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By Stephen Witt
When shots are fired people usually scatter, but for the 70th Precinct’s anti-crime team it’s time to converge on the crime scene.
It was the work of six anti-crime unit members in three separate incidents that resulted in guns and shooters being taken off the street, earning the six “Cop of the Month” honors.
“All three incidents had a gun collar and involved these six officers purposely putting themselves in an area where there was previous shootings,” said Dep. Inspector Ralph Monteforte, commanding officer of the 70th Precinct.
“All three incidents occurred within a week of a shooting in the area,” he added.
Monteforte noted that the anti-crime teams go out in plain clothes in unmarked cars, often changing their hours and tours of duty to go where violence recently occurred and look for the bad guys.
In the first incident, the anti-crime team consisting of Police Officers Robert Clark and Josh Laveglia took a gun off the street from a perpetrator in a car on Lenox Road between Flatbush and Bedford Avenues in the vicinity of where a sanitation worker was recently shot.
In the second incident, Sgt. Thomas Kennedy and Police Officer John Petrie went to a location where there was a previous shooting at Albermarle Road and East 18th Street. They caught a perpetrator with a gun.
In the third incident, Police Officers Valery Paul Blanc and Gerald Cucchiara made a gun arrest at an undisclosed location.
All three collars went down without violence or further incident, Monteforte said.
Monteforte said that in all shootings there is always a threat of retaliation, making the arrests all the more important.
The anti-crime team also effected a recent arrest following a shooting on East 14th Street and Avenue H, Monteforte said, where a perpetrator shot his cousin in a family dispute.
After the shooing the perpetrator fled near Coney Island Avenue where he was apprehended by two members of the anti-crime team, he said.
Monteforte said at the time of the incident the two crime fighters just finished a night tour and were processing a gun and drugs bust when the call came in of the shooting.
The two finished their paperwork, went back out on the street and made the collar while recovering the gun, he said.
Several others received awards at the last 70th Precinct Community Council meeting before summer recess.
Those honored included 70th Precinct Community Council President Ed Powell for the NYPD’s Community Recognition Award and Police Officer Jacqueline Bourne for her work with community affairs.
Additionally, civilians Baylla Inman, Delsie Larson and Joe Basso received certificates of appreciation.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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