Norco Citizens on Patrol

114th Civilian 
Observation Patrol, Inc 

Norco Citizens on Patrol
  

114th Citizen Observation Patrol Facts

The 114th Civilian Observation Patrol, Inc. (114th Civ-OP, Inc.) has been a reputable and accepted civilian observation patrol in the 114th Precinct since 1980. Its main goal is to perform specific objectives in an effort to deter and prevent crime, and improve the community’s quality of life.  We work closely with the Community Affairs Officers and Crime Prevention Officers assigned to the 114th Precinct.  Civ-OP members serve as extra eyes and ears for the police without getting physically involved. Our volunteers are trained to look for and report quality of life problems when they go out on patrol – not crime.  If they happen to witness a crime or suspicious activity while they are out there, they are trained to observe and report such to the base station operator, who in turn calls the appropriate authorities.  At no time do members become physically involved in an incident – with exception to an accident scene where they might ask the victims if they need an ambulance, etc. The group’s efforts are specifically designed to:

a)      Decrease crime activity or incidence of crime within the confines of the areas covered.

b)      Create a cleaner and safer quality of life for both residents and merchants within the community.

c)      Encourage witness/victim participation in court proceedings.

d)      Encourage neighborhood involvement and awareness with crime prevention practices and maintaining an improved quality of life in the community.

e)      Decrease plea bargaining, and increase maximum sentencing and penalties through court monitoring.

f)        Deter street crime, such as muggings, car and car radio thefts in covered areas.

g)      Deter late night street crimes, such as the mugging of victims coming home late from work, or social events, especially during warmer months.

            114th Civ-OP, Inc. has been directly responsible for the NYPD making over 40 arrests and the organization has cleaned up numerous unsightly graffiti locations and made thousands of quality of life complaints.  It has established itself as a necessary force against crime in the Queens, New York community it serves.

Since October 1980, 114th Civ-OP, Inc. has:

  • addressed quality of life problems as well as potential crime problems in both residential and commercial areas within the 114th Precinct. 
  • a youth group, 114th C.O.Y. (Civilian Observation Youth) that participates with the community graffiti clean-ups. 
  • special patrols which cover community events such as patrolling the outer boundaries of an event to make sure people coming and going can do so safely, and performing foot patrols during concerts and Fourth of July celebrations in Astoria Park. 
  • painted gates, walls and other public structures in commercial areas upon request. 
  • routine anti-graffiti maintenance patrols to keep cleaned up areas clean. 
  • remained willing to attend all court proceedings if vandals are arrested. 
  • published quarterly newsletters documenting all Civ-OP activities and maintained its distribution within the target areas.

Improving the community’s “quality of life” is a major function of 114th Civ-OP, Inc.  By reporting street light outages, a “mugger’s haven” has been eliminated when the light is repaired.  Having pot holes repaired quickly decreases the chances for pedestrians being hurt, or cars from having accidents.  The removal of abandoned vehicles and the demolition or repair of abandoned buildings takes a hiding place away from the criminal element.  Removing unsightly graffiti leaves an area looking cleaner and safer.  The complaint might be as small as a base cover missing from a street light pole to as large as a six foot pot hole.  If it presents a danger, nuisance or hazard in any way to the average citizen, members from 114th Civ-OP, Inc. will report it to the proper agencies.  The quick and timely attention given to these and many other problems adds up to a cleaner and healthier “quality of life” for the community.  In any given area, this leaves the impression of a more tightly knit neighborhood and appears less appealing to the criminal element. 

            114th Civ-OP, Inc. actively works to clean up graffiti in both residential and commercial areas and to maintain an area’s cleaned-up status.  This is achieved through volunteers’ hard work in first restoring a site by painting or power washing over graffiti and then monitoring the sites after.  If new graffiti is found on any site cleaned, volunteers participating in maintenance patrols revisit the site to re-clean it.  Clean-up and maintenance is the key to winning the war against graffiti vandals.  If tags are not visible, vandals don’t gain the fame they desire, and they will seek more favorable (less monitored) areas to vandalize. 

            In addition, recent objectives have focused on working more closely with small business owners in our community by offering them a free graffiti removal service. Many merchants rent the stores they do business in.  Their rent is very high.  To come in the morning to open up and find that your nice gates have been vandalized with graffiti is not a happy experience.  In many cases, building owners aren’t too quick about removing the vandalism.  And, many issues come to play when graffiti remains visible on the store’s gates or walls. 

  • First, storeowners feel they are victims.  Many pay high rents and the owners don’t clean it as often as they should (or not at all).  They don’t feel they should have to pay for the clean up.  They feel the police are not doing their job – arresting the vandals.
  • Second, residents get the wrong impression that storeowners simply don’t care what the neighborhood looks like when they close their doors at night and display unsightly graffiti on their gates. 
  • Third, vandals return to areas that best advertise their handiwork.  If graffiti is left visible and not removed, vandals get what they want – notoriety.  They will come back to do more graffiti and their friends will do the same.  Crime usually follows this crowd and the neighborhood’s quality of life deteriorates.

When merchants, adult and youth residents, and the police get together to clean up the neighborhood, and take steps to maintain it, the only ones who lose are the vandals.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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