49th Precinct receives new commander

The new commanding officer of the 49th Precinct, Captain Keith Walton.
Community News Group / Jaime Williams

Meet the new commanding officer of the 49th Precinct!

Captain Keith Walton comes to the position with 19 years of experience in the NYPD at the 32nd, 40th, and 46th precincts, and he’s confident that under his leadership, the 4-9 can continue its good work reducing crime in the area.

“I’m pretty sure we can have an even more successful year, an even safer year,” said Walton.

A key part of achieving that will be expanding outreach efforts and increasing communication with residents.

“The only way you’re going to drive down crime in an area is to have a collaborative effort between the police and community,” said Walton.

Connecting to youth will also be a priority for the captain, who spends his time off volunteering as a basketball coach and mentor, as will educating the elderly about abuse and scams that they are vulnerable to.

The community partnership program will continue to take new officers to business districts, schools and community centers to introduce them to the community.

The captain also plans to put more officers in patrol cars to reduce response time, and wants to have more patrolling officers visible to the community. A foot post will be added in the White Plains Road business district.

After examining patterns in the precinct’s sectors, the captain said certain trouble spots will receive increased attention.

“We definitely plan to increase our enforcement in certain locations that have had a historic, problematic pattern,” said Walton.

In addition to preventing violent crimes, the precinct is also committed to supporting the city’s Vision Zero program, which seeks to reduce pedestrian traffic deaths through enforcing safe driving and educating pedestrians, especially kids, on safe walking habits.

“We’re looking to save lives by way of crime, and we’re looking to save lives by way of Vision Zero,” said Walton.

The captain understands the community’s quality of life concerns, and said he supports ‘broken window’ theory of policing, with the idea that enforcing smaller crimes can prevent larger ones.

Walton said he’s committed to protecting residents’ quality of life, and encouraged them to bring their concerns, both small and large, to the attention of the precinct.

“The only way we can continue to address issues is to hear it from the community,” he said. “Then we can tailor our resources to that specific issue or concern.”

Only a week into his new job, the commanding officer is already attending to a big concern of some local residents.

“We are strictly going to enforce barbecuing in Pelham Parkway and Bronx Park East,” he said.

Walton said he’s looking forward to tackling the community’s concerns, especially violent crime, through the adjustments in enforcement.

“With the changes implemented, hopefully the people of our community will feel even safer.”

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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