Community Board 10 is seeking additional police to patrol the 45th Precinct.
Recently, as part of its annual budget request, CB 10 asked that the NYPD add between eight and ten officers and two vehicles to the precinct, which covers from Country Club to Zerega, and from Castle Hill Avenue to the county line with Westchester.
Although requests to beef up safety are made just about every year, CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that this year, safety is on everyone’s mind, since crime is up around the city.
“This is one of the largest precincts, with some of the fewest numbers [of police] in the city. We have a limited number of officers, and we certainly need more,” Kearns said.
He said the recent rape of a 79-year-old woman in her Zerega apartment complex has sent chills down the spine of Bronxites, and further raised concerns about safety.
“It’s a major concern and we’ve done our utmost to come together to find the person, with everything from putting up posters to informing community groups,” he said.
The community board’s budgetary requests are put together by contacting civic groups in the district over the course of the year. The request list focuses on service improvements and includes requests for more trees to be planted in the area, Kearns said.
Getting more officers has been an issue with many of the civic associations in the past year. Although grand larceny and grand larceny auto are down 5 and 47 percent, respectively, from last year, rape is up 11 percent, robbery has increased 33 percent, felony assault 6 percent and burglary is up 27 percent.
Since it has been several years since the precinct was assigned new recruits, the community board will look into requesting additional officers outside of the budgeting process, Kearns said.
“As much as I can request, I will,” he said. “I hope they will get the message.”
Bob Bieder, vice president of the 45th Precinct Community Council, said that any help they can get to add officers is very appreciated. “The captain is always asking for additional manpower. It’s very difficult,” he said. “It’s geographically the largest precinct in the city and there’s just no way you can get manpower out fast enough with the small numbers we have.”