The Morris Park Civilian Patrol is back on the streets after an almost two-month hiatus.
At the most recent 49th Precinct Community Council meeting, commanding officer Captain Timothy McCormack announced that in light of the killings of officers Ramos and Liu on December 20 and other targeting of law enforcement at the time, the precinct had suspended the civilian patrol at the end of the year.
Patrols by the precinct’s auxiliary officers were also restricted.
Those restrictions were recently lifted, McCormack said at the February 24 meeting. The civilian patrols are back on, and patrols by auxiliary officers are slowly resuming.
“You’ll start to see more of them out there,” said McCormack.
Although the Morris Park Civilian Patrol operates independently of the local precinct, the Morris Park Community Association was glad to comply with their request to stop patrolling, said president Tony Signorile.
“The 49th Precinct was nice enough to look after our guys and their safety,” he said. “It made sense.”
The patrol’s volunteers were very happy to hear the news that they could get back on the streets, said Signorile, and community members who have been looking for the patrol these past weeks will be glad as well.
“They feel safe when they see us driving in the neighborhood,” he said.
The Morris Park Civilian Patrol is made up of 12-15 volunteers who drive around the neighborhood in the community association’s blue cars almost every evening, and many days as well, said Signorile.
They’re looking for suspicious activity to report to the police, and provide information to help them make arrests.
Last summer the Morris Park Civilian Patrol helped the 49th Precinct catch a burglar who broke in to a retired cop’s house on Hone Avenue while the patrol was nearby.
The patrol has been a presence in the neighborhood for decades, and this year’s hiatus was the first Signorile could recall.
The patrol was founded in the 1970s in connection with the Morris Park Community Association after the father of an association officer was mugged.
It’s been successful all these years thanks to the dedication of volunteers who spend their free time patrolling, said Signorile, and they could always use more help.
“The more, the better,” he said.