68th Precinct top cop Conwell transferred to Canarsie

June 8, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
68th Precinct top cop Conwell transferred to Canarsie
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After more than two years, Capt. Robert Conwell is leaving his position as the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct following a shakeup in the NYPD.

It was announced on Saturday, June 6 that Conwell is now the top cop at the 69th Precinct, which covers Canarsie. The precinct is mostly residential with commercial strips along Avenue L, Rockaway Parkway, and Remsen Avenue, according to the NYPD.

The new commanding officer of the 68th Precinct is Captain Andrew “Andy” Tolson, who was C.O. of the 67th Precinct, which serves East Flatbush and Remsen Village.

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According to the New York Daily News, the transfers came as the result of an NYPD shakeup after an officer from the 73rd Precinct pushed a female protester to the ground during a protest near the Barclays Center on Thursday, May 28. Deputy Inspector Craig Edelman was walking behind the cop and allegedly didn’t offer aid to the victim. He was removed as C.O. of the 73rd Precinct, resulting in several transfers within the department.

Conwell said goodbye to the neighborhood via social media.

“I would like to thank all of the 68th precinct communities for their support in our community policing efforts over the past couple of years,” he wrote. “I will be moving on to the 69th precinct, but my successor will carry on my vision for a safer and peaceful community. I will miss you all.”

Conwell is a Bensonhurst native and lived in Bay Ridge for more than nine years. Before he was assigned to the 68th Precinct, he was top cop at the 60th Precinct, which serves Coney Island.

ebrooklyn media/file photo by Helen Klein

“I’m pretty familiar with the area and the feel of the community,” he told this paper in an interview in 2018.

He started his NYPD career in Transit District 33 more than 20 years ago. Since then, he has worked at 81st, 23rd, 30th 60th, 66th, and 67th precincts.

Conwell’s predecessor at the 69th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Terrell Anderson, has transferred to the 73rd Precinct and mentioned Conwell in his statement.

“As I move on to the 73 Precinct I want to simply say ‘Thank you #Canarsie.’ I will never forget you and what we’ve accomplished together,” he said. “You have some of the best cops in the city and Captain Conwell will enhance the great work they do. I was blessed and grateful to serve you.”

The 104th Precinct congratulated Conwell via Twitter.

“Congratulations and best of luck on your new assignment,” the precinct tweeted.

Other locals said their goodbyes.

“Thank you for your service in Bay Ridge,” wrote one Facebook user. “The neighborhood is grateful!”

“Thanks for keeping the community safe. Not all people hate cops!!! Be safe out there on the streets,” wrote another.

Local leaders discussed Conwell leaving the 68th Precinct, which serves Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton.

“Community Board 10 and the 68th Precinct have always enjoyed a special community police partnership,” said CB 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann . “Over the past two years,  I had the honor to work with Captain Conwell, an extraordinary leader dedicated to keeping the communities of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton safe. Additionally, Captain Conwell was very responsive to neighborhood quality of life concerns and maintained an open dialogue with members of the community – personally attending many community board meetings. I appreciate his commitment and wish him great success as commanding officer of the 69th Precinct.”

Elected officials also said goodbye.

“I’m sad to see Captain Conwell go,” said Councilmember Justin Brannan stated. “We had a great relationship and he was always very responsive to the needs of our community. As an elected official, my number one priority is, and always will be, the safety of the people I represent and working in partnership with the local precinct is a big part of that equation. This is the most anxious time for our city that I can remember and I thank Captain Conwell for helping keep the peace through these past few weeks and months. I wish him nothing but the best at his new post and I look forward to working with our new commanding officer, Captain Andy Tolson.”

“I thank Captain Conwell for his service to our community and we are sorry to see him leave,” said Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis. “I wish him luck in his new assignment. I welcome Captain Tolson, look forward to working with him and continuing my relationship with the precinct.”

“Thanks to Captain Conwell for all of his work on behalf of our neighborhoods and wishing him the best of luck in his new role,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I look forward to working with the new captain to keep our community safe.”

“It has truly been a pleasure getting to know Captain Conwell as both a great leader for the 68th precinct and an invaluable partner for myself, my colleagues, and the entire community,” added U.S. Rep. Max Rose. “I know Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights are grateful for his service in keeping us safe, and I wish him well in his next assignment.”

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