Impact Zone to decrease crime surge in 47th Pct.

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After a steady increase in crime has led to more drugs and guns along White Plains Road, a remediation team, in the form of approximately 30 new cops, is now making it their job to clean up the mess.

Welcoming the Impact Zone with open arms is Community Board 12 district manager Carmen Rosa. “You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable walking your streets or patronizing your local retail outlets,” she said referencing what’s become a danger zone along the north Bronx strip.

Fr. Richard Gorman, chairman of Community Board 12 said the dramatic crime increase, which comes just a few years after the last Impact Zone infiltrated White Plains Road, is largely a result of a depleted workforce at the 47th Precinct.

“I think that we’ve been so chronically short of police in this area,” he said. “We need the cops everywhere but one of the biggest problems is the drugs and the guns on White Plains Road.”

Established in varied locations along the strip, Gorman said the recent instillation of enforcement would mean a world of difference for community residents.

“When people feel safe, they’re around,” he explained. “When they don’t have people on the corner dealing drugs they’re more likely to come out and they’ll have more pride in their neighborho­od.”

Not only will area residents reap the benefits of the newly established Impact Zone, Gorman said they’re the ones to thank for initiating the help.

He explained that in addition to the support from elected officials and various community groups, the 47th Precinct Council gathered 2,000 signatures in a petition for more cops, a visible plea for help.

Rosa said it’s just what the neighborhood needed.

“I believe the Impact Zone will allow for the precinct to have a better control,” she explained about the rookie cops who’ll be in charge of revitalizing the area over the next several months.

While the new officers are sure to decrease area crime as a whole, Rosa said there’s one thing she can’t wait to get back.

“I’m looking for the 4-7 to be able to get a handle [on the more serious crimes]. Then we’ll be able to regain our quality of life,” she commented.

As for any downsides to the change, Gorman said, “It’s going to be a negative for the people who want to break the law. And that’s a negative I can live with.”

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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