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:
activity or incidence of crime within the confines of the areas covered.
Create a cleaner
and safer quality of life for both residents and merchants within the community.
witness/victim participation in court proceedings.
neighborhood involvement and awareness with crime prevention practices and
maintaining an improved quality of life in the community.
bargaining, and increase maximum sentencing and penalties through court
crime, such as muggings, car and car radio thefts in covered areas.
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
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.
maintenance patrols to keep cleaned up areas clean.
remained willing to attend
all court proceedings if vandals are arrested.
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
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.