The 60th Precinct, which covers Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and parts of Gravesend, led the entire city in crime reduction for 2016, according to year-end reports.
Out of 77 NYPD precincts, the 60th reported the lowest overall crime in recently recorded history, which is when Compstat records began in 1993.
Overall crime in the five boroughs dropped to historic lows in 2016, said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill in January. “2016 was the safest year ever in the history of New York City,” said O’Neill, citing the successes from neighborhood policing and trust-building within communities.
In the 60th Precinct, overall reported crime dropped by 33 percent in 2016, accounting for 10 percent of the city’s overall crime reduction — with 120 fewer robberies, 179 few cases of grand larceny, and 10 fewer shooting victims. “We put a lot of violent people away in 2016,” said Deputy Inspector William G. Taylor. “We have a zero tolerance policy.”
And neighboring 61st Precinct wasn’t far behind, as the third leader of crime reduction in the city.
The key is focusing on patterns and repeat offenders, said Taylor. “We identify the most violent people who live here. We’re watching them. We know what kind of cars they drive. We know who their girlfriends are. We know where they hang out. We don’t give them room to maneuver,” he said.
This year, the precinct has been dealing with a rash robberies by young teens targeting the elderly in the west end of Coney Island, said Taylor, some as young as 11 years old. Though cops have made a few arrests, the larger issue is how to hold juveniles accountable without pushing them toward recidivism.
Bringing back the beat cop
In October, the 60th Precinct joined the ranks of precincts across the city adopting the Neighborhood Community Officer (NCO) program, adding eight NCOs to their beat of steady sector cops getting to know the neighborhood inside and out.
Taylor said that it’s important to choose the right people for each neighborhood, like the two Russian-speaking officers assigned to Brighton Beach. Plus, having more cops on the street facilitates a better network of communication — citing the 80 additional officers that roam the streets in the summer, plainclothes officers on the beach, and the 18 newly graduated officers recently added to the force.
Want to learn more about crime in your precinct? Or express a concern to neighborhood officers? Attend a monthly community council meeting on February 21 at 6:30pm at 1201 Surf Avenue.