Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The 13th Precinct will soon be joining in an NYPD program that assigns officers to be liaisons to specific neighborhoods.
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, announced at last month’s community council meeting that the precinct would join the Neighborhood Policing program by October and the policy is expected to be instituted in precincts citywide by 2019.
“It’s going to allow us to talk to the right people through social media and interact with the community,” Hellman said. “It’ll help with a lot of different issues like traffic and noise complaints because the officers will get to know the community on a personal basis.”
The program will break the precinct into different sectors that are each assigned neighborhood coordination officers (NCOs) who work as liaisons between the NYPD and the community. Sectors in each precinct are designed to correspond to the boundaries of established neighborhoods as much as possible. NCOs will be familiarizing themselves with the residents and problems in the neighborhood by attending community meetings and following up on previous incidents.
The stakes are high in next week’s special election to fill vacancies in several state legislative seats on April 24. In our own Assembly District Democrat Harvey Epstein will be squaring off against Republican Bryan Cooper and two third-party candidates, Adrienne Craig-Williams and Juan Pagan, to fill the vacant seat left by Brian Kavanagh who was elected to the State Senate representing lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.
The winner of that election will be a key player for our community. But the real significance will be in the several special elections for the Senate across the state. The results of those elections could have important policy and political implications for New York as well as national ambitions.
For most of his two terms as governor, Andrew Cuomo has presided over a divided government. The Senate has been controlled by the Republican Party with the essential aid of a handful of Democratic Senators aligning themselves with the Republicans to give them numerical control. In exchange, these Democrats have received certain personal and political perks. This arrangement had the tacit approval of Cuomo. Why (you might ask), would a Democratic governor prefer a Republican-controlled State Senate?