Congratulations, but please don’t go!
That’s the word from the east Bronx after the popular commanding officer of the 45th Precinct was recently promoted from captain to deputy inspector.
But community leaders fear the promotion may also mean newly minted Deputy Inspector Russell Green, seen as a rising star in the NYPD, could be heading to a “busier” precinct or higher assignment.
Former commanding officers at the precinct have usually been assigned there for up to two years or less before being re-assigned.
“Without a doubt, Deputy Inspector Green is the finest commanding officer that the 45th Precinct has ever seen,” said 45th Precinct Community Council president Robert Bieder.
Councilman Jimmy Vacca said that the hands-on job Green has done since taking over in August 2010 certainly qualifies him for his well-deserved Friday, August 4 promotion.
“The news of Captain Green being promoted to Deputy Inspector was something I was waiting to hear for a long time now,” said Vacca. “Since he became the commanding officer of the 45th Precinct two years ago, he has made a strong impact in the communities that he represents. With the largest crime drop in the entire city in 2011, it was obvious that he was certainly qualified for this promotion.”
Also offering high praise for Green was Senator Jeff Klein, who called him “tremendously responsive,” making “a positive impact on the community’s safety and on residents’ quality of life.”
Green has made a reputation as a hands-on commander, personally visiting many of the locations where there are troublesome quality-of-life issues to get a sense of what is needed, said Community Board 10 chairman John Marano.
He has personally visited locations to warn locals with a history of setting off major illegal fireworks before the Fourth of July.
He has also stepped in to lend a hand to his officers directing traffic on busy summer weekends on City Island, as well as making personal visits to solve long-standing disputes between neighbors.
“He listens to us, works together to us, and has an open door policy,” said Marano. “He is not a ‘yes man.’ He doesn’t ‘yes’ everyone to death and then not produce.
“And he is a man of his word. This is a gentleman that really deserves a promotion.”
However, rumors were flying that the promotion could bring with it a transfer.
The previous commander was at the precinct for only about a year. Other precincts have seen commanders stay for three or four years, said both Bieder and Marano.
“If he were transferred now it would really hurt the relationship the community has with the police department,” said Marano. “We would have to start all over again to build a relationship with another commanding officer. We have had commanding officer stay for four years in the past, and need Deputy Inspector Green for another few years.”
Bieder said that based on a conversation he had with Assistant Chief Carlos Gomez, the Bronx Borough Commander, it does not appear that Green will be leaving the 45th Precinct at this point.
“We don’t anticipate his leaving anytime soon,” said Bieder, adding however that he believes Green will have a fast rise through the ranks – to positions of leadership where they have even greater ability to help the communities where they got their start.
For his part, Green was obviously pleased with the promotion, and the deputy inspector said, “I’m very happy to be promoted to Deputy Inspector and I look forward to continuing to serve the community and residents of the 45th Precinct”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393