Saturday, December 8, 2018

Citywide Overall Crime Continues to Decline in November 2018

This November, New York City experienced fewer index crimes than in any previous November during the modern Compstat era, as overall crime since January continues to fall to historic lows compared to the same time in 2017. New York City achieved a reduction of 402 index crimes or -5.0% during November 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. Murders fell -25%, while burglaries fell -15.8%, and robberies fell -11.8%. Overall crime in 2018 is still currently projected to drop beneath what would become a new record-setting low of 97,000 total index crimes by the year's end.
"In our ongoing mission to further reduce crime and keep all New Yorkers safe, the NYPD's highly-effective, targeted approach toward the real drivers of violence and disorder continues to yield positive results. Increasingly, our efforts are supported by the full and willing partnership of our communities — which not only makes our city safer, it makes the people we serve feel safer too," said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill."
"In 2014, my administration took a new approach to policing that brings officers and community together to heal historic wounds. And, month after month of record new lows proves that neighborhood policing coupled with targeted enforcement is a winning formula," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We will never stop working to make New York City safer and fairer for all."
Key highlights from this month's crime statistics include:
  • Lowest November on record for index crimes. Four-hundred-and-two fewer in November 2018 compared to November 2017.
  • Year-to-date, overall index crimes are down -1.5% from 2017.
  • Robberies, felony assaults, burglaries, grand larcenies, and grand larceny autos continue to be down year-to-date.
  • Lowest number of homicides (15) ever in a November.
  • First November ever with burglaries under 1,000.
  • Year-to-date, shootings are down -3.3% from 2017.

Statistics on Index Crimes 2017-2018


Nov. 2018 Nov. 2017 Change +/-% Year-to-Date 2018 Year-to-Date 2017 Change +/- %
Murder 15 20 -5 -25.00% 266 264 2 0.08%
Rape 141 125 16 12.80% 1659 1332 327 24.50%
Robbery 1057 1199 -142 -11.80% 11821 12749 -928        -7.3%%
Felony Assault 1472 1481 -9 -0.60% 18477 18633 -156       -0.8%%
Burglary 895 1063 -168 -15.80% 10643 11115 -472       -4.2%%
Grand Larceny 3665 3733 -68 -1.80% 39608 39609 -1 0.00%
G.L.A. 447 473 -26 -5.50% 5060 5206 -146       -2.8%%
TOTAL 7692 8094 -402 -5.00% 87534 88908 -1374       -1.5%%
Additional Statistics on Crimes 2017-2018
  Nov. 2018 Nov. 2017 Change +/-% Year-to-Date 2018 Year-to-Date 2017 Change
Transit 257 242 15 6.20% 2292 2257 35 1.60%
Housing 364 401 -37 -9.25% 4237 4489 -252 -5.60%

Note: All crime statistics are preliminary and subject to further analysis, revisions, or change.

Luchese Crime Family Soldier Sentenced to 12 Years and Colombo Crime Family Associate Sentenced to 40 Months’ Imprisonment for Conspiring to Distribute Oxycodone

Defendants Threatened a Brooklyn Doctor and Obtained Fraudulent Prescriptions for More Than 230,000 Oxycodone Pills

  Anthony Grado, a member of the Luchese organized crime family, and Lawrence Tranese, an associate of the Colombo organized crime family, were sentenced by United States District Judge Carol B. Amon to 12 years’ and 40 months’ imprisonment respectively for conspiring to distribute oxycodone that they obtained through fraudulent prescriptions. The Court also ordered Grado to pay $70,000 in forfeiture and Tranese $12,000 in forfeiture.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.
“Today’s sentence punishes the defendants for ruthlessly endangering our community through their organized crime-backed distribution of highly-addictive opioid drugs,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office, working together with our law enforcement partners, will continue our relentless efforts against those responsible for the opioid epidemic.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance during this investigation.
“Opioid and prescription drug abuse affects communities and families in New York and across the country. Grado and Tranese’s conspiracy to distribute oxycodone contributed to this nationwide crisis, and even worse, they threatened a doctor with violence in order to coerce him into providing fraudulent prescriptions,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Today’s sentence should stand as a warning to organized crime families, their associates, and anyone else who would commit similar acts in order to further the scourge of opioid addiction for their own benefit: you will be found out and brought to justice.”
 “Dismantling criminal enterprises, in all their forms, will always be a priority for the NYPD and our law-enforcement partners at the Eastern District and the FBI,” stated NYPD Commissioner O’Neill. “Collectively, we have a very long reach and we will not tire in our mission of fighting crime and keeping people safe – which includes removing from our streets anyone who adds to our nation’s opioid crisis by dealing illegal narcotics.”
Grado and Tranese, together with their coconspirators, gave a Brooklyn-based doctor the names of people for whom the doctor should write prescriptions, and the doctor complied, usually without conducting any physical examinations.  The defendants then filled the prescriptions and sold the pills.  Alternatively, the defendants and their coconspirators used violence and threats of violence to force the doctor to write the prescriptions, or seized the doctor’s prescription pad and Grado completed the prescription.  In one recorded conversation, Grado told the doctor that he would make the doctor write “a thousand scripts a day and [expletive] feed you to the [expletive] lions” if the doctor wrote prescriptions without Grado’s approval.  In the same conversation, Grado told the doctor that if newly ordered prescription pads “go in anybody’s hands” besides Grado’s, “I’ll put a bullet right in your head.”  During the course of the conspiracy, one of Grado’s associates stabbed the doctor in a dispute over the doctor’s prescription pads.
The Defendants:
Age:  54
Monroe Township, New Jersey

LAWRENCE TRANESE (also known as “Fat Larry”)
Age:  55
Brooklyn, New York

James Dolan to Pay $609,810 Civil Penalty for Violating Antitrust Premerger Notification Requirements

  The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against James Dolan for violating the premerger notification and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act of 1976 when he acquired voting securities of Madison Square Garden Company in 2017.  At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement, subject to approval by the court, under which Dolan has agreed to pay a $609,810 civil penalty to resolve the lawsuit.

The HSR Act imposes notification and waiting period requirements for transactions meeting certain size thresholds so that they can undergo premerger antitrust review.  Federal courts can assess civil penalties for premerger notification violations under the HSR Act in lawsuits brought by the department.  The maximum civil penalty for an HSR violation, which is adjusted annually, is currently $41,484 per day.
Further details about this matter are described in the FTC’s press release issued today, and in the attached complaint and competitive impact statement.
Consistent with the requirements of the Tunney Act, the proposed settlement, along with the competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register.  Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement during a 60-day comment period to Roberta S. Baruch, Special Attorney, United States, c/o Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, CC-8407, Washington, D.C. 20580.  At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia may approve the proposed settlement upon finding that it is in the public interest.

News From Councilman Mark Gjonaj,

  1. Tree Planting/Pruning
  2. Tree Sidewalk Prog
  3. Building Maintenance
  4. Con Edison
  5. Eviction

This week, the NYC DOT announced on Twitter that they will pursue with the Road Dieting Plan. Despite intense community opposition, the Road Dieting Plan would reduce the number of traffic lanes on Morris Park Avenue leading to many unintended consequences such as increased congestion.
Do you believe that the Road Diet will reduce the number of traffic 
fatalities in Morris Park?
Do you think the Road Diet plan will negatively impact local 
small businesses in the area?
Do you consider Morris Park Avenue a dangerous street for 
pedestrians and cyclists?

News From New York State Assembly Member Marcos Crespo

I am excited to share news about further enhancements coming to our community’s infrastructure ultimately designed to improve our quality of life and overall safety. My office has been actively working with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to begin to restore the underpass located on Rosedale Avenue & Bruckner Blvd.
This particular space is one of two major connectors that bring together parts of the district divided by the Bruckner Expressway. 
The scope of work being executed by NYSDOT include: the excavation of soil, installation of decorative gravel, cleaning of surrounding fences and sidewalks. The extent of work also includes: increased lighting and the installation of solid planking above the sidewalks, which will help keep our walking space free of bird waste. While weather and other factors could impact the timeline, completion of this work is expected to be reached before early 2019. 
Furthermore, a second phase of this effort will involve bringing together residents, community based organizations and other partners to envision and transform this space into a artistic, vibrant and welcoming structure that represents the environment our community deserves. 
For questions about this project or other community related information please contact the office of Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo at 718-893-0202 |

Riverdale Town Hall Meeting

  Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, and Councilman Andrew Cohen held a Town Hall meeting in the Riverdale section of the Bronx where all four elected officials districts cover. the town hall meeting was attended by almost 300 people, and was moderated by cable television personality Gary Axelbank. 

  Cards were given out for questions to be written down, and then collected. Mr. Axelbank grouped similar questions into one question, and then read the question to the individual elected official or all of the electeds. Questions many pertained to the area which asked about improving local bus service, constant construction in the area with roads constantly being dug up, the Coop Tax Penalty, the environment, quality of life complaints, all the new construction, and what is Senator Biaggi's first priority to name a few.

  The answers were what has been heard in the past on most questions. Construction in the roads has to be done to upgrade a gas, electrical, water, and sewer system that is up to one hundred years old. It is also being done to serve a growing population in the area. Work is still being done on equalizing the reason why Coops are taxed at a higher rate than homes. The MTA controls the mass transit system, and has to find ways to fill a shortfall in its budget, and that is by cutting back (saving money) on its services. Lastly, Senator Biaggi said that there is more than one thin, that there are many thins that she wants first, but passage if the Health Reproduction Act and ethics reform are numbers one and two.

Above - New 50th Precinct Captain Emilio Melendez speaks about what he sees as the priorities of the police department which includes making sure that everyone is safe. You can see moderator Gary Axelbank going over the questions in the background.
Below - (l-r) Female District Leader Randi Martos, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Councilman Andrew Cohen, Male District Leader Eric Dinowitz, and Chief of Staff to Congressman Engel Bruce Weitz.


  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. signs a petition to urge Amtrak to cease their delay tactics and stop holding up the opening up of four new Bronx Metro North stations. The plan is to bring new transit options to Coop-City, Morris Park, Parkchester/Van Nest and hunts Point by expanding commuter rail options along existing Amtrak rail track and existing Metro North train routes. 
  The holdup includes track repair and the repair of a train bridge on the route, which Amtrak wants Metro North to fully fund.

Above - BP Diaz Jr. holds up hundreds of signatures already received, and the goal is to have over one thousand signatures before the day was over.
Below  - BP Diaz Jr. with others were in the Bay Plaza Mall collecting signatures.


Centers will provide police officers with alternatives to arrests and hospitalization for people with mental health needs who do not pose a risk to public safety

  Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray announced two vendors have signed leases to open the City’s first two drop-off diversion centers, a significant first step towards opening the centers. Health diversion centers will offer short-term, stabilizing services for individuals with mental health and substance use needs, giving police officers a much-needed alternative to arrest or hospitalization.

The centers will be operated by Samaritan Daytop Village, at 3000 White Plains Road in the Bronx, and Project Renewal, at 179 East 116th Street in East Harlem. Each center will serve up to 25 people at a time; the City expects diversion centers to be open by late 2019.

“New Yorkers who struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues should be connected to treatment, not placed into the criminal justice system,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This agreement brings us one step closer to opening health diversion centers and making sure people who need help and aren't a threat to others get the care they truly need.”

“Far too many people are behind bars because they couldn’t get the mental health care they needed. These health diversion centers will help prevent arrests, and ensure New Yorkers receive the lifesaving care they need,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “This new partnership between the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYPD will augment and improve the City’s public health response to the mental health and substance misuse challenges in New York.”

“New Yorkers suffering from mental illness and addiction have been neglected and criminalized for far too long, and these centers represent a positive step in providing access to emergency services for people who are in crisis. I still believe that more can be done to address long term solutions and given that we are currently working to reduce the number of people incarcerated and close Rikers, we should expand on these efforts to search for alternatives for people suffering from mental illnesses who are in jail or would otherwise wind up in jail. I support the proposed opening of these short term care centers, and look forward to working with the administration to help not only those individuals who need a safe place to get stable and connect to services, but also to provide the kinds of services that enable people who are sick to get better and stay better,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

The total investment for both centers will be about $9.5 million annually, with a plan to divert approximately 2,400 people yearly. Each center will cost approximately $4.7 million each year.

First announced in 2014 in the Mayor’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System Action Plan, the diversion centers will serve people referred by the NYPD who need support and services for mental illness, substance use, and health and social issues. This is a voluntary program – there is no mandate to receive services. The centers will offer a range of clinical and non-clinical services, including overnight beds and basic needs, such as food, laundry and showers. Clinical services will include health and behavioral health assessments; counseling; advocacy; peer-to-peer engagement services; medication; medically-supervised substance use stabilization and withdrawal management; and naloxone training and distribution. Peers will play a central role in the approach to engagement and support at the diversion centers. The Action Plan has helped to reduce the number of people with a mental health diagnosis in city jails by 10 percent between 2014 and 2017.

“This is an extremely welcomed change for the NYPD,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Terri Tobin. “So often, in the middle of the night, officers encounter someone who is in need of help—whether it be mental illness or substance abuse—and these Health Diversion Centers are a place where we can bring that person for services. We do not want the criminal justice system to be the default, and the Health Diversion Centers will be another important intervention New York City provides to those in need.”

“This is an exciting milestone as we work towards opening diversion centers in New York City,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Diversion centers are a way to intervene at a critical moment – interaction with the police – and connect New Yorkers with mental health or substance use issues to care rather than arrest. They will help us break the cycle of criminal justice involvement for thousands of New Yorkers each year.”

“We are pleased by this important step and proud to have been part of the Behavioral Health Task Force, along with the DOHMH and multiple others, which helped launch this initiative,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. “This will broaden the options available to law enforcement when responding to individuals with behavioral health needs whose behavior violates the law.”

The new health diversion centers will operate 24/7 with a no-refusal policy for individuals brought in by the police. Length of stay will vary from hours to days depending on the person’s needs, with a cap of five days. When there is clinical need, such as more supervision of withdrawal services, the stay can be extended to 10 days. Once the client is stabilized, the centers will connect them to health care, social services and other supports. The centers will not be used as a replacement for permanent housing or long-term shelter for homeless individuals.

The model of the centers was developed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with partner agencies. Through ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan in the country, the centers offer an innovative alternative to jail or hospitals, and they are strategically paired with the NYPD’s Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). CIT enables officers to better recognize and manage the behaviors and symptoms related to a mental illness and substance use crisis.
Since 2015, nearly 11,000 NYPD officers across the City have received CIT training.  

“Diversion centers will provide an alternative to arrest and hospitalization for individuals with mental health needs and/or substance use disorder. New Yorkers battling these conditions will be provided with crucial services, such as behavioral health assessments, counseling, and medication assisted treatment,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction. “I look forward to the opening of both centers, as this evidence-based model will break the cycle of arrest for many individuals and help them achieve stability.”
“I represent one of the poorest districts in the City, and among some of the highest rates of incarceration. This new Diversion Center will help provide a safe alternative to arrest instead of a criminal record that can be devastating to the members of my community,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.


  Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) announced his support of the “Green New Deal,” a proposal being touted by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) aimed at overhauling energy use, reducing carbon emissions, and creating new jobs.

“I have reviewed the details of the Green New Deal proposal and strongly support the plan,”said Rep. Espaillat (NY-13). “I look forward to sitting down with Representative-elect Ocasio-Cortez to discuss strategies and next steps. I have heard from many of my constituents regarding the proposal and want to be very specific on how we move forward to best address climate change. Yes, the Green New Deal is an ambitious plan, but our nation has never shied away from addressing difficult challenges that we have faced, and we have witnessed tremendous progress because of it.

“During President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech at Rice University, he addressed the inspiration behind mankind’s intuition and the motivations that have propelled our nation to success throughout history. Within the same manner, we must continue to push forward to address the numerous challenges that we currently face, especially on issues such as climate change and global warming. I truly believe that we cannot wait for the change we want to see happen and that our actions today will significantly impact the generations of the future.

“I have spoken to Representative-elect Ocasio-Cortez to personally express my support of the proposal and to commend her on taking this bold and innovative step to address a pressing issue that communities face around the globe. The actions we take, even without the support of the masses, are actions that have led our nation to some of our most glorious achievements,” he concluded.