In its last meeting before breaking for the summer, the Citizens for a Better Ridgewood held a combined meeting with the 104th Police Precinct’s community council on Monday night.
The meeting touched on a number of topics including the longstanding community complaints aabout Grover Cleveland Park, a crime update from the 104th Precinct and other quality of life concerns, such as noise complaints, from residents.
Captain John Travaglia began the meeting with the neighborhood’s latest crime statistics. Travaglia noted that while crime in the area is down this month, and for the year overall, the number of grand larcenies has increased for this period compared to last year.
“Grand larceny is really something that’s driving our crime numbers up,” said Travaglia, who reported that there have been 43 grand larcenies during this period—a 26 percent increase from the same time period last year. “We could just show a bigger decrease if we could just get a handle on these grand larcenies.”
Travaglia says that many grand larcenies happen because people leave personal items, like wallets, cell phones and laptops, in their car unattended, which bait criminals to break into their car. Travaglia said residents should exercise caution and remove personal items from cars.
The meeting then shifted gears to residential concerns.
According to Marcela Donnelly, of Ridgewood, there has been recent prostitution activity on Starr Street. According to Donnelly, the activity has been going on early in the morning between Cyprus Avenue and Starr Street to Onderdonk Avenue. “That seems to be an easy place for business.” Donnelly said.
Travaglia assured Donnelly and all the other residents that the police have been addressing this problem and will continue to look around that area to stop any prostitution activity before it takes place.
Grover Cleveland Park then became the big topic of discussion for the rest of the meeting as residents and police discussed how to resolve the problems that have been plaguing the park and bothering residents that live nearby.
A common complaint among the residents is that people who have permits to play soccer and volleyball in the park have been barbecuing in that area and leaving the area filthy. One resident said he saw “garbage all over the playing field” when he visited the soccer fields on Monday morning.
After hearing all the complaints, Michael Hetzer, the Vice President of Citizens for A Better Ridgewood told the residents to write the complaints on paper so that he could pass it along to the Parks Department.
The next Citizens for a Better Ridgewood meeting will be held on Monday, September 26th.
by Luis Gronda