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49th Precinct welcomes new community affairs officer

Criminals beware! The community is already vigilant, and now has a strong new partner in 49th Precinct Community Affairs officer Jay Sturdivant.

Sturdivant is no stranger to the 49th Precinct, having worked in the command’s housing developments since 2003. However, his new role will now bring him into contact with people from all over the precinct. He replaces former community affairs P.O. Sammy Perez.

Sturdivant was appointed on March 1 as one of two community affairs officers for the 49th, and will be the community liaison not only to housing developments but also to civic groups. He joins 49th Precinct community affairs officer Victor DePierro. He had previously worked as a community liaison in public housing developments including the Pelham Parkway Houses, Eastchester Gardens, Parkside Houses, and 2440 Boston Road, a senior citizen development.

“I was shocked, pleased and honored to be named a community affairs officer,” Sturdivant said. “I believe that I am the first African American community affairs officer in the 49th Precinct.”

Sturdivant said that he got his start working in the PSA 8 housing unit, covering 27 different developments in seven precincts, before coming to the 49th Precinct’s housing development, building community relations and gathering intelligence by engaging community leaders and helping them trust the police.

“At first, I worked more handling 911 calls or calls to the precinct,” Sturdivant said. “Most of my work centered around quality-of-life issues such as unruly teenagers, drugs, and criminal mischief. Then the nature of my work changed, and it was more about gathering intelligence and working with community leaders.”

49th Precinct Community Council president Joe Thompson praised P.O. Sturdivant.

“He has been a officer for a number of years and is well thought of by the residents from the community,” Thompson said. “He has been able to work the housing developments, knows the people and has been able to extract information. Personality wise he is going to be an asset. He is well recognized and people identify with him right away.”

Sturdivant said that he will be attending meetings at the Morris Park Community Association, Van Nest Civic Association, 49th Precinct Community Council, and other civic associations. He said that by and large, the complaints he hears at these meetings are a lot less serious than those he’d hear as a housing cop early in his career.

“The things that people contact me about most often are narcotics and quality-of-life issues,” Sturdivant said. “Other precincts have a lot more serious issues, and we are somewhat fortunate.”

Sturdivant works in the evening, up to 10:30 p.m. Reach the 49th Precinct community affairs office at (718) 918-2032.

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