Pandemic has made all kinds of public meetings move online, and the Police Community Council (PCC) meetings are no exception. However, Sector Meetings have always been intended to be neighborhood-specific and more intimate, and the Sector NCOs (Neighborhood Coordinating Officers) are committed to holding them live.
These meetings take place quarterly, and in warmer months, Sgt Velez, in charge of the 70th Precinct NCOs, held the last Sector D meeting live – outside in the Tennis Court Building Courtyard. With enough room for social distancing yet enough space to accommodate guests, the idea worked pretty well.
The NCO sector meetings differ from the larger Precinct Community Council Meetings in a few ways. They are run by the local Neighborhood Coordinating Officers in your area rather than by the Precinct Community Council, which covers the entire precinct. In the case of the 70th Precinct is some 168,000 people.
Each police precinct in the city is divided up into four sectors, each assigned a letter A, B, C, or D. (You can find yours here.) The Sector Meetings allow for a more specific set of conversations and can become more intimate. The larger PCC meetings cover issues like precinct wide crime statistics. They might get visiting guests from 1 Police Plaza and hear from City Hall. The sector meetings talk about what happened in your neighborhood. While both meetings take questions/comments from the group, the difference between a zoom meeting and an in-person one can be significant.
During the Summer, the Sector Meetings allowed for greater in-depth coverage than I have seen here before. We are in a period of public engagement that surpasses any in my 20 years with the PCC. During the Summer meetings, issues ranging from direct questions about what police officers are doing to police themselves to individual responses in the protests were discussed.
The 70th Precinct Sector D meeting this Summer involved a lengthy exchange about the “defunding” debate and Bail Reform. Residents asked Officers to open up about the George Floyd incident and how it affected them; how they would have reacted differently. These are conversations that transcended the usual crime statistic talk. The intimacy of the Sector meeting made it possible.
With passions high this Summer, engaged (and aspiring) public servants also participated. Ingrid Joseph, Josue Pierre, and John Williams, all running for City Council seat in the 40th CCD, were at the Sector D meeting. Even mayoral candidate Maya Wiley showed up to engage on the bail reform issue. This Summer, the action was at the Sector Meetings.
With the weather getting colder, the next set of NCO meetings will be indoors but with carefully set socially distanced spacing.
The Sector meetings coming up in 70th Precinct are as follows (see map to locate yours):
- NCO ‘B’ is 12/9, 1087 Ocean Ave, PS 152 Annex.
- NCO ‘D’ 12/16, 157 St. Paul’s Place (St. Paul’s Church), doors open 6:30 pm, start time is 7 pm sharp.
To receive an invite to attend the next Precinctwide PCC meeting, send an email to 70PCTCommunityAffairs@nypd.org
. The next PCC meeting is scheduled for Dec. 21st at 7:30 pm.