National Night Out Against Crime

Anil Sheokumar, representative for Public Advocate Letitia James; Rachel Atcheson, liaison from the mayor’s office; 13th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney; Detective Vincent Arlotta; 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala; event organizer Jo-Ann Polise, 13th Precinct Community Council member Pat Sallin and Police Officer John Considine (Photos by Sabina Mollot and Jo-Ann Polise)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday night, crowds came out at parks across the country for parties that were held as part of National Night Out Against Crime. Established in 1984 as a way to highlight the importance of partnerships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, National Night Out is typically celebrated with a block party where neighbors can also get the ear of cops on issues of local concern.

Each year, one of these events is held by the 13th Precinct Community Council at the Second Avenue playground of the Simon Baruch Middle School.

At Tuesday’s event, Arlene Harrison, the president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, said she was there to show her support for the NYPD following a recent fatal shooting of a Bronx officer.

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Community celebrates National Night Out

Genesis Parra gets behind the wheel of a police car at the 13th Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Genesis Parra gets behind the wheel of a police car at the 13th Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

National Night Out Against Crime, an annual event aimed at growing relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, took place on Tuesday night.

The event organized by the 13th Precinct and the precinct’s Community Council, went off without a hitch at the M.S. 104 Playground, despite some blustery wind and clouds that looked to be threatening rain. Fortunately, after two weeks of scorching heat and rain, many attendees from the neighborhood commented that they enjoyed the rare breeze. Families from the surrounding neighborhoods mingled with the local cops and business owners who had booths at the event while chowing down on chicken and rice from the Halal Guys, as well as burgers and dogs cooked up on the grill by officers from the precinct.

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13th Precinct C.O. warns of spike in scams, burglaries

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are warning of an uptick in scams, which is likely due to the fact that it’s still tax season, including general email scams in which victims are tricked into thinking friends and family need fast cash to get out of trouble.

There’s also been a rash of office burglaries and a spike in assaults on cops.

The stats were reported by the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney at the most recent precinct community council meeting last Tuesday.

“Any emails you get from people asking for money, contact the person first,” he said. “Someone could have stolen their information so reach out to them before you send them any money.”

He added that recent thefts at local gyms have also contributed to a precinct-wide spike in grand larceny, partially because victims aren’t putting locks on their lockers while working out. This has also been an issue for car break-ins.

“It isn’t specific to one area but there have been some around the hospitals, where doctors and nurses are leaving bags in their car and leaving the cars unlocked,” he said.

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The summer that was – A look back at community events

By Maria Rocha Buschel

Summer is quickly drawing to a close, with an autumn chill in the early morning air and school starting up again soon. And with the last unofficial day of the season, Labor Day, occurring yesterday, we thought we would share a look back at some of the summer activities that took place in the community.

This summer saw the return of the popular concert series on the Solar One stage at Stuyvesant Cove Park, with the only complaint some Town & Village readers had being that the series was too short. Performers also got in the summer spirit at Madison Square Park underneath the Fata Morgana canopy installation in an Afro-Cuban dance workshop and performance in July. In what is becoming an annual tradition, area residents were also able to enjoy the waterfront through the free kayaking events, hosted in Stuyvesant Cove Park for the final time for the season last weekend.

Click through for photos.

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National Night Out Against Crime

Peter Cooper resident Sam Mednick is ready for action behind the wheel at a police car at the event. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Peter Cooper resident Sam Mednick is ready for action behind the wheel at a police car at the event. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

National Night Out Against Crime, an annual event aimed at strengthening relations between law enforcement agencies and communities that has, over the years, morphed into becoming block parties for different police precincts, was held on Tuesday night. At the event organized by Stuy Town resident Jo-Ann Polise and the 13th Precinct Community Council, it was a mix of local organizations and businesses exhibiting, offering free food and other giveaways as well like caricature portraits. Cops from the 13th Precinct manned the grill, cooking countless burgers and hot dogs.

Representatives from various local organizations, businesses and city agencies had tables at the event, including Community Board Six, the District Attorney’s office, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, the Board of Elections, M&T Bank, thrift shop Cauz for Pawz, the Bellevue Community Advisory Board, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates and others. New to the event this year was Cub Scout Pack 422.

Cubmaster Maureen Riley said that assistant Cubmaster Kim Salvo had been coming to National Night Out for the 13th Precinct with her kids in previous years and suggested the event as a way to get interest up in the community about scouting.

“It can be really difficult getting people involved because they don’t think of it as something they can do in the city,” Riley said. “We want kids to know that it’s not just something that exists in the suburbs.”

Salvo was manning the event table with Riley and both were in uniform, trying to entice passing children with activities.

“How could you not love this?” Salvo said as enthusiastic kids swarmed their table to make necklaces.

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Community, 13th Precinct celebrate National Night Out Against Crime

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise (more photos inside)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and local law enforcement celebrated National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday evening, marking the 31st year for the annual event. At Simon Baruch Middle School’s playground, police officers from the 13th Precinct on the next block over manned the grill, including the precinct’s former executive officer, Frank Sorensen, who was recently promoted to commanding officer for Specialty Units in Manhattan South.

The event, organized by the 13th Precinct Community Council, is aimed at raising crime awareness and building working relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities. In recent years though, it’s also become just as much about having a block party on a usually sweltering day.

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National Night Out on August 5

Members of the 13th Precinct’s Auxiiliary Unit at the 2013 National Night Out Against Crime (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Members of the 13th Precinct’s Auxiiliary Unit at the 2013 National Night Out Against Crime (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

This year marks the 31st year of National Night Out Against Crime and the 13th Precinct Community Council, along with the precinct office of Community Affairs, looks forward to hosting another fun-filled evening for the community.

The event is not only a terrific opportunity for area residents to enjoy the “block-party” atmosphere, it is also a way for area businesses and organizations to reach out to the community and to show their support and appreciation for the local precinct. The event will take place in the playground at MS 104 on Second Avenue and 20th Street (Peter’s Field) from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5.

Karpas Health Information Center, RCN Cable, the NYS Public Service Commission and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection will be on hand again as will M&T Bank, NY Life Insurance Company, Ponce De Leon Bank and many other groups.

New to the event this year will be Explore & Discover, a recent arrival to the neighborhood. Several 7-Eleven stores residing in the precinct will provide beverages and Fairway Chelsea has generously provided the evening’s menu – burgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill.

Arrangements were also made for a bounce-around-house to be on site as well as the very popular caricature artists and participants who will create balloon animals and other inflated sculptures for children.

National Night Out Against Crime tonight

On Tuesday, August 2 the 13th Precinct Community Council will host the 28th annual Night Out Against Crime event. The event will take place in the playground behind JHS 104 on Second Avenue and 20th Street from 5-8 p.m.

The Precinct Community Councils were established more than 60 years ago in order to encourage community involvement in both public safety and quality of life conditions and to enhance community relations between the local police and the people they serve.

Members of the community who serve as officers of the 13th Precinct Community Council begin the task of coordinating this annual event several months in advance in order to bring a wide array of businesses, organizations and agencies together with community residents and local law enforcement for an evening of education, entertainment, information and fun.

The participant list, which is still growing, includes various offices within the NYPD as well as representatives from Community Board 6, the Midtown East-Stuyvesant CERT team, Beth Israel’s Karpas Health Information Center, M&T Bank, the Manhattan DA’s office, Bellevue Hospital and the NYS Public Service Commission.

In addition there will be three caricaturists, clowns and a bounce-around house for the kids as well as food and beverages from Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Met Foods, Sweet Olive and 7-Eleven.

Anyone interested in participating should contact Jo-Ann Polise at jpolise1@verizon.net.