I met a woman on my way to the 33rd precinct police council meeting on Wednesday who lived on Riverside Drive off of 155th Street. She told me that she has lived in the neighborhood for a long time, but she never worried about crime until now, with the rapes being the tipping point. She was going to the council meeting to quell some of her fears.
At this week’s meeting Deputy Inspector Joseph V. Dowling announced that the number of fellonious assaults was up, but assured the community that there is nothing to worry about, since officers arrested 109 of the perpetrators behind the 154 fellonious assaults that happened since the beginning of the year.
Dowling thanked the community for their efforts in reporting crimes, which led to the arrest of an escaped criminal. He next opened the floor to questions and concerns from the public. Many people wanted to know what they can do about the narcotics issues plaguing the neighborhood. Dowling said to talk to police in private. The next issue was up for discussion was gang activity. Dowling assured that there were no serious issues with that since the arrest last spring. He said the gangs active in the area are Trinitarios and Dominicans Don’t Play, and they mostly fight against each other. He assured one worried woman that there are no active Bloods and Crips in the neighborhood.
A big problem that the police is looking into is the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Dowling said prescription drugs sold on the streets wind up back in pharmacies and in black markets outside the United States.