49th Precinct launches neighborhood policing program

The 49th Precinct’s 10 NCO officers and their sergeant were introduced to community members in a kick-off event at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on Wednesday, January 10.
Photo courtesy of the 49th Precinct

An effort in community policing that brings the ‘cop on the beat’ into the 21st century has come to another borough precinct.

The 49th Precinct held the rollout of its Neighborhood Coordination Officers program – a community policing initiative being utilized in precincts around the city – with an event with community partners at Albert Einstein College of Medicine on Wednesday, January 10.

The launch of the precinct’s NCO, the tenth in a Bronx precinct, will take place at midnight on Monday, January 22, said Captain Thomas Alps, 49th Precinct commanding officer.

Ten NCO cops, whose duties will include working with community members to better understand policing issues, holding quarterly meetings and working the same communities during the same shifts in order to identify trends, were introduced to the community during the rollout, said Alps.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison and NYPD Deputy Chief for Bronx Patrol Jesus Pintos spoke during the rollout event, said the 49th Precinct’s commanding officer.

“It is a crime-fighting strategy, first and foremost, and beyond that it forges lasting relationships with the community,” said Alps.

For the program, three new sectors roughly corresponding with Van Nest and Morris Park, Bronx Park East and Pelham Parkway South, and Eastchester/Pelham Gardens/Allerton, as well as a housing sector, will see continuous patrolling and interaction with regular NCO cops, a new iteration of ‘cops on the beat.’

The ten NCO cops will work the same 8-hour shifts on the same days of the week, overlapping in crime fighting coverage with another dozen police officers that are assigned to each of the sectors.

They should be able to identify trends in crime and interact with community members to gather information while learning about any crime-related issues in their sectors.

“It is strategic in that it allows the community to get to know their officers…and in turn it will be helpful to the officers who will gain stronger relationships,” said Alps.

NCOs will hold quarterly meetings in their sectors to liaison with the community and provide their own analysis of trends, said Alps, who added that these meetings would not include police personnel outside of the NCO program.

The sector NCO cops will maintain a social media presence on Facebook, said Alps.

Edith Blitzer, Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association president, said she sees NCO as an addition to existing police resources.

The 49th Precinct was one of the last precincts in the borough to implement the NCO program, which is a NYPD citywide initiative, with only the 45th Precinct and 50th Precinct remaining, according to Alps.

The 45th Precinct is scheduled to implement NCO in June, said Bob Bieder, 45th Precinct Community Council president.

“It is going back to the ‘beat cop,’” said Bieder. “We have wanted that for many years.”

The 45th Precinct and its community council are also hosting an event called Coffee with a Cop at the Miles Coffee Bar on Wednesday, January 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a goal of breaking down any barriers between the NYPD and the community.

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

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