A new commanding officer has been named to the 45th Precinct to replace Deputy Inspector Danielle Raia who is facing departmental charges relating to alleged time sheet inaccuracies.
Captain Carlos Ghonz, a 12-year veteran of the force with precinct, internal affairs and narcotics enforcement experience, is now in charge.
He comes to the precinct after serving as the executive officer, the second in command at the 46th Precinct, where he said he learned a great deal from that precinct’s leader.
“I had a good mentor before coming here: Inspector (Philip) Rivera,” said Ghonz, adding that at the ‘four-six’ he had discretion in fighting crime and that his commander stressed the importance of considering the impact of decisions.
That on-the-job training will be put to good use at the 45th Precinct, where he plans on focusing making sure that his officers are engaged in their work.
“I want my officers to feel happy about coming to work,” said the captain, adding “I want them to feel that this is their second home.”
Like all incoming commanding officers, the top priority is keeping crime in the precinct as low as possible, he said.
“It is lower than any other precinct in the Bronx, but our goal is to make it lower,” said Ghonz.
The new commanding officer has already met with the leaders of civic associations and elected officials, he said.
He plans on letting community members know how they can help fight crime.
“We need them as much as they need us,” he said. “The more cooperation that we can get from the public, the better.”
He said that he plans to reach out to the media, and use Twitter to dispense information on suspects. He also plans on involving other agencies where appropriate.
If a precinct police officer is asked by a resident a non-police related matter, he does not want his officers to shrug it off by saying “no” but rather say “no problem” and do what they can to direct the individual to the proper resource.
Ghonz is a former college baseball centerfielder, and who born in the Dominican Republic.
He moved to the United States when he was nine, living first in Mott Haven and then in Washington Heights in Manhattan.
After the academy, he worked in Manhattan’s 23rd Precinct as an Operation Impact police officer, part of a program that substantially increased cops’ presence in certain areas by bringing in rookies.
After a stint in the 30th Precinct, he went to the NYPD’s narcotics in 2007.
He was promoted to sergeant and worked in narcotics control in both the borough and in Queens.
From there, he went to the 46th Precinct and onto IAB, investigating allegations of missing property, use of force and abuse of authority.
As a lieutenant, he worked as the 52nd Precinct’s Integrity Control Officer, ensuring things such as proper timekeeping.
He is married and has two children. His spouse is also ‘on the job.’