The following are video excerpts from the 34th Precinct Community Council meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, at the Columbia University Campbell Athletics Center. At the meeting, Dep. Insp. Chris Morello presented an update on crime and other police matters over the summer and responded to questions about crime and safety in the Washington Heights and Inwood communities.
As many of you know by now, our precinct was one of four selected to pilot the NYPD’s new neighborhood policing model. Since May 18, officers in the 34th Precinct are assigned to specific neighborhood sectors every day and expected to be “active problem solvers” instead of spending entire shifts running from call to call or assigned to specific tactical units and spread out over a large area. It is a return to the “generalist” cop on a beat, supported with modern technology, better training, and additional resources to tap when warranted.
“The officers will take ownership of their sectors,” says Commissioner Bill Bratton. “The public will identify sector officers as their go-to cops and not just another blue uniform.”
The mayor announced expansion of neighborhood policing in June.
Each of the four sectors of the 34th Precinct has two dedicated Neighborhood Coordinating Officers (NCOs) and several “steady sector” patrol officers. The NCOs are the officers who are expected to address any police, crime or quality of life issue. Call 911 to report any crime in progress, but call your NCO for just about anything else.
This program also counts on all of us to report non-emergencies, such as noise complaints or minor crimes that occurred but are not in-progress, to 311. Each NCO has dedicated time during which they review 311 complaint records and other information to identify and address trends or emerging problems. This is a big change from before the pilot program, when officers were pretty much tied to their patrol cars and assigned to go from one call for service to another, throughout a full shift. (Much more information about the program is available on the NYC.gov website.)
The program is still in the pilot stage, so some things need to be sorted out. For example, some of the NCOs want people to call them on their (new) mobile phones, while some prefer email. We expect this will get standardized somewhat over the coming weeks. For now, look for your local police when they are on patrol, introduce yourself, and exchange contact information directly. The idea that we can call our beat cops directly is unheard of in most police departments. This is an endorsement by NYPD of the officers in the NCO roles, and it is an endorsement of our community as one that won’t abuse this privilege.
Here are our NCOs:
Sector A (north of w. 179th Street to Dyckman Street, east of Broadway to the Harlem River)
Officer Edwin Rodriguez email@example.com
Det. Thomas Troppmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector B (north of w. 179th Street to Riverside Drive, west of Broadway to the Hudson River)
Officer Bryan Polster BRYAN.POLSTER@nypd.org
Officer Keisha Lawhorne
Sector C (east side of Broadway from Fairview Ave. to Sherman Ave., north until w. 207th Street and east to the Harlem River)
Sector D (Broadway and Sherman Ave., north to the Bronx, and everything north of 207th St.)
Officer Francisco Guzman email@example.com
Officer Elvis Delacruz firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor of the NCOS:
Learn more about the neighborhood policing plan and its rollout citywide on the NYPD website.
Read the plan in its entirety [here]
Read more about the NYPD’s “Five T’s” [here].