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Local News August 14, 2008  RSS feed

PATROL IS SWORN IN

104COP Ranking Members Installed For Duty, Receive Award
story and photos by Robert Pozarycki

State Sen. Serphin Maltese and City Council Member Anthony Como installed the ranking members and board of directors of the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol during the group's Aug. 6 meeting at Msgr. Sherman Knights of Columbus hall. State Sen. Serphin Maltese and City Council Member Anthony Como installed the ranking members and board of directors of the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol during the group's Aug. 6 meeting at Msgr. Sherman Knights of Columbus hall. Ranking members of the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) were formally installed into office and received a reward for helping to bust a graffiti vandal during their Aug. 6 meeting at Msgr. Sherman Knights of Columbus hall.

State Sen. Serphin Maltese and City Council Member Anthony Como drop by to swear in the organization's officers and board of directors for another year in office. Both elected officials recognized them with certificates of appreciation and remarks praising the group for working alongside local police to keep the community safe..

The officers installed for duty were President Lou Kirchgessner, First Vice President Elizabeth DeLaCruz, Second Vice President Kurt Burger, Treasurer Camille Black, Secretary Ronnie Roth, Treasurer Camille Venezia and Board members Tony DeFillippo, Joseph DiLorenzo, Frank Kotnik, Kathleen Meyers, Mike Miller, Tom Silvestri, Dieter Vey and Gerald Wilkat.

Sgt. Herb Mai of the NYPD Citywide Vandals Task Force presented a $300 reward to 104COP President Lou Kirchgessner for the organization's efforts to help police track down a graffiti vandal last year. Sgt. Herb Mai of the NYPD Citywide Vandals Task Force presented a $300 reward to 104COP President Lou Kirchgessner for the organization's efforts to help police track down a graffiti vandal last year. Como and Maltese also announced that the 104th Precinct received 12 additional officers to enhance the Ridgewood-based patrol's crime-fighting efforts in the community. The legislators welcomed the new officers in a ceremo- ny held that day prior to the 104COP meeting.

"Despite your best efforts and the best efforts of the 104th, we've seen a lot of new crime in the area and we wanted to do something about it," he said. "The Police Department responded fervently and aggressively with [additional] trained police officers.

"We're looking forward to working with the new officers," Maltese added. "I think that's an infusion that will serve us well in the future."

"We have new officers who are trained," Como said. "Not that rookie cops are a bad thing, but having other officers come from other precincts who have been in the field is, I believe, a benefit to all of us."

Following the installation of officers, Sgt. Herb Mai of the NYPD's Citywide Vandals Task Force presented 104COP President Kirchgessner with a $300 reward for the organization's assistance in catching a graffiti vandal who had tagged numerous area locations in the last year.

Sergeant Mai explained that the task force regularly distributes cash rewards to any individual or group who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a graffiti vandal. The unit keeps a regular track on all cases and follows up with the whistleblower to ensure the reward is provided.

Mai also provided a brief overview of the task force, which concentrates on catching vandals who commit graffiti, "scratchitti" (tags scrawled onto glass) and acid etching throughout the five boroughs.

Of all the acts of vandalism, the sergeant said, acid etching has proven to be one of the most destructive and dangerous.

"It causes extensive damage," he said. "Believe it or not, some little kid can touch that glass while waiting for a bus and train and can get burned. The acid does have an affect on people."

When a graffiti tag is reported to police, photographs of the vandalism are entered into a database maintained by the Vandals Task Force. Mai noted that the images are used to help police track down vandals and link them to incidents across the city.

He advised anyone witnesses an alleged vandal in the act of damaging property to call 911 immediately. Past instances of vandalism may also be reported to police through the city's 311 hotline.

The Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol holds an open meeting every first Wednesday of the month at 8 p.m. at the K of C hall located at 79-23 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale.

For more information, call 1- 718-497-1500.