With the Bronx motto tattooed on his body, Isaac Soberal is a true Bronxite and loves the borough.
While he lives in Astoria now with his wife and kids, the Boogie Down means everything to him.
In January, Captain Soberal became the commanding officer at the 45th Precinct.
“The Bronx has a special place in my heart,” he told the Bronx Times. “I think being from the Bronx is different from being from NYC.”
Soberal, 38, split time as a kid between living with his mom near Montefiore on Gun Hill Road and his dad in the Millbrook Houses in the south Bronx.
While the hospital wasn’t as developed as it is today, it was still a relatively safe working class area. But, it was not a white collar neighborhood with million dollar homes.
“Growing up in the Bronx as a kid everybody was poor,” he explained. “There was no stigma to it.”
Soberal even recalled how he and his friends often traded shirts so they could look cool in school.
He and his three brothers got into their share of trouble, yet always knew when to stay in line and not chase “fast money.”
“We were lucky enough to not get caught up in things that help people back,” he stressed.
Soberal went to the Bronx High School of Science and during that time realized he wanted to serve his country. He figured he would go to West Point and join the Army.
His plans altered a little as he went to Ohio State University and served in the National Guard from 200 to 2006. However, instead of going into active duty, he became a family man.
According to Soberal, working in an office was out of the question, so he with his military background he thought transitioning to a cop would be easy.
He graduated from the Police Academy in 2007 and his first assignment was in Public Service Area 7. This turned out to be the housing projects in the south Bronx where his late dad and grandmother lived.
“It was an interesting dynamic to have to police the area I knew,” he recalled.
However, those buildings were prominently known for heroin and crack dealers and Soberal despised those people. He would spend long hours on rooftops doing surveillance, which resulted in many arrests.
In fact, he heard from his commanding officer at that time that crime was reduced by 73 percent in Area 7 because of their efforts.
During his 14-year career he has held various roles, including sergeant in 2012 at the 7th Precinct and in 2016 at Brooklyn North Gang Squad, lieutenant in 2016 at the 40th Precinct, captain in 2018 at the 41st and 46st Precincts and the executive officer at the 40th in 2019.
At this point in his life there isn’t a career he would rather have.
“You’re not just responsible for an entire building, you’re responsible for an entire community,” he stressed.
Soberal looks forward to serving the constituents in the 45th and knows there are always quality of life issues people want addressed. He grew up playing basketball at Orchard Beach, walking his dog in Pelham Bay Park and going out in City Island.
“I’m not just here to police a community,” he explained. “I view myself as part of the community because the Bronx is where I grew up.
I feel fortunate that this is one of the jobs that beyond earning an income and providing, you can help people.”