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East Flatbush is crazy about guns.
With 142 under their belt so far this year, the 67th Precinct is leading Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, as well as the rest of the city, in gun arrests.
They’re also coming quite close to beating their own all-time record – 242 – which was made last year, when they again led the city in taking firearms off the street.
When it comes to gun arrests, the 67th Precinct has more than the second and third ranking precincts – the 70th Precinct in Flatbush and Midwood and the 69th Precinct in Canarsie.
Officials said that cops in Canarsie have made 61 gun arrests this year. The 70th Precinct has been credited with 62 gun arrests. A distant fourth is the 63rd Precinct, which covers Flatlands, Marine Park and Mill Basin, which had locked up 30 people on weapon charges by the middle of October, according to statistics.
“There are a lot of guns in East Flatbush,” Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues, the commanding officer of the 67th Precinct, told this paper Friday, adding that he was “surprised” by the high number of arrests.
“I’ve worked in some of the roughest precincts in the city,” explained Pegues, who took command of the 67th Precinct over the summer. “I was an executive officer in the 75th Precinct in East New York and the commanding officer of PSA2 – both busy commands. Then I come here and such a heavy volume of guns being taken off the streets. It was much higher than I expected.”
Right now, the 67th Precinct is outpacing the 75th Precinct, which has 118 gun arrests. They are also outpacing the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, which has seen 109 gun collars this year.
They also outpacing – by several miles – the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst (seven gun arrests) the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge (four gun arrests).
But the number of gun arrests does not always equal the number of guns taken off the street. The number reflect the amount of people taken into custody where a gun was present, so if a car is pulled over with four people in it, and a gun is found on the floor, all four are arrested for gun possession.
The number of actual guns seized for Patrol Borough Brooklyn South was not available as this paper went to press.
Pegues said that when it comes to getting guns off the streets, everyone’s involved.
“It’s about vigilance and knowing who the major players are,” he said. “When it comes to guns everyone is on board. We give pictures of people who have been arrested with guns in the past to our patrol officers and anti-crime teams, as well as any special units that come to the command for the day like narcotics or the street crime task force.”
“We also get a lot of information from confidential informants and debriefing of prisoners,” he added. “It’s very information driven.”
Pegues said that a fair amount of guns come from the club scene that has cropped up in East Flatbush in recent years.
Residents or guests to the area, it seems, like to bring guns to clubs and neighborhood barbecues.
“A third of the shootings in the command come from the clubs or back yard parties,” he said. “I guess people bring guns to them because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
He explained his officers patrol neighborhood clubs on a regular basis. If they spot someone either being barred at the door or storming back to their vehicle to get something, it’s a good bet that a gun may be involved.
Once a bulge in a jacket or under a shirt is seen, the cops can intervene and arrest the suspect if a gun or anything else illegal is found on him.
But some gun carriers have found their way around the tell-tale bulge.
“At one of my last shootings, the guy who did it had a .22 that couldn’t have been bigger than two and a half inches,” he said. “It was like a derringer.”
Besides gun arrests, 22 guns in East Flatbush “sold” to the Kings County District Attorneys Office during a Gun Buy Back event at the Restoration Temple Assembly of God, 4606-10 Church Avenue.
An additional 33 firearms were recovered the same day at St. Albans Episcopal Anglican Church at 9408 Farragut Road in Canarsie, officials said.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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