Bay Ridge

‘Cop on the Corner’ coming to Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst

Brannan says Neighborhood Policing makes streets safer

February 23, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Justin Brannan (left) talked about the importance of the NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing program when he was campaigning for his council seat last year. Photo courtesy of Justin Brannan’s council campaign
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The partnership between residents and the police officers who are assigned to protect them is about to enter a new phase in two Southwest Brooklyn precincts now that a highly praised citywide program will be making its local debut.

Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-parts of Bensonhurst) announced that NYPD’s much-touted Neighborhood Policing program is coming to the 62nd Precinct (Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) and the 68th Precinct (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights).

Neighborhood Policing, which features a “cop on the corner” concept along with the active participation of community leaders, is scheduled to begin in the 62nd Precinct in April and in the 68th Precinct in July.

The program has seen impressive results in the precincts where it has been implemented, according to Brannan, who said it is built on establishing trust between police and the public.

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“It’s important that residents and police officers work together to build trust in order to achieve the mutual goal of safe streets and strong neighborhoods. I am happy to see more resources and officers for the 68 and 62, but it’s not about simply hiring or dispatching more officers, it’s about using them in a smart way and producing positive results,” Brannan said in a statement.

“We’re excited,” Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann told the Brooklyn Eagle. “I think it will bring more resources into our community.”

Community Board 10 represents Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, the same two neighborhoods covered by the 68th Precinct.

“We really need additional officers in this command,” said Beckmann, who added that the 68th Precinct currently has less than 100 police officers, not counting sergeants and lieutenants. “To fall below 100 officers starts to affect the quality of life,” she said.

Approximately two-thirds of the city’s 77 police precincts have Neighborhood Policing, 1010WINS Radio reported in January. NYPD’s goal is to have the program up and running in all precincts by 2019, according to NYPD’s website.

Under Neighborhood Policing, a police precinct is divided into four or five sectors with police assigned to each sector. The same officers work in that sector and are on duty for the same shift each day so that residents get to know who is patrolling their area. The officers stay within the boundaries of their sector and do not answer calls in other parts of the precinct.

But the sector cops do much more than just answer emergency calls, according to NYPD. The sector officers also spend their time talking to local residents to become familiar with the sector and its problems and work on solving those problems.

Each sector also has two neighborhood coordination officers (NCOs) who work as liaisons between the precinct and local residents. NCOs attend community meetings, meet with civic leaders and members of the clergy and visit schools.

“NCOs are adding a new dimension to the NYPD’s crime-fighting capabilities. They function as adjuncts to the local detective squads, responding swiftly to breaking incidents and developing leads and evidence that might have been missed under the old patrol model. Most importantly, they feel a sense of belonging and responsibility that fosters a willingness to do whatever it takes to keep the neighborhood safe and secure,” a message on NYPD’s website reads.

Brannan said he has high hopes for the 62nd and 68th precincts under Neighborhood Policing.

“Our neighborhoods will benefit from neighborhood policing and the return of the ‘cop on the corner.’ People will become familiar with the officers serving their community every day, which goes a long way in building trust. Protecting all New Yorkers is important work. This move to replace broken windows policing with neighborhood policing will simultaneously make our neighborhoods safer and build respect and trust between police and the communities they serve,” Brannan stated.

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