Captain Milt Marmara, the new commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, told residents last week that they don’t have to wait until their monthly community council meeting to address crime problems on their block.
Instead, they can come to him directly.
“You should never have to come to a meeting to air your complaints,” Marmara told council members during his first meeting as the 69th Precinct’s new commanding officer. Marmara took over from departing Deputy Inspector Ralph Monteforte in late April. “You should never have that kind of a delay. We work as a team, so you should either stop by the precinct or give us a call.”
Although this was his first appearance before the full council, Marmara said that as soon as he touched down in Canarsie he reached out to 69th Precinct Council President John Salogub and other community leaders to learn more about the neighborhood’s concerns.
“I’ve already met a lot of good people in the 14 business days I’ve been here,” he said, explaining how impressed he was with Canarsie’s community leaders. “They are at the heart of this community…they host so many events, and they’re all volunteers.”
Marmara said that as soon as he assumed command, he hit the ground running.
Over the last month, he’s tackled a rise in cell phone robberies among teens, a jump in domestic violence incidents, a “gang recruitment drive” at the Canarsie Pier over Memorial Day weekend, and a stabbing that led to a young man’s death.
But while he’s been busy tackling crimes as they crop up, he’s mindful of one of the community’s major gripes – loud music.
“We’re going to keep an eye on serious parties and noise complaints and have set up a task force to tackle it,” he said. “I know that the last thing people in this community want to hear is music blasting.”
Marmara comes to the 69th Precinct after serving several years as executive officer at three Queens’ precincts.
While it’s his first command, Marmara has put in his time in several specialized crime-fighting units where he gained invaluable experience in combating drug dealers and increasing crime trends.
Yet he knows that a precinct’s success rests on the relationship it has with the community at large.
“We can’t keep crime reduction down alone,” he said. “The community has to help us out to find out where bad guys are, where problem buildings are and whose dealing drugs and carrying guns.”