Neighborhood Policing 2.0 Comes to the Upper West Side: Officers Patrol on Foot and Hand Out Their Emails and Cell Phone Numbers

By Kelly Martin

The NYPD rolled out a new program for the 24th precinct of the Upper West Side in Manhattan last week that updates neighborhood policing for the 21st Century.

It’s called the Neighborhood Coordination Officers Program, and it is designed to foster a closer relationship between the NYPD and residents in the 24th precinct, which stretches from 86th to 110th Street. Neighborhood policing is not a new concept — the NYPD first tried it decades ago. But this program has been updated for the new age of cell phones and emailing, making it easier than ever to contact officers.

Officers who were formerly only seen in cars patrolling will now be on foot, and will readily give their cell phone numbers and email addresses to anyone living in their patrol area. The goal of this program is to create new ways of problem-solving, by getting the community to see the police uniform as a “not a barrier, but a beacon” as Officer Rivera explained. It has been used in 55 other precincts in New York City.

The new program splits the 24th precinct into three sectors, A, B, and C. Sector A includes everything West of Broadway. Sector B is everything East for Broadway from 86th to 100th Street. And Sector C is everything East of Broadway from 100th to 110th. Within each, there will be two Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) who will patrol at the same times every day so residents of that sector will always see them in a certain place at a certain time, and know where to find them if they need assistance. Sgt. Dishea Paschall will supervise these six officers and will help the NCOs act as liaisons between the police and the community.

“I myself am a believer in neighborhood policing,” said Captain Seth Lynch, Commanding Officer of the 24th precinct at the meeting to announce the program to the public and answer their questions.

Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison made the announcement at the Jewish Center on West 86th Street. The room was packed for the announcement and the officers picked to serve as NCOs were clearly excited. Crowd-members also seemed intrigued, though some expressed concern. “How can people that are concerned about ICE trust that you won’t use the new more detailed information that you have about them to report if they are illegal to ICE or not?” one woman asked.

Harrison and the other NYPD members at the meeting reassured the nervous and reaffirmed that they never work with ICE, but said the only way to prove that they can be trusted is to work with them, get to know them, and let them show that they are there with good intentions.

Overall, the reaction seemed positive, and people were excited to see officers on foot in their neighborhoods again, in an effort to build relationships with residents and create a safer community. Joan Martinez, a resident of the 24th precinct said “I’m excited, I’ve lived on the Upper West Side for well over 20 years, I look forward to seeing more people on a regular basis. I look forward to seeing them out of their cars. I really like the idea of the old fashioned beat cop on foot patrol getting to know the community.”

As the meeting ended, police officials encouraged residents to meet their NCOs. People in the room quickly took the hint, and walked over to meet them and take business cards.

Here are the emails for officers in the program, via the 24th precinct website:

NEWS | 26 comments | permalink
    1. OriginalMark says:

      I hope this concept spreads and becomes the norm throughout the city.
      I welcome the presence of officers on foot and I hope they are greeted and welcomed by our neighbors.

      • NYWoman says:

        Crime rates continue to drop due to an evolved policing system which involves a closer tie to community members. If the rates drop in Precinct 24, we can use it to push for adopting it in other precincts.

    2. Chirp says:

      Bring this down to 60’sand70’s please.

    3. Filatura says:

      Any chance these steps will be taken in the neighboring 20th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Holley? My impression is that Neighborhood Policing may be in effect, but not to this level. I promise to smile and say “Good morning” (or “Good evening” as the case may be) to any officer I see patrolling on foot.

    4. DuckDuck says:

      I hope they do this in the 70s. The package theft issue has gotten really out of hand–and there’s not much the police can do after the fact. I think foot patrols would be a big help.

    5. ST says:

      Looong overdue. Especially around Amsterdam and 100 to 106. A mini crime/murder wave there.

    6. JonJones says:

      This is a TERRIFIC idea. Well conceived 24th…now let’s hope its thoughtfully executed.

    7. Mary Ann says:

      Why doesn’t this also cover the 60s and 70s. Are there any plans to cover this area in the future.

    8. Wow! That brings open police presence and protection right to the people, even the individual!

      Congratulation and Thanks!! And lets reciprocate….

      Shimon

    9. UWS1995 says:

      Not working with ICE agents will only make being in this country illegally even harder for those that choose to break the law.

    10. Elsa says:

      Perhaps community policing will keep our officers in better shape! In recent weeks I’ve been astounded to see overweight policemen (at the deli counter no less), who wouldn’t be able to run and catch an alleged criminal if they had do. You’d think the NYPD would have requirements for fitness. An officer with a huge gut does not inspire confidence.

    11. UpperBestSide says:

      Could not be happier about this policy. Can’t wait to meet Officers Gomez and Robles! I hope and suspect the NCOs will put tons of time and effort into getting to know what really makes the UWS tick.

    12. David T says:

      I wonder when we can expect this in Midtown North (50s and 40s). MTN is a good precinct and this would help a lot.

    13. DW says:

      West 50’s need a lot more involvement. Kids stabbing each other on a monthly basis. 4 stabbings on my block alone in a period of less than 6 months. School safety officers do nothing to get the kids to go home instead of hanging out on 56th Street under the scaffoldings or in front of apartment building entrances. Hanging out mid block in front of the deli doing drugs when officers are less than 50 feet away. I never see anyone arrested or even approached by orficers. The amount of trash left on the sidewalk from the students is disgusting. I do not let or take out my child during 2:30-3:30 PM because of so many quality of life issues and the danger lurking nearby. Start writing kids up or reporting it to school officials. Expel the kids after numerous write ups. Start doing their jobs and get out of the damn vans and cars to get them out of here. Both schools intermingle when they do not get the students out of here fast enough and then all hell breaks lose. Stop the kids from goofing off in the street or falling into parked cars. I have seen numerous kids almost get run over because they don’t care and run in and out of traffic. Start issuing fines to parents if they can’t get their children to act in a civilized manner. Once my lease is up in the summer, we are moving out of here since this block has gotten worse and become a total shithole. I am not rent regulated like most on this block and should not feel like a prisoner in my own home. We pay too much money in rent to deal with daily bullshit. Enough is enough and if officers can’t handle it, then replace them with them with those who can do it properly. Thankfully I am in a rental and not in a condo or coop, because values are plummeting here and would not want to be stuck in a unit that I couldn’t sell or take a loss once sold. Already closed horrible environmental studies high school, but this nonsense still exists. Crime has gone up in this area, and I do not see it going down anytime in the near future. Start contacting your local congressman to try and make a difference. Be safe everyone who lives in this area.

      • Pepe GF says:

        W 50’s? Didn’t think of that as a residential area. Are these “kids” you speak of even local?

      • Cat says:

        Oh puleeze, how about going after the parents and the schools, instead of expecting the police to be babysitters?

    14. Hoenst Abe says:

      The sector boundaries don’t seem to be documented

    15. Rob G. says:

      The area north of 90th Street, especially along Coliumbus & Amsterdam Aves will certainly benefit from this. Gang violence between the projects and other random crimes have made it more than a bit unnerving for residents and pedestrians in the area, and an on-foot police presence will help. Long overdue.

    16. bz says:

      Please bring this to the 20. Building better community relationships in that precinct is sorely needed.

    17. Joey says:

      Don’t want a dialogue with the local gendarme. Just want to safely go to work and come home to an apartment that wasn’t broken into. This is a lot of smoke & mirrors.

      • geoff says:

        agreed. next, twitter, facebook. how about this: take us into the 20th century, not the 21st century—try lots of beat cops.

        • Che says:

          Yes, lots of beat cops seems the normal, effective way (or is this all for show?). I think I’ll drop my groceries and do my African dance.

    18. Jen says:

      Excellent initiative. 20th precinct should do the same. Remember things like the same person robbing a lady at the post office at 68 st and minutes later robbing a mom with 2 kids at Chase bank during the broad light? It is very brazen and scary considering the busy area and the time of the day. And we still didn’t get any updates to see if that person was caught, there was a pretty good footage of him, so people definitely know who he is.

    19. Carol M says:

      Sounds good. But put on your walking shoes section B Thats 14 blocks times three avenues or 42 blocks (not counting cross streets) or over 2 miles in one shift.

    20. Sam says:

      I live on West 83rd and the 24th used to be our precinct. If the 24th now starts at 86th, does anyone know what our precinct is now and where it is located?