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Friday, November 21, 2014
Elmont residents voice safety concerns
Community members ask for stricter law enforcement
Vikas Girdhar/Herald
Officer Rita Bopp-Carroll took notes about Elmont streets and intersections that residents said do not have enough stop signs or law enforcement.

At an Elmont East End Civic Association meeting at the Elmont Library on Sept. 3, residents expressed concerns about safety to a member of the Nassau County district attorney’s office and a 4th Precinct police officer. Complaints focused on unsafe driving conditions, illegal housing, a perceived reduction in law enforcement and drug abuse.

Association President Patrick Nicolosi asked Madeline Singas, chief assistant district attorney, and Officer Rita Bopp-Carroll for help in improving the safety and quality of life in the community. Nicolosi said that the Nassau County Police Department’s decision to merge the 4th and 5th precincts nearly a year ago was one of the main reasons why many residents feel unsafe. The merged precincts, now known as the Southwest Precinct, saw upticks in robbery, burglary and grand larceny in April compared with last year, he said.

“They say that violent crime is down, but we don’t see that here in Elmont,” Nicolosi said. “It’s not safe. Something needs to be done about the violence going on in Elmont, and something needs to be done fast.”

Singas, speaking two days after the rape of a 60-year-old woman in nearby Valley Stream State Park, urged residents to consider that some crime statistics may be misleading. “Statistics are not always what they’re cracked up to be,” Singas said. “Keep in mind that these days, women are reporting more crimes; that alone affects numbers. Of course, we intend to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law, but numbers can be misleading.”

Bopp-Carroll, who took notes as residents spoke, said that police were committed to making Elmont a safer community. She also asked for their help in an ongoing search in Elmont for a 16- to 20-year-old man who had allegedly committed four robberies in two weeks. Bopp-Carroll said that the man rides a bicycle, and had robbed pedestrians of jewelry between 8 and 10 a.m. (He was still at large as of press time on Monday.)

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