20th Precinct Rolls Out Neighborhood Policing

By Alex Israel

The NYPD recently rolled out Neighborhood Policing for the Upper West Side’s 20th Precinct. The initiative aims to improve communication and collaboration between local police officers and community residents by assigning the same pairs of officers to designated sectors within each precinct.

The 20th Precinct is the 66th precinct in the city to adopt the Neighborhood Policing program, of 77 in the NYPD’s jurisdiction. On the Upper West Side, it follows the 24th Precinct, which rolled out the program earlier this year. By October, every precinct in the city will be participating in the initiative.

Neighborhood Policing splits the 20th Precinct into three sectors: A, B and C, and designates two Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) to each. The Amsterdam Houses, operated by the New York City Housing Authority and located in Sector A, will also have its own pair of dedicated NCOs.

This map shows which sector applies to different areas of the precinct.

Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison introduced the program at a meeting last month to a crowded room filled with a mix of NYPD representatives and community members.

He was enthusiastic about Neighborhood Policing, and praised the program for its ability to “help cultivate intimacy, understanding, relationships and trust” in the communities that have already adopted it. According to Harrison, surveys across those communities show that the program is effective. He also reported that the number of chronic quality-of-life complaints has dropped.

After each officer participating in the program had introduced themselves and shared their excitement to get started, Harrison fielded questions from the audience, who expressed skepticism as they outlined complaints ranging from panhandlers to after-hours noise, all of which had gone unaddressed in the past. Harrison empathized, directed people to their designated officers and asked each skeptic the same question: Will you give the program a chance?

One by one, each resident agreed to do so.

With the presentation complete, Harrison encouraged residents to meet their NCOs to begin addressing their issues. He also noted that starting in October, each pair will host meetings every three months to engage with the community one-on-one. Residents are advised to check www.buildtheblock.nyc to find the meetings in their sector.

NYPD encourages locals to email their designated NCOs with questions and/or concerns:

The precinct posted more information about the officers on Facebook.

Posted by NYPD 20th Precinct on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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NEWS | 40 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      From my experience Neighborhood Policing has been a complete failure in Precinct 24.

      • NotImpressed says:

        Evidence?

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Dannyboy, could you elaborate? I’m interested in what the experience has been.

        I am positive about the Community Policing paradigm. Certainly it is much better than the alternative: “broken windows policing”, which was behind the racial profiling version of “stop and frisk.”

        • dannyboy says:

          My experience over recent years is that the Police are increasingly meek. I don’t know if it is because the Officers are timid or because they have been instructed not to report crimes and thereby keep the Precinct Statistics artificially low. By now most citizens know that those Reports are ‘managed’.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            Dannyboy, it would be very very hard to “game” or “manage” the crime statistics unethically. I guess it’s possible this is going on, but it would involve a wide conspiracy and there are all sorts of oversight levels that would stop this.

            As a city employee (not NYPD), i know how dangerous it would be to monkey with statistics. this is just not something that is regularly done. Believe it or not, the vast majority of govt employees at all levels are honest, hard working people doing the best job they can with limited resources.

            Of course, this was done with the lead inspections in NYCHA, in a practice that originated under Bloomberg. However, that involved many fewer hands and eyes, as it as a report to the Feds, not public reporting.

            of course, crime statistics can be “managed” ethically by redeploying resources to where the most crimes are taking place. that is the whole idea of COMPSTAT.

            • dannyboy says:

              I wrote it clearly:
              “Officers [are timid or] because they have been instructed not to report crimes and thereby keep the Precinct Statistics artificially low.”

              I have experienced this firsthand. Others have experienced this firsthand.

              Bruce, are you unaware of growing vigilante groups? Police must do their job or it becomes ugly.

            • dannyboy says:

              Bruce,

              I can cite many ways and examples. Let me start with an easy one for you to see. Victim calls 911. Cops respond, but rather than investigate the actual crime, they choose to see just a nuisance crime. No Police Report, no statistics. Since you are so up on COMPSTAT, why isn’t there a correlation study of 911 Calls to crimes reported done? Because the Police squash the Police Report!

              I have Police living in MY HOUSE, this is no mystery. Do you know why there are PRIVATE POLICE walking the beat and ON YOUR BLOCK.

            • dannyboy says:

              Bruce,

              Here is a very easy way for you to see, from your own experience, that the Police in our Precinct are suppressing the Crime Reporting statistics.

              All you have to do is note the number of Police Car sirens you hear during the day. Then compare that to the monthly COMPSTAT. Funny how all those crimes never get reported, huh.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Dannyboy, the argument that the NYPD (or, as it is usually implied, De Blasio) is doctoring the statistics is usually employed by people who want to bring back the racial profiling / stop and frisk of the Bloomberg era. This was a common argument by right wing commenters on this blog. First, they said that getting rid of racial profiling would result in a huge increase in crime. then, when crime continued to go down, many of these same people said the statistics were and are phony.

              I did some searches to see if there are any credible allegations of this. From time to time there have been allegations, the most prominent being by a former NYPD employee in 2010 — under Bloomberg, i would point out. But nothing has been proven, nothing has gained traction. It is mostly anecdote and rumpr.

              When you say the statistics are being “managed” — by whom? Are you claiming that it is a formal top-down policy of the NYPD to put out fraudulent statistics? that would be very very hard to implement successfully.

              DannyBoy said:

              “Officers [are timid or] because they have been instructed not to report crimes and thereby keep the Precinct Statistics artificially low.”

              The “timid officer” theory was usually stated differently. It said that if an officer saw a crime being committed, he or she was afraid to act because of the new anti-racial profiling regulations. He or she didn’t want to be brought up on charges.

              This argument is faulty because it assumes that our officers are simply incapable of acting in a way that respects constitutional rights. I have all confidence that they are acting according to the new guidelines, in their majority. These regulations are not so hard for trained professionals.

              i don’t have time to answer all your arguments, but they are mostly specious. Do you know when the complaint gets logged in Compstat? is it at the time of the 911 call, or does it require a filing by the officer themselves?

              it would be very hard to “game” the statistics on a consistent citywide basis. such a vast conspiracy would surely be reported to the media.

            • dannyboy says:

              Bruce, mine are NOT arguments, but rather experiences.

              (1) The “timid officer” theory was usually stated differently.

              This is not a “theory”. I was recently in an altercation with 3 members of a local street gang, who I stood up to. Officers arrived and did nothing. I have noted this happening numerous times.

              (2) “Dannyboy, the argument that the NYPD (or, as it is usually implied, De Blasio) is doctoring the statistics is usually employed by people who want to bring back the racial profiling / stop and frisk of the Bloomberg era. This was a common argument by right wing commenters on this blog.”

              Yes, I must be a supporter of racial profiling/ stop and frisk AND right-wing. Bruce listen to yourself for a second.

              (3) “i don’t have time to answer all your arguments”

              You instead make this a political debate. Good luck with that when you need to rely on police protection or justice.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Well, Danny. At least you gave it a shot. SMDH.

        • dannyboy says:

          I gave it MANY “shots”. Most recently I phoned our 2 NCO Officers and got voicemail. Then I called the Precinct Detective who assured me that, after the last time I called both NCO Officers and everybody else at the Precinct, that he would make sure I would get Police response. Another voicemail box. Call back officers, I am waiting more than a day!

          Crime done and over.

          • NotImpressed says:

            Call 911 for an emergency.
            Calling you back for a non-emergency isn’t a priority.

            • dannyboy says:

              I did call 911.

              I also played “phone around the Precinct” because the Precinct informed me to contact the Precinct for ONGOING CRIMES.

            • NotImpressed says:

              What kind of “ongoing crimes” did you report?
              Why is there a need for them to call you back?

            • dannyboy says:

              Street gang crimes. But that doesn’t elicit an action.

              So: Good Luck UWS’ers (I hope all that Denial does the job).

            • NotImpressed says:

              Why wouldn’t you call 911 for a street gang crime?

    2. CFC says:

      PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE CRAZY HOMELESS PEOPLE ON 72 STREET EARLY ON MORNING AND LATE NIGHT!!

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Yeah, West Side Rag, DO SOMETHING! 😉

      • Mark says:

        By something you mean get rid of them, is that right?

        • Rob G. says:

          Mark, well of course if someone is exhibiting threatening behavior, they should be removed from the street, whether they are homeless or a rich investment banker. Do you disagree?

    3. PaulCons says:

      While the concept is sound, the implementation is flawed. in the 2-4, the “sector” each person team is so large that they MAY visit where you live once every couple of weeks. And if you don’t happen to be on the street, you’ll never see them. Do we have ANY officers who “walk a beat?” To9 me, THAT is neighborhood policing, not 2 officers covering 30+ blocks.

    4. LEE APT says:

      GREAT IDEA – NOW BRING IT UP FURTHER ON THE UWS. WHY STOP AT 85th?

      • Eagle Eye says:

        LEE APT, This actually was started in the 24th precinct (86th to 110th Street) early this year. Your wish has been granted!

      • MQue says:

        Because above 85th street that’s the 24th precincts jurisdiction

    5. Joey says:

      More smoke & mirrors.

      • dannyboy says:

        I agree with you. The question that I have to ask is: Now that the Neighborhood and the Country have been so pulled apart, is there policing sufficient to protect community?

    6. BillyNYC says:

      my experience Neighborhood Policing has been A complete failure in Precinct 20 in the 1970’s and 1980’s that lead to drugs and corruption that landed the Captain of the 20th percent in the Bronx and later suspended without pay (FIRED) after NBC-TV NEWS followed him by camera for two weeks show him taking drug money from the drug dealers. – True Story

      • Capt. Malin says:

        Thankfully, my biggest vice is over-indulging in mint chocolate chip ice cream. So no worries there, brother.

        • dannyboy says:

          Capt. Malin,

          Your reputation and effectiveness speak for yourself.

          But at the same time, I hope that you are not trying to gloss over what so many feel about their Precincts.

      • BillyNYC says:

        I just remembered another incident with the 20th precinct that businesses and stores hired local police to go collect moneys that people owed them!! I know this sounds weird but it’s a true story. Corruption was very big at the 20th precinct when they had this program back in the 1970s/80s. We were called do-gooders and the precinct didn’t like us till we invited the press! By the mid-80s it was basically a day program and over with. The problem is with thus program the police get too comfortable In one area a long time. If anyone was around and remember in the 1970/80’s by the mid-80s the cuty droped this program and started moving the police to different precincts once a month.

        • dannyboy says:

          BillyNYC, I feel you when you write: “We were called do-gooders and the precinct didn’t like us till we invited the press! By the mid-80s it was basically a day program and over with. The problem is with this program the police get too comfortable In one area a long time. If anyone was around and remember in the 1970/80’s by the mid-80s the city dropped this program and started moving the police to different precincts once a month.”

          Right here on WSR we have a hero veteran of those wars: “Marjorie Cohen
          Marjorie has lived on the Upper West Side since the mid 60’s. A big fan of the neighborhood, she fought crime on the grassroots level as Executive Director of the Westside Crime Prevention Program/Safe Haven for more than 20 years.”

    7. Ron Kapon says:

      I am one of the civilian community coordinators for Section C that covers 79-86th Streets. That is 7 blocks, not the 30 mentioned elsewhere, Section B is 8 blocks & Section A is 10. I have already met with Officers Vasquez & Jean & introduced them to the owners of Zabars & Harry’s Shoes. They are already familiar with all the homeless by name & many of the businesses have had a visit from them. As they become more familiar with the area & the problems we will meet again.
      I e-mailed one of the Amsterdam Houses NCO’s & he called me within the hour to explain a concern one of my friends had who lives in the Amsterdam Houses.
      Give Community Policing a chance. We are blessed in the 20PCT. to have Capt. Malin as the CO. He is a caring person. National Night Out is Tuesday, August 7th from 6-8PM in Verdi Park by the 72nd St subway station. Come by & meet the 20PCT officers, the community council, auxiliaries, explorers etc. There will be relevant material & snacks.
      West Side Rag- I love reading you every morning. Please stop referring to the 20PCT as the 20 District.

      • NotImpressed says:

        Thank you Ron.
        Please don’t let some of the regulars here discourage you.
        They can be truly miserable and nothing makes them happy.

    8. Timothy Malin says:

      I appreciate good faith discussion and have a high opinion of the typically very bright and civic minded commenters in the WSR. So I am going to make an offer. If you are interested in discussing this model of policing – what it is, why we are doing it, and what separates this from past practices – I will be happy to oblige. We can also talk about what is good about community policing, and why it also fails. We could meet for coffee, or even after my shift is over and chat and enjoy a beverage at a local place. A civil discussion about the future of policing for an hour or so. Would anybody be interested in this?

    9. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      many thanks for CAPT Malin and OFC Kapon for this continued outreach. You are showing a lot of patience, as many of the comments are not very insightful.

      I am in the 24th and often get out of work quite late but would be interested in coming. But i am not one of the cynical ones who you need to reach.

      • dannyboy says:

        Bruse, after disagreeing with you above, I have to agree with you here. Captain Malin is one of the Good Guys who keep us safe. I have consistently and widely communicated that.

        I wish we could either get other Police in his path, or clone him. I, for one, believe that we will be relying more and more on our Police for our safety, and if they do not Protect and Serve, we, as a community will suffer.