Residents who are concerned about police security at the new malls being built in the east Bronx can rest assured.
The Bay Plaza Shopping Center, as well as others will be covered by additional police officers through the holiday season.
Bay Plaza is usually covered by one patrol car, said Lt. Paul Trapani, who directs special operations for the 45th Precinct, but the shopping center will receive two additional beat officers during the week and one extra shift on the weekend.
The officers from the 4-5 are returning from duty at Yankee Stadium, said Trapani, and other extra officers from the stadium will be patrolling the shopping center’s parking lots as well.
The precinct wanted to patrol the area thoroughly because it’s a place where people congregate, said Trapani.
“With the amount of people that the mall and shopping center attracts, we thought that if we had additional resources we should put them there,” he said.
Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said he agreed with the need for officers at the location.
“It’s vitally important because Bay Plaza has expanded greatly,” said Kearns.
The additional officers will be assigned there as long as the precinct has the extra resources, said Trapani, through the holiday season at the minimum.
The extra level of protection is purely for preventative reasons, said Trapani.
“I’m happy we have nothing major to report,” Trapani said about the new mall.
Community Board 10 vice chairman John Marano is glad that the shopping area has received what he feels is necessary attention, because of the increase in people frequenting the location and surrounding areas.
But he said he thinks the area needs more than two or four additional officers, and also wishes the additional officers were not just on temporary assignment during the off-season.
“My concern is we need these officers here all the time,” he said.
Marano and Kearns also said the community board is pushing for the 45th Precinct to receive more full-time officers, in order to protect the quality of life within the entire board.
“We need more,” said Marano.