By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A new program aimed at getting police officers better acquainted with members of the community where they patrol launched at the 13th Precinct on Tuesday with NYPD introduced residents to the officers who would be assigned to their blocks.
NYPD’s Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison emphasized that the new initiative, known as the Neighborhood Coordinating Officer (NCO) program, is aimed at building relationships and is similar to CPOP, a community policing program that the department discontinued about 20 years ago.
Residents at the launch had questions about exactly what kind of problems the NCO officers can help with, and Harrison encouraged everyone at the meeting to get in touch with their NCO officer, whether or not they have a problem.
“The most important thing is that everyone gets home safely to their families,” Harrison said of the program’s goal.
The program will also be hosting periodic sector meetings where residents of the specific sector can air grievances and find out about any other ongoing issues. A representative for Harrison’s office said that these meetings will likely be held once every three months. Information about the meetings will be available at buildtheblock.nyc.
Harrison said that the precinct was previously broken into nine different sectors, but since each sector in the NCO program requires to have two assigned officers as well as additional support, the number of officers needed would be prohibitive, so the precinct was re-divided into four different sectors.
Stuyvesant Town is in Sector A and the officers that residents can contact are Police Officers Manny Rodriguez and Peter Rodriguez (who said he goes by Andrew). The two officers are not related, but as Harrison used them as an example throughout the night, teased that if residents stayed to the end of the meeting, the Rodriguez brothers might treat the audience to a show.
“Unfortunately, we don’t sing,” Manny Rodriguez joked.
Sector A covers the precinct from the East River to Park Avenue South, up to East 23rd Street until Second Avenue then south of East 20th. The officers can be reached by email at Peter.Rodriguez2@nypd.org and Manuel.Rodriguez2@nypd.org. Peter Cooper Village is in Sector D and residents there can contact police officers Mayela Arthur and Angela Villota with any issues. They can be contacted at Mayela.Arthur@nypd.org and Angela.Villota@nypd.org. Sector D extends west from the East River to Park Avenue South.
The 13th Precinct is the 72nd precinct to start the program, making it one of the last precincts to participate since neighborhood policing launched in May, 2015.