There is a new commander at the helm of the 49th Precinct.
Captain Andrew Natiw, who was assigned to the precinct at the start of his 22-year NYPD career, returns to the command, bringing extensive experience in narcotics enforcement and investigations.
Natiw, who grew up on City Island, has been a captain since 2008, and previously oversaw a group of detective squads in the northwest Bronx precincts.
He also served as the executive officer of a narcotics operation that sought to link the sellers of drugs, including opioids and heroin, to buyers who had overdosed, he said.
The captain said he expects to use contacts he made during his NYPD career to hone in on narcotics crime in the command, and will also seek to have needed community support of the command’s policing.
“The community is out there and can be our eyes and ears,” said Natiw. “They can help us by providing timely information as to when and where crimes are occurring.”
He added: “From what I have seen so far, the community in the 49th Precinct will do anything they can to help us, and vice versa: we will do anything we can do for them.”
Natiw said he hopes to continue the community outreach of his predecessors.
Natiw told the Bronx Times that his father, a retired NYPD detective, encouraged him to take the civil service exam for the NYPD while he was attending S.U.N.Y. Binghamton.
The captain was initially considering a career in business or finance, and was studying Economics at the time, a degree he ultimately completed at Lehman College after he was already on the police force. He also earned a Masters In Public Administration from Mercy College.
The commanding officer stated that when he was a newly-minted sergeant working with families to identify remains at ‘ground zero’ after the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, he fully realized, as a police officer how much he can really help.
“I know it sounds cliché, but that is what we are doing: helping people,” said Natiw.
Natiw worked in various commands in what was mostly a swift rise through the ranks, including the 41st Precinct in Hunts Point, 44th Precinct in Highbridge and the 26th Precinct in Manhattan, in addition to special assignments and operations.
When assigned to the 26th Precinct in Harlem, Natiw said he worked in schools, which he found a rewarding experience.
He said he learned some valuable lessons in policing along the way, including the need to be supportive of both his rank and file cops and the community when he was a patrol sergeant.
He made a number of nationwide law enforcement contacts that led him to be selected for the prestigious FBI National Academy training in Virginia, and this experience has also served him well in his policing protocol.
At the precinct, Natiw replaced deputy inspector Thomas Alps, who was transferred to the 52nd Precinct where he will be its new commanding officer.