EAST NEW YORK – Every quarter, the Neighborhood Coordinating Officers (NCOs) of the 75th Precinct, Sector B, hold a meeting with residents in their community. This one was on Tuesday at a mixed use building on Georgia and Livonia Avenues, a block from the Pennsylvania Avenue Subway Station.
Even though the 75th Precinct’s NCO program started almost 2 years ago, back in in January 2016, the meeting drew only a handful of residents. Officer Cecchini suspected the low turnout for this particular Safety Meeting was due to the Primaries being held on the same day, and assured us that the other meetings so far have been much better attended.
Despite there being more police officers than residents in attendance, the meeting demonstrated what neighborhood policing is all about; taking time to connect with the community one resident at a time. Four residents showed up, and five officers were present.
Neighborhood policing relies on building a rapport between officers and local residents, in an attempt to create a culture of collaboration and trust. NCO’s do everything from reaching out to various community leaders to hosting barbecues in the summer at events like the National Night Out.
During Tuesday night’s meeting, Supervising Officer Timothy Cecchini spoke about the arrest of Tarell Herbert, made on July 21st by Sector B NCO’s Horacio Delgado and Akil Guy. A neighborhood resident had reached out to the NCOs, who were then able to find Herbert and make the arrest after a short foot pursuit. Herbert was in possession of a firearm, and is now suspected of being involved in multiple shootings city-wide, according to Sgt. Cecchini.
At one point in the meeting, Sgt. Cecchini referred a resident, who was looking for housing in that exact building, to the property manager who was also in attendance, showing one of the many ways NCOs can help people in their communities.
Daniel Cunningham, who works for CAMBA, a Brooklyn based non-profit that frequently hosts community outreach events like these, thinks NCO programs have a positive effect.
“I grew up two blocks from here. You get to know them. They want to address the real problems. It works … I have a relationship with a lot of community affairs officers, but mostly they’re in an office. These guys actually patrol so it’s easier.”
Leslie Briggs, a young man who works in the building, had similar thoughts. “It’s different when you know the cop. It opens people up to talk to them.”
While the public image of police remains contentious in much of the media today, NCO programs and events like these provide some much needed context as to what’s actually happening in the districts on a daily basis, especially in high risk areas like East New York. They show what the NYPD is doing to become more intimately connected with the communities they serve and protect.
Check out NYPD 75 Precinct for more information on NCO program and other resources available. The main Police Community Council meeting for 7-5 is usually on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Urban Strategies School.