.

“We have seen recent percentage increases in our robberies and our assaults, but we’ve taken our resources and remobilized them to combat these problems,” Marmara said in a recent interview with this paper. “Along the way, we’ve made some great robbery arrests, many of them with the officers catching these guys right in the act.”

Marmara said that the robbery, assault and car theft arrests have helped lower the number of crimes in recent weeks because many of the people taken into custody are responsible for multiple crimes.

“We had a few people doing multiple robberies,” he said. “Once they were arrested, the robberies calmed down. The same thing happened with the assaults and auto larcenies.”

“Things are calming down,” he continued. “It got busy over the summer, but we managed to change that around with the arrests we’ve made.”

“We’re going to continue to fight,” he pledged. “We’re not going to be satisfied until there is zero crime.”

Earlier this month, this paper reported that robberies, assaults and burglaries had shot skyward over the summer.

Statistics showed that felony crime in Canarsie had jumped by 22 percent from mid-July to August 24.

The jump in crime over the summer has still skewed the statistics, which showed a 38 percent increase in felonies between mid-August and September 14.

The percentage leap represents a disparity of 34 crimes – most of them being burglaries, which doubled from 12 to 29 in the past month. The number of car thefts has also jumped, from 16 to 24, according to the most recently released CompStat numbers.

While Marmara uses these figures as a guide to allocate resources, the captain sees CompStat numbers as one of the many crime fighting tools in his tool box.

“When we see these little blips, we move our resources where they’re required,” he said. “But we still have to keep things in perspective. Fifteen years ago we were having 2000 car thefts a year. Last year we had around 200.”

“When crimes crop up we address them immediately,” he said. “We never want to go back to 2000 car thefts.”

Despite the small spikes in robberies, burglaries and car thefts, felony crime still down by 71 percent from numbers generated 15 years ago, officials said.

Last year, the 69th Precinct had the distinction of having one of the largest felony crime decreases in the city – second only to the 25th Precinct in Harlem.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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