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Cops on horseback, plainclothes officers contribute to recent crime downtown

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You could almost say they called in the cavalry.

In an effort to quell a surge in crime that began in the new year, Canarsie’s 69th Precinct has flooded neighborhood streets with cops, including some on horseback, said Captain Milt Marmara, the precinct’s commanding officer.

Noting that the rocky start to 2010 was preceded by a year in which the precinct recorded its lowest crime numbers ever, Marmara told members of the 69th Precinct Community Council, gathered for their March meeting at the Hebrew Educational Society, on Seaview Avenue at East 95th Street, that the NYPD had responded by sending additional officers, including many in plain clothes, into the neighborhood.

“We were bringing out the kitchen sink,” Marmara said.

The officers concentrated on the southwestern portion of the neighborhood, which had been plagued by burglaries. As a result, Marmara said, they “pick(ed) up a lot of truants.” Kids who are roaming the streets when they should be in school, he stressed, “are up to no good.”

The results were in line with what the cops had hoped. After starting the year with a 79 percent increase in the seven major crime categories, the increase is now a more modest 5.2 percent as of March 21.

And, for the 28-day period ending then, overall crime in the precinct is substantially down compared to a year ago — a 29.2 percent decrease, to be exact.

A month earlier, the crime increase in the precinct year to date just topped 30 percent.

Burglaries were down over the past 28 days, Marmara sai, with seven where there had been 11 a year earlier.

Another problematic area had been robberies. But in the last 28 days, robberies were down compared to last year, 12 to 22, Marmara said.

The only category in which the precinct showed an increase during that period was felonious assaults, with 11 in 2010 compared to four during the same time period last year. This is directly related to an increase in domestic violence incidents, Marmara said. There were eight during the four-week period, compared to one during the same time period in 2009.

Both grand larcenies and incidents of grand larceny auto (GLA) were down for the year.

There have been 46 reported grand larcenies so far in 2010, compared to 56 at this point in 2009. There have been 23 GLAs year to date, compared to 25 at this point last year.

There have been no murders in the precinct so far in 2010, the same as at this point last year. There have been two rapes so far this year, the same as a year earlier.

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