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.
Each sector will also have specific radio dispatchers, sector officers and supervisors who work with each other. The officers and squad cars won’t leave the boundaries of the sector where they’re assigned except in precinct-wide emergencies. Sector officers respond to calls that come in through the radio but the program is expected to be fully staffed enough that officers will also have time to engage with residents and are not exclusively assigned to answering calls. Police officer Joseph Carlucci was at Community Board 6’s public safety and environment committee meeting this past Monday evening, offering additional information about the program.
“All officers recently got new iPhones, which have been great for blasting things out to the community really quickly,” Carlucci said. “It’s also going to allow people in the community to see a lot of the same faces so we can build that connection with people in the community.”
Carlucci noted that the 10th Precinct, covering Chelsea and other parts of the west side, has instituted the program and it has been working well for officers so far.
“It gives us more time to take reports so we can really get all the information we need,” he said.
Specific sectors for the 13th Precinct haven’t been officially announced yet but Carlucci said that since Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village covers such a large area of the precinct, the complex will be broken into two different sectors, Stuy Town and Peter Cooper, and will likely have three squad cars covering each.
Carlucci also noted that officers will also still be patrolling in Kips Bay’s Straus Houses, but residents will have access to NCOs there as well.