FROM LOHUD.COM-SERIOUS CRIME AT ALL TIME LOW...bus transportation to library?
Release Date: January 30, 2008
Serious crime down in Greenburgh; police chief says it's the lowest in 25 years
Gerald McKinstry • The Journal News • January 30, 2008
GREENBURGH - Serious crime in town dropped nearly 12 percent last year to a 25-year low while other lesser infractions rose.Police Chief John Kapica said the numbers were the "best they've ever been" during his tenure. He credited "active crime prevention" efforts and aggressively pursuing less serious crimes as reasons for the decline."We're treating minor crime more seriously," Kapica said this week, citing vandalism as one example. "I really believe a lot of what we're doing with community policing is working. We put a lot of resources into youth programs. I think they're paying off."There were 795 serious crimes reported in 2007, a drop of 108 since the year before, according to figures recently released by the Police Department.Serious crime is defined by the Department of Justice as aggravated assault, burglary, homicide, larceny, motor vehicle theft, robbery and rape.Last year, there were 903 serious offenses compared with 1,029 in 2004 and 1,108 in 2003, according to police figures.Larceny was down significantly, as was vehicle theft, felony assault, robbery and burglary, according to the department's statistics. Homicides remained the same at one, and rapes doubled to two.Greenburgh's overall decline mirrors other communities, including White Plains, which recently reported that serious crimes hit a 42-year low.Greenburgh, the largest town in Westchester County and the county's fifth-largest municipality, calculates crime differently than other departments in New York that use the Uniform Crime Reporting System. The town individually counts all crime, even if more than one is committed in a given incident; most departments only list serious crime.Arrests were up 11.8 percent to 1,376, with most of those - 1,013 - classified as misdemeanors such as assault, driving while intoxicated, drug possession and criminal mischief.Kapica said some of those increases, particularly driving while intoxicated, drug-related offenses and prostitution, occurred because police were more aggressive with stings, task forces and investigations.Among the largest spikes in less-serious crime was fraud and forgery, up more than 69 percent to 166 reported incidents. Kapica said that trend would likely continue, with identity theft increasing.olice responded to 36,824 calls for service and gave out 5,893 tickets, slight increases from last year. The department has 122 members, he said.Supervisor Paul Feiner commended the Police Department and its community policing efforts. Feiner said he was pleased with the numbers, albeit somewhat cautious, given that crime can be cyclical and affected by many other factors such as the economy."Every year you think it's the lowest and then it gets lower," Feiner said. "We always give the police most of the resources they request and the tools, staff and equipment. They're constantly upgrading and improving. So far, it's worked.
Last night members of the Town Board met with residents of E Hartsdale Ave -- discussing the need for the library to restore the cybermobile and Sunday library hours. We all hope that progress will be made within the next few weeks. In the meantime, a constructive suggestion was made: the town has a bus that we use to transport seniors. Inasmuch as we have a senior citizen bus and driver - we should provide seniors (and those who don't have cars) who reside on E Hartsdale Ave/Highpoint and perhaps other locations with transportation to the Library. I have contacted the parks dept and asked them to review the suggestion. PAUL FEINER