The NYPD has carried out a change of leadership as our area reels from a series of violent assaults.
Richard DiBlasio, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, has been assigned to the Police Academy and Captain James Palumbo now heads the precinct, the NYPD said today.
Captain Palumbo served most recently as the commanding officer of the NYPD Housing Bureau’s Police Service Area 1.
PSA 1 patrols New York City Housing Authority developments — in areas such as Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, Flatlands and Canarsie — in the confines of the 60th, 61st, 63rd, and 69th precincts. There is also a PSA 1 satellite in Red Hook.
Palumbo is no stranger to the 70th Precinct. He was captain of the 70th Precinct until 2013, and then became captain of the 71st Precinct (Crown Heights). He also served as commanding officer of the Brooklyn South Task Force.
The change in leadership comes on the heels of a series of disturbing crimes in the 70th Precinct.
Last week, a 53-year-old woman was slashed on Beverley Road by an unknown assailant. Earlier in the week, a 28-year-old man was brutally assaulted Sunday near the Parade Grounds in what he says was a bias attack, and a local teenager was stabbed the same night on Argyle Road. The teen may have known his assailant.
A series of car break-ins has also been reported near Beverley Road.
Crime in the precinct has been on a long-term decline, but there was a troubling increase in homicides in 2015. Last year, the 70th Precinct saw a 3.8 percent reduction in overall crime relative to 2014, but a leap in homicides, from 3 to 17.
Deputy Inspector DiBlasio was named head of the 70th Precinct in April, 2014, after serving as commanding officer of the 68th Precinct. He has been with the NYPD since 1987.