This Bronx girl is back home.
The 52nd Precinct’s new commanding officer is homegrown Deputy Inspector Nilda Hofmann, who spent her early years in Bedford Park before launching a 23-year career in law enforcement.
Hofmann took the precinct’s reins from outgoing Deputy Inspector Joseph Dowling in late September, and is thrilled to be back in the precinct that covered her old nabe. The precinct also covers Fordham, Norwood, University Heights and Kingsbridge.
“There’s been a tremendous improvement in the quality of life since when I grew up here,” Hofmann told The Bronx Times. “There are less drugs and violence than I used to see. I want to keep that going.”
But she said she can’t do it alone . Hofmann plans to rely on the community to be her eyes and ears.
At the top of her list is slowing down gunfire in the area. The latest police statistics show an uptick in shootings, with nine incidents taking place already this year. Hofmann said that she will draw on her experience as commander at the 25th Precinct in East Harlem, where she partnered with community groups and the city Housing Authority to gather information and tackle the issue.
“In the 25th we reduced shootings tremendously,” she said. “They were tired of having shootings in their neighborhood, and by working together we worked toward that goal.”
Smaller quality of life concerns such as noise complaints will be handled with similar energy, Hofmann said.
“I want the community to know that we are here to address issues as big as homicide shootings and as small to someone else as loud music playing or a dog barking,” she said.
Hofmann’s roots in the borough should give her a head start on community outreach.
She lived on E. 196th Street and Decatur Avenue. Before she entered the force in October 1990, after earning a degree in Forensic Psychology at the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Hofmann roamed the halls of Walton High School.
She said she spent summers working the counter at the Alexander’s department store in Grand Concourse, and as a 14-year-old was employed at a daycare center on Andrews Avenue in University Heights.
She now lives with her family in Westchester, but said she still has family and friends in the Five-Two, making her investment in the area’s quality of life both professional and personal.
“I’ve always been community oriented, but my approach here is a little bit deeper because I have roots here,” she said.
Precinct Community Council President Brenda Caldwell-Paris is already convinced that the new C.O. has got the goods.
“We already knew her, and it’s a pleasure to have her back,” said Caldwell-Paris. “The fact that she knows the community, that she’s also familiar with it, is a major plus.”