NYPD Steps Up Presence Following Forest Hills Fires

A newly installed NYPD Command Post in Forest Hills (Photo by Michael Shain via Times Ledger)

A newly installed NYPD Command Post in Forest Hills (Photo by Michael Shain via Times Ledger)

The NYPD has posted a command post in Forest Hills following a rash of fires that have been set at homes under construction for members of the Bukharian Jewish community, reports Gabriel Rom of Times Ledger.

The NYPD has increased patrols in Forest Hills and has dispatched undercover agents throughout the Cord Meyer neighborhood, according to 112th Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison.

At a Community Board 6 meeting Dec. 9, Harrison was joined by FDNY Borough Commander Edward Baggott and Commander Randall Wilson of the Bureau of Fire Investigation.

Wilson said the FDNY was working closely with the NYPD in a “full-court press by both agencies… reaching beyond what we normally do.”

However, the authorities are still declining to characterize the arsons as hate crimes against the Bukharian Jewish community, reports Time Ledger.

“We do realize what the correlation is between the owners and the Jewish community,” Harrison said. “But we feel right now that [the arsonist] is targeting properties that are under construction and those properties just so happen to be owned by certain people. If the property was owned by an Italian, he would still be targeting that property,” she said.

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