Less than a week after a shooting on Main Street in the heart of Kew Gardens Hills claimed the life of an 18-year-old man, Council Member James F. Gennaro spearheaded a meeting with various stakeholders to address community concerns and discuss public safety measures.

“It was an extremely productive discussion in which solutions were discussed to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,” stated Gennaro following the gathering. Topics discussed ranged from communal concerns to possible safety measures available to North Queens Community High School and its neighbors.

Deputy Inspector Kevin Chan, commanding officer of the 107th Precinct, once again stressed the need for home and business owners to install and operate working outdoor cameras that have proven integral in investigating neighborhood crime. He also noted that additional neighborhood patrols have been put into place as other options are weighed. In the wake of recent threats targeting synagogues in NYC, Chan and Gennaro have held regular communications to ensure the precinct has the resources necessary to patrol areas near area synagogues. It is incumbent on worshippers to be vigilant and observant, and if you observe any suspicious activity, to please report it directly to the 107th precinct immediately at 718-969-5100. Additionally, one should feel comfortable calling Queens Borough Safety Patrol-Shmira at 718-329-4444, or the office of Council Member Gennaro at 718-217-4969, where Adam Suionov, our District Director, will handle your concerns.

Gennaro enlisted the help of State Senator Leroy Comrie, who attended the meeting, as well the collaboration of Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal, the New York City Department of Education, and the 107th Precinct, who were each represented. “It takes a village, and by coming together as a community, we can prevent another tragedy like this from occurring,” concluded Gennaro. Attendees also included members from NYPD School Safety Division; Martha Taylor, Chairperson, Community Board 8; and Sorolle Idels, Chairperson, Queens Jewish Alliance.

The facts remain quite simple: According to comp stat figures, the 107th precinct serving Kew Gardens Hills and surrounding neighborhoods has drastically much less crime than nearby precincts when compared. This is due to the selfless dedication of Deputy Inspector Kevin Chan, commanding officer of the 107, and his team of personnel.

The North Queens Community High School, where a student was recently murdered, was developed to help children turn their lives around. That was the case with the young man whose life was senselessly taken by a gunman from outside of the area. Many have taken aim at the bail reform law recently instituted for the crime wave. It should be noted that this law cannot be amended further until the state budgets are once again discussed at the start of April.

Gennaro has been painstakingly working with the hierarchy of Mayor Eric Adam’s office, various facets of the NYPD, the New York City school’s chancellor’s office, community leaders, and local legislators to increase the safety of the aforementioned high school.

It is warming to know that our elected officials see the unity of our Queens Jewish communities and are working together with local stakeholders using every resource at their disposal to ensure our neighborhoods remain safe, and that the protections needed for our schools are in place.

 By Shabsie Saphirstein