A quick Happy New Year’s greeting to the Bangladeshi community, and then Captain Kenneth Quick got right to the point.
At last Thursday’s 66th Precinct Community Council meeting, commanding officer Captain Quick plunged right into discussing “the media coverage which touches close to home” — referring the massive NYPD corruption probe by the FBI that implicated several high ranking local officers.
“Neither of these gentlemen hold any position of authority in our community—not Shomrim, Hatzolah, community board, or police council,” said Quick, referring to the two businessmen at the center of the investigation including one, Jeremy Reichberg, who lives in Borough Park.
The Daily News reports today, however, that Reichberg hosted “an appreciation” barbecue for cops in the 66th Precinct, and some assigned elsewhere, last summer. During this event, which was held at the 39th Street pier in Brooklyn, Reichberg reportedly “got the department’s vaunted harbor unit to give his friends brief boat rides.”
“It was an event for the community, but he [Reichberg] wanted to show how much clout he had and had harbor (unit) there to give people rides,” a source told the Daily News.
Since the 66th Precinct meeting, a member of the Shomrim was also named in the probe and arrested for allegedly trying to bribe officers to “expedite” gun permits in exchange for what he dubbed “lunch money.”
Quick Explains Why Detective Milici Pleaded The Fifth Amended
Last Thursday, Quick also addressed the transfer of Community Affairs Detective Mike Milici, a 27-year veteran of the 66th Precinct who has been named in the corruption probe, and was many years ago a Kensington kid from Beverley Road.
Now stripped of his gun and his badge, Milici is currently doing prisoner intake in Queens.
Quick asserted that when Detective Milici was called before the Federal grand jury, his lawyer asked the FBI what questions it would cover. When the FBI refused to say, Milici’s lawyer advised him to take the Fifth Amendment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, not testifying, however, is a “violation of department policy.” It was then that the NYPD benched him and placed him on “modified duty,” thus relieving Milici of his enforcement duties, but not his paycheck.
The modified duty, Quick said, is “not indicative of wrongdoing. If there is any wrongdoing,” he continued, “it will be investigated.”
No Comment On Yiddish Street Gang
When asked, Captain Quick would not comment on the alleged 2012 assault of two area men by The Forks, a Yiddish-speaking teen gang from Borough Park, because the incident happened before he took command at the 66th.
As first reported by the Daily News, 66th Precinct officers allegedly refused to pursue the complaint of a local man who was hospitalized after a Forks attack because, in the victim’s opinion, one of the gang members was a relative of the businessmen currently under Federal investigation.
Quick noted that Officer Tommy Kukla will join Officer Joseph Vitella in the Community Affairs unit, where Detective Milici was stationed before being placed on modified duty.
Officer Kukla—like Officer Vitella—is a 27-year NYPD veteran who has worked in the Anticrime and Conditions units and, most recently, in crime prevention. Officer Vitella also worked undercover for 13 years. For the past three years Vitella has been assigned to Community Affairs. The basic requirement for Community Affairs’ work, he explained, is knowing the precinct “like the back of one’s hand.”
Captain Quick argued that the 66th Precinct had good relations with all of its communities: “We are your precinct and police department.” The best way to serve you, he emphasized, was to work together, “hand in hand.”
Crime In The 66th
Captain Quick also discussed recent crime statistics for our area.
Compared to last year, crime is down or stable in every major CompStat index, Captain Quick said. Crime overall is down 21 percent for the past 28 days, and 13 percent for the year. Felonious assault is the big exception — compared to 2015, it is up almost 100 percent for the year so far, and 75 percent for the last 28 days.
As Quick has noted before, felonious assault—like murder and rape—is often a crime among acquaintances. This was true of the 14 incidents in the past 28 days, he said. Nonetheless, the precinct has succeeded in making arrests in 12 cases. In the other two cases, the perp has been identified and the precinct expects to catch him shortly, while the victim in the other incident refused to pursue charges.
On Friday, April 8, cops alert to a “burg pattern” in the 66th trailed a crew of three burglars on 62nd Street, and caught two. This crew has been working in the 66th and and other nearby precincts.
Another noteworthy attack was the beating of an elderly woman on Ocean Parkway, who had been followed home from the grocery store. The precinct is aggressively pursuing this case.
Commercial Vehicles Parked on Residential Streets
Commercial vehicles and yellow school buses parking on residential streets is an issue that bobs up frequently at council meetings.
One couple complained that it was rampant where they lived at 10th Avenue and 40 Street, near New Utrecht Avenue. Quick recommended they call 311, but then acknowledged that the precinct issues lots of summons which the commercial vehicles ignore.
It’s illegal to park a commercial vehicle on a residential street unless its a school bus from a private school located on the same block. Quick told the couple to call the precinct directly, and Quick would then alert the midnight shift. The long-term solution to this problem, Quick suggested, had to come from elected officials who need to find a location where commercial vehicles can park overnight legally.
Passover begins Friday, April 22 and ends April 30. The 66th Precinct will provide security at (unnamed) Borough Park locations during the holiday, as it does for Ramadan and Easter.
On Sunday, May 1, the precinct and local Bangladeshi businesses are jointly sponsoring a Church Avenue Street Fair at East 2nd Street.
The next 66th Precinct Community Council meeting will take place Thursday, May 19 at the Community Board 12 office at 7:30pm.