In total, the 49th Precinct will receive 14 new officers coming out of high crime zones from throughout the City, otherwise known as Impact Zones.
“I think it’s going to be a plus having new officers in the 4-9,” Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta said. “We need to have more presence in the neighborhood.”
According to Joe Thompson, president of the 49th Precinct Council, not only are the cops coming at the right time, more than a year after the station’s last workforce increase, more importantly they’re coming from the perfect spot.
“They’ve been through the Impact Zone so they do have street experience,” he explained about the officers’ previous assignments outside the precinct. “It’s not as many as we’d like but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who continually fights for an increase in precinct staff, is also pleased the station is finally able to secure the long overdo influx.
Vacca pointed out that the precinct is understaffed nine months out of the year. During the summer the workforce is stretched extremely thin, as many of the officers are temporarily reassigned to the many pools, beaches and ballgames throughout the City.
But Thompson said it’s detrimental to the health of the community to continuously fill the gap.
“If we go too long without bringing in more police, then our quality of life really suffers,” he explained. “As long as we can replace the officers we’ve lost we can maintain our ground.”
Senator Jeff Klein agreed. “Keeping our neighborhoods safe is a top priority and I’m pleased that the NYPD demonstrably shares that goal,” he said. “We’ve been fighting for more police officers for years and this influx of fresh talent will greatly improve our community.”
So while local elected officials will continue to push for more cops in the 49th Precinct, in the meantime they appreciate what they have in the present.
Klein said, “I look forward to seeing these new members of our law and order team around the neighborhood.”
In other news, the 45th Precinct, which covers Westchester Square and Zerega Avenue, will receive 18 new officers.
©2008 Community News Group