The commanding officer of the 43rd Precinct received a new rank during a recent round of department promotions.
Inspector Fausto Pichardo was promoted to deputy inspector, just in time for the Christmas holiday, along with dozens of other NYPD officers and traffic agents.
He said that it was his second promotion during the holidays, with his promotion to deputy inspector coming at the same time in 2013 when he was the commanding officer of the 33rd Precinct in northern Manhattan.
The inspector, who is a prodigious collector of coins from different department units, said that while the promotion was a tremendous feat, and he is grateful for a little bit of extra status and pay, he is most happy to be a precinct commander.
His enthusiasm was evident in a recent interview with the Bronx Times.
“I think that the greatest job in the police department is being a precinct commander,” he said. “This is the one position where you are in tune with the people and the community…and the cops.”
He said that the communities that the precinct serves and the officers on the beat in the command work well together.
“What is great and what drives me is seeing that mesh of the police and the community,” he said.
The police department does not get everything right all of the time, and perhaps sometimes certain people may think situations should be handled a different way, but despite all of this, the police are usually correct, and the community appreciates the work that they do, he said.
As an example he cited the fact that churches had sent meals to the precinct for officers working during the Christmas holiday so that others can get to where they are going safely.
He said that the active command, is at times the second busiest in the city in terms of total numbers of crime, is currently in the process of creating a precinct clergy coalition.
“We are in the early stages of forming a solid clergy council in the precinct,” he said, adding that it was a great way to reach a large number of people, and also, it’s good for the department because of the sheer amount of information and feedback that would result.
The officers in the precinct also took time this year to hold a barbecue for children living in homeless shelters within blocks of the station on Fteley Avenue.
“For four or five hours this summer these kids, who may not have everything…had a good interaction early on with police officers.”
Initiatives like this are something Inspector Pichardo would like see replicated, perhaps on a larger scale.
“The greatest thing about (being a commanding officer) is the impact you can have on people’s lives, including the police officers,” he said, adding that leading the 43rd Precinct epitomizes of what you want as a precinct commander.
He said he was grateful that the police commissioner and the department have trusted him with the leadership of the precinct.
Pichardo arrived at the 43rd Precinct about six months ago, and before that served as the commanding officer or executive officer (second in command) at two Manhattan precincts. His career reaches back to 1997.
He graduated from the police academy in 1999, made sergeant in 2005, lieutenant in 2008 and captain in 2010.