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Guns, gangs & grief - Shootings blamed on hoodlums

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Most of the gun smoke wafting out of Canarsie was created by either gang violence or retaliation attacks.

So explained Captain Milt Marmara, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, when he said that most of the shootings in the neighborhood this year have in some way been connected to gang activity – something cops in the command have been successful at addressing over the past few months.

During last week’s 69th Precinct Community Council meeting, Marmara said that two shootings took place in Canarsie in October, a small but noticeable jump over the one shooting that took place back in October 2007.

“Last year was a quiet year,” Marmara explained. “A lot of the shootings we’re seeing now are gang-related type shootings. But we’re trading these shootings for a lot of gun arrests.”

Officials said that the 69th Precinct was in the top three in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South when it comes to gun arrests.

Back in mid-October, cops from the 69th Precinct had 61 gun arrests under their belt, trailing behind the 70th Precinct in Flatbush, which had 62, and the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, which had 142 gun arrests.

Realizing that the shootings tend to go hand in hand with gang activity, Marmara said that he and his officers are shutting down any opportunity gangs like the Bloods and Crips have to congregate in the neighborhood.

Back in May, the precinct was caught off-guard when a gang meeting was held at the Canarsie Pier.

While a level one mobilization was called and the would-be gang members were dispersed, another gang conclave was held in the neighborhood a few weeks later. Once again, cops were called and the crowd was dispersed.

There wasn’t a third meet, Marmara said, explaining that he and other agencies took steps to stop the meeting from being held before it even began.

“It was a complete 180,” Marmara explained. “We heard that a third meeting was planned, but we prevented it from happening. We set up a whole plan and not one person came down.”

“Once we got better intel, we got better at stopping gangs from gathering here,” he added.

While those in attendance agreed that they haven’t seen any gang activity as severe as what was spotted at the Canarsie Pier back in May, Marmara urged anyone with information about upcoming gang meets to let the police know.

“If you see any flyers in the street advertising a house party, you should let us know,” Marmara said, noting that these flyers are usually ads for gang-related gatherings and parties. “Once we know when one of these events is going to be held, we can put together a plan to stop it.”

Anyone with information regarding gang activity can contact the 69th Precinct’s Community Affairs office at (718) 257-6205. All calls will be kept confidential.

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