Osvaldo Nunez, Commanding Officer of the 114th Police Precinct, responsible for security in Astoria, gave an exclusive interview to The National Herald. His message should delight each and every one of us living there.
What he most wanted to convey was that Astoria, an area that not only still has the largest Greek population in the United States, but which continues to receive new immigrants from Greece, is a safe area.
An area in which a family can live without fear, provided that everyone takes the most basic precautions.
He explained that the few crimes that are happening in the area are concentrated in a particular location next to the Queensboro Bridge, which is also the site of the largest working-class housing project in the country.
Even there, crimes are restricted to residents who live inside the projects and mainly involve the settling of scores among gangs without affecting the surrounding areas.
However, the officer expressed special concerns about the elderly in the area, who are the most vulnerable population. He said there are all sorts of fraudsters ranging from those trying to sell the elderly different kinds of products – from non-existent insurance and securities, to those who claim to be representatives of various government agencies, such as the IRS.
Members of the Community need help by being on the lookout for people preying on their elderly friends and family members, but regarding protection against violence crimes, the Commanding Officer of the 114th Precinct noted that 260 police officers guard the area.
That is a substantial and well-armed force. A force under a Commanding Officer who takes an interest in the Police Department’s relations with society, interested in communicating with the community he serves directly, because he knows the value of good community relations for the police.
This, moreover, was the main message of the interview he gave us. As the region develops rapidly, as more and more blocks of apartment buildings are rising out of nowhere like…mushrooms sprouting everywhere, and as the population living there increases, the sense of security of the citizens plays an extremely important role.
These are the foundations on which a strong and healthy society is built.
And the neighborhoods of Astoria and Long Island City are on a solid foundation.