The community will have to say goodbye to a longtime member of its local police force when Detective Victor DiPierro retires on June 30 after 20 years with the 49th Precinct.
After graduating from the police academy in 1996 at age 27, DiPierro spent the entirety of his career with the NYPD at the precinct on Eastchester Road, policing Morris Park and its surrounding neighborhoods.
He spent more than 10 of those years as a community affairs officer, which he describes as being a buffer between local residents and the police department.
His office absorbs all the community’s complaints about nuisances like loud music or speeding cars, and other quality of life issues.
“We can’t correct everything, but we try building relationships with that person and help them the best we can,” said DiPierro.
Those discussions can also include more sensitive issues that people feel comfortable confiding in the officers, who can steer them towards helpful resources.
“We try to do the right thing all around for everyone,” said DiPierro.
Before getting into community affairs, DiPierro patrolled the Morris Park area, making him a familiar face to many residents, including local teens who would get into trouble.
Years later, DiPierro said several of those former kids have told him they’re grateful that he prompted them to straighten their life out.
“They’ve come up to me and thanked me for being a pain in the neck back then,” he said. “That’s the best feeling.”
DiPierro joined the police department after working for a few years with former Community Board 10 district manager James Vacca, where he became a one-man graffiti-removal team.
He also worked for Assemblyman Stephen Kaufman, where he learned he enjoyed trying to make a positive impact in the community. His interaction at the time with the 45th Precinct inspired him to join the police force.
In the end, DiPierro feels that he reached his career goal.
“I achieved what I wanted to do — which was to make a difference in the community,” said DiPierro.
He called leaving the precinct bittersweet, because the 4-9 is his second home, but he feels ready to move on to start a new chapter in his life.
DiPierro’s partner Officer Jay Sturdivant, who has worked with him in community affairs for the past several years, will take over as the lead community affairs officer.
“He’s good at what he does,” said DiPierro about his successor. “I’m confident walking out the door knowing he’s taking over the ship.”
But while DiPierro will no longer be working in the neighborhood, he said he’ll still be around, as he lives nearby in Country Club and frequents Morris Park often.
“I hate to say goodbye,” said DiPierro. “I’ll see you guys around.”