49th Precinct holds three outreach events ahead of National Night Out

Crime Prevention Officers Kelly (l) and Medera man a table on Wednesday, March 30 during the 49th Precinct Outreach event.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

The 49th Precinct reached out to the community with three events designed to encourage and promote positive police-community relations.

Three Anti Crime and Quality of Life Community Outreach Initiative outings were held around the precinct from Tuesday, March 29 to Thursday, March 31.

The outreach took place in Bronx Park East, Pelham Parkway and Morris Park.

According to the precinct’s commanding officer, it was developed as a ‘pre-National Night Out’ event. NNO is an annual celebration of police and community togetherness, and crime prevention, that takes place nationwide every August.

“We are trying to get ahead of the curve being that the National Night Out is at the end of the summer,” stated 49th Precinct captain Keith Walton.

“By looking at our resources at a precinct level and tapping into our greatest resource of all, the community, we are (listening) to their concerns and their interests in seeing more uniformed members in their neighborhoods and in the most problematic locations.”

Another goal of the four-nine’s own effort was to reach out and expand police presence in sensitive areas, as well as to sign people up for the NYPD’s Community Partnership Program, stated Walton. The department’s Community Affairs Bureau runs CPP.

“It’s important for the community to see that we are 100 percent committed to their safety and to try to expand upon our Community Partner Program,” said the captain. “We can never do enough with our community partners and we always want to expand and explore new avenues.”

Joe Thompson, the 49th Precinct’s Community Council president, said that events like the precinct’s initiative do make a real impact when it comes to improving police and community relations.

Thompson said that the police department is making a major effort to change their image in many communities, and that better relations is a way they are bringing crime down.

No matter how much personnel is deployed, said Thompson, unless police get into the inner workings of the community, crime will really continue to persist.

Events like these have a gradual impact in breaking down barriers between police and community, and it helps to the community to see cops as people who have a job to do and are not different in any other regard to them.

“The community sees that these are people just like me,” said Thompson.

A member of the 49th Precinct Clergy Council said he was inspired to see a public roll call and prayer invocation in a park on Tuesday, March 29 at Britton Street near Barker Avenue.

“There were a lot of children in the park at that time and they were asking questions,” he said.

“This is important in getting the generation coming up to see that the police are not their enemies, ” he added.

Events were also held at Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road and the Morris Park Community Association on successive days.

If you are interested in learning more about the NYPD’s Community Partnership Program and becoming a partner, call the precinct’s community affairs office at (718) 918-2025.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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