The 76th Precinct’s monthly community meeting took place Wednesday, January 3. Eleven police officers and eight community members attended the meeting at the Union Street police station despite the impending polar bomb weather advisory.
Commanding Officer Megan O’Malley reported on the continuing downward cycle of crime in the neighborhood – down in basically every major index crime category with the exception of felony assault and grand larceny.
O’Malley said that in terms of traffic incidents they had a tremendous year. They were down 171 collisions this year compared to 2016. She attributed this reduction to the efforts of all the officers on the traffic team and to the community partners.
“We were down in injuries, down in occupants and down in bicycles,” O’Malley said. “It is a great year here in the 76th Precinct and hopefully in 2018 we will be just as good if not better.”
She then thanked police officers Neumann & Fox – December’s officers of the month. On December 16, at 3:05 am, they received a 911 call and banged on the door of a residence near Court Street and Hamilton Avenue.
According to O’Malley, Neumann & Fox observed the defendant holding a loaded gun and were able to watch him conceal the firearm and tactically arrest the defendant and recover the firearm without injury to anyone.
Robert Berrios, who lives in Red Hook, brought up the issue of the electric bikes. He was hoping that they were now illegal because they go so fast.
“The motor pedal bikes are not illegal, solely the motor-powered bikes are,” O’Malley said. “The behavior that we want to aim at is the organization or the restaurants that are providing these resources to people and putting them in a vulnerable position. That is where we will be going in 2018.”
Many of the people riding dangerously tend to be delivery drivers and their aim is not to punish employees, it is just to correct behavior.
Berrios’s other concern was that a lady who lives near South Brooklyn Community High has to pick up her trash since the high school students tend to make a mess after school. She asked Berrios to bring this up.
“The school will be closed tomorrow but we will definitely take a look at it starting on Friday when school is back in session and Monday we will be there at dismissal to address it,” O’Malley added.
Amanda Berman, Director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, then spoke about two events that they will be having during January.
They bring free legal services to the Justice Center every month and will do so again on January, 17 from 10 am to 3 pm. It’s a big mobile legal health center where community members can get advice on a range of legal issues.
The Justice Center’s other major event will be a fundraiser for their peacemaking program.
“It is a program that trains community members as well as police officers, including some of our officers here from the 76, to actually mediate disputes between people in the community,” Berman said.
They are holding the fundraiser on January 11 at Rocky Sullivan’s (46 Beard Street) from 6 until 9 pm. This fundraiser will be a benefit for their annual trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC.
The peacemaking program is probably the most innovative program that I have seen in about 35 years,” Judge Calabrese from the Justice Center said. “We appreciate the involvement of the police department and we also appreciate the community involvement. It’s just a great program.”
At the end of the meeting, Jerry Armer, president of the Community Council, which holds these monthly meetings, pointed out how successful the Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO) program has been in Red Hook.
“Everything I hear from the community is great and they like you,” Armer said, pointing to the officers. “They like talking to you and they like working with you. The program works. The involvement you have with the community is not only beneficial to the department but to the community and the residents who live in the community.”
Armer referenced the Community Patrol Officers Program (CPOP), which was a similar program that he remembered from many years ago, but he said that the NCO program is much better than the original one.
Red Hook NCOs
Damien Clarke – Damien.Clarke@nypd.org
Jonathan Rueda – Jonathan.Rueda@nypd.org – 917-941-2185