Three Dramatic Crimes Show 20th Precinct ‘Does Not Currently Have Adequate Resources,’ Assemblymember Says

The 20th Precinct at 120 W. 82nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Three crimes shocked the Upper West Side in the past two weeks, and led New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal to request that 25 police officers, lost to the 20th Precinct within the last year through attrition, be immediately restored. The number represents “a 10% overall staff reduction,” a spokesperson said.

“Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin and his team of dedicated law enforcement professionals have fostered a close sense of community between the police and the people they serve, but recent incidents make clear that the loss of these 25 officers is being acutely experienced by the communities who rely on them most,” Rosenthal wrote in a letter to NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill.

Here are the incidents:

On Saturday, October 12th, at approximately 5:30 p.m., an 85-year-old woman was pushed to the ground from behind as she entered her building on West 74th Street near West End Avenue, and robbed of her hand bag, containing $2,000 in cash, earrings worth $1,200, credit cards, and a cell phone. She sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment. Three days later, two teenage girls, 15 and 16, were arrested and charged with robbery, burglary, and criminal possession of stolen property.

On Thursday, October 17, at 10:32 p.m., a 57-year-old woman was accosted in the scaffolding tunnel on Amsterdam Avenue, between 68th and 69th Streets, by multiple people, one of whom ran up behind her and punched her in the face, while another tried, but failed, to wrest her bag from her arm. The one who threw the punch turned out to be an 18-year-old woman, police said, and she was arrested four days later, and charged with robbery. The other people are still at large.

On Monday, October 21, 2019, at approximately 6:00 p.m., a man was shot in front of 236 West 64th Street, part of the Amsterdam Houses, near a playground filled with families. Before the incident was over, Raymond Johnson, 28, was arrested, escaped, and was rearrested, and charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and escape. The man Johnson shot was also arrested when video subsequently showed that he, too, had fired an unprovoked shot, police said.

Samuel N. Bennerson 2nd Playground.

Parents who use the playground — some of whose children were there at the time of the shooting — have begun organizing a group to push for more safety measures.

“The fact that this shooting took place in the middle of the day in an area with many nearby schools and daycare facilities has only deepened the community’s sense of distress,” Rosenthal’s letter continued. “The 20th Precinct does not currently have adequate resources to prevent crime on the West Side, and the NYPD must expeditiously address this situation by immediately filling the positions of the 25 officers who were lost within the last year.”

Read the full letter here.

“I respect Linda‘s opinion and her advocacy for her constituents, but there is no reason to panic,” Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin, commander of the 20th Precinct responded, when presented with the letter. “In all three recent incidents, arrests were made, and major crime is down nearly 10% in the 20th Precinct this year. The Department has minimum manning requirements for patrol, and we still have adequate resources to meet these requirements.”

Malin explained that Assemblymember Rosenthal had requested a standing detail by the playground, “24/7 fixed-post police officers.”

“I did not feel this was necessary considering all suspects from the shooting incident were immediately arrested,” he said, “and we already have two neighborhood-coordination officers that are assigned there, and, on top of that, we are already doing increased directed patrols at that location.”

Malin did note that “[his] current staffing levels would not permit the kind of deployment Rosenthal requested. “Staffing routinely fluctuates in precincts due to attrition, retirement, promotions, etc.,” he said. “Sometimes it dips, but we will ultimately receive more officers from future academy classes as a result.”

The Post, which first wrote about this issue, noted that police headquarters will be adding more officers to the precinct “in the coming months.”

Deputy Inspector Malin will be available for further discussion and questions this Monday night, October 28th, at the precinct’s monthly Community Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the precinct house at 120 West 82nd Street. All are invited to attend.

NEWS | 48 comments | permalink
    1. Bob Lamm says:

      There’s a crucial missing statistic here that Assemblymember Rosenthal, Deputy Inspector Malin, or the West Side Rag should provide. The 20th Precinct has lost 25 officers due to attrition. How many officers are currently working at that precinct?

      • Carol Tannenhauser says:

        Thank you. A line was added to indicate that the loss of 25 officers represents “a 10% overall staff reduction,” according to Rosenthal’s office. The NYPD has not yet responded to a request for a number.

        • Bob Lamm says:

          Thanks for adding the statistic from Assemblymember Rosenthal’s office. I view a 10% decrease in personnel as a serious decline.

          The NYPD should respond to a request for a number. I hope they will.

      • AC says:

        Actual question should be how many are working full time. NYPD will assign X number of officers to the 2-0 during certain periods (festivals, Thanksgiving parade, etc.). We’d like to know how many are assigned on a full time and permanent basis.

    2. Backtothe80s says:

      Love how Malin deflects by citing decline in “major crimes”. Ask these women attacked while minding their business how “minor” this was. Ask the woman who suffered an attempted rape on 86th st subway station how “minor” this was. There is a clear sense of insecurity in the neighborhood and the answer to that is MORE POLICE PRESENCE. Lack of active policing creates a vacuum for increasing creeps to prey on innocent people. Time for the NYPD stop playing defense and do something about it. A drop of 25 officers is no small deal. And the UWS is feeling it

      • arlene says:

        you are so correct !! He’s beginning to sound just like DeBlasio….
        These sudden acrs of violence are terrifying and NOBODY MR. MAOR is addressing them for what they are !!!

    3. Timeforaction says:

      Malin’s out of touch shrug to the decay in quality of life on the UWS deserves our loud response this MONDAY at 7pm. Please come to the precinct’s monthly community meeting and help us express our concerns not only with the events listed below but also a stabbing occurrence on W81st few weeks ago, an attempted rape on W86st and several others occurrences being minimized as “non major.” Please come!

      • UWSforLife says:

        Have you ever met Malin?

        The guy is pretty reasonable, very accessible, and will talk to you about neighborhood issues and crime until you are bored.

        You may not like his decision, which is fine, but he’s definitely not “out of touch.”

        • Tom says:

          We don’t need talking ad nauseam, we need action. Maybe people need to step down. I will be at the meeting. Time for action.

    4. m.pipik says:

      DI Malin,

      There is no reason to panic? I have lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years and never felt unsafe–until now. 2 violent muggings in one week is 2 too many. If this has happened before, I have never heard about it.

      About 40 years ago a friend was mugged on 75th Street and the police officer was surprised. He said “no one gets mugged here.” The neighborhood has only gotten safer since then.

      Something is different (and it isn’t the return of the homeless). I’m sure most of us in the neighborhood would like an explanation of why these muggings and shootings are now happening.

      Until we better understand why these attacks have been happening, we need police officers on patrol now.

    5. Joan says:

      I have lived on the Upper West Side for 15 years now and never felt unsafe until now. There has been a change this last year. As far as the 200 Amsterdam mugging, I blame the developer who has consistently disregarded the safety of the immediate community. From falling pieces, to inadequate scaffolding to an unsafe passageway he has put our area at jeopardy. He should be responsible to the poor woman whose face was fractured for not having security present. The quality of life along W. 69th to Fairway especially the strip in front of all the fast food restaurants between W. 70th and W. 71st- is awful. And we seniors are forced to go around to West End Avenue to avoid this mess so that we can indirectly get to Trader Joes and Fairway. We need more police presence and it should be addressed by the Inspector.

      • ben says:

        ‘The quality of life along W. 69th to Fairway especially the strip in front of all the fast food restaurants between W. 70th and W. 71st- is awful.’

        Truly curious what you mean by ‘quality of life’. Such a vague term to describe a stretch of streets that’s all commercial property?

        • Joan says:

          By quality of life, I mean homeless people setting up homes in the middle of the sidewalk with all their furniture and mattresses and garbage. Also overflowing garbage cans and bikes all over the place even though there are signs clearly saying they can’t be chained to the wrought iron tree borders. Just now I turned away from going into Rite Aid because there is a homeless man staggering back and forth in front of the entrance so I turned around and walked to CVS on West End Avenue instead, where for some reason the homeless do not hang out. Can someone please tell me why that is?

          • LK says:

            Joan, you are safe now. The homeless man is peacefully asleep at the entrance. On a serious note, I completely agree with you that things are in a poor shape. Police presence would not hurt, but unfortunately this solution is not scalable. If few years ago there were a few homeless folks that entire uws knew well – now each block has its own homeless (some are harmless and others are not so much). Mayor’s and council’s policies are responsible for this. Consistent policies to tie cop’s hands encourage antisocial behavior. If punks can assault cops and be released without bail – how do you think regular folk will fair. This catch-and-release policy ( that would only get worse come January ) emboldens crooks and makes residents and cops vulnerable.
            To reiterate the answer to your question, ‘why is that’? Mayor’s policy! Below is the response from Mayor Giuliani & his police commissioner 20 years ago to a homeless attacking a pedestrian:

            ”Streets do not exist in civilized societies for the purpose of people sleeping there,” the mayor said yesterday during his weekly radio call-in show. ”Bedrooms are for sleeping.” He added that the right to sleep on the streets ”doesn’t exist anywhere. The founding fathers never put that in the Constitution.”

            Mr. Giuliani referred several times to yesterday morning’s front-page headline in The Daily News. The headline, ”Get the Violent Crazies Off Our Streets,” was for a two-page editorial inside that demanded the city remove the ”dangerously deranged” from city streets and put them in institutions.

            In a later telephone interview, Police Commissioner Howard Safir said that if people sleeping on the sidewalks refused help from police and then ”don’t obey, we’re going to arrest them.”

            • Jerry says:

              Interesting post, LK, from an anthropologic standpoint, I suppose…or if you want to go back in time to a day before the Giuliani administration was innundated by a wave of civil rights lawsuits that cost NYC hundreds of millions of dollars…but those sensational headlines from the past serve no actual useful purpose and are thoroughly misleading since the gulf between the rhetoric and reality (even then) was miles wide. It may behoove you to know that under current state law, a police officer or outreach worker can take people from the street only if they appear to be in imminent danger or display signs of mental illness.

              What is interesting to me is that no one here has cited the murder of three homeless people (and the attempted murder of a fourth) that took place on the streets of NYC less than two weeks ago. I don’t like having to step around homeless people on the streets where I live or on the subway anymore than anyone else does, but it isn’t hard to appreciate that homelessness is an extremely difficult societal problem that defies easy solutions, that it involves mental illness, substance abuse, drug addiction, and the lack of affordable housing, among other things.

          • Sean says:

            That commercial stretch has always been disgusting. The property owner has no intention of turning it into a glorious public space.

    6. ben says:

      Undoubtedly these violent crimes are horrific and bad for the neighborhood but 24/7 fixed-post police officers at the playground? Really? Do you let your kids go there at 3am? Understandably we need better patrol in the neighborhood but this ain’t Times Square, at least be reasonable with more realistic requests?

      • Balebusta says:

        Ben, what in your mind would constitute a reasonable request? If it were your children playing on a playground who were witnesses to significant violence and now traumatized for life (read the ACES studies), or Gd forbid in a worse case scenario injured or killed by a criminal shooting across a playground — a place that is supposed to be a safe haven — how would you react? How would you feel? How much more do we have to abide before we all put our collective feet down, draw a line and use our voting power and our voices to protect each other and our children? What happened to the UWS being a real community united together? All of us regardless of socioeconomic status, resources, etc should care about the safety of every single person this neighborhood — that’s a community — we are a collective.

        • ben says:

          For starters, ask for police presence when kids can be reasonably expected at playgrounds. Not ’24/7′ which is both unrealistic (I don’t think the precinct has this many of officers to man these posts) as well as unreasonable (again no kids would be at playgrounds at 3am, I hope). I want everyone and their kids to be as safe as possible, as much as anybody in the neighborhood, but hyperbole and overreactions will only go so far.

    7. Rob G. says:

      It is not the fault of the 20th or the 24th Precincts that the quality of life is declining and crime is on the rise. The mayor and city council are determined to keep deterrent and preemptive policing to a minimum. Complain your politicians, not not the police. The NYPD are doing the best they can with the restrictions they are given.

      • mkmuws says:

        *Preemptive* policing? You know we can hear you, right? No thank you, I live in the USA. Love all you wackos who want to live in a police state. Get help.

        • Rob G. says:

          Don’t to live in a safe neighborhood where would-be criminals would think twice before they shoot you, me, or our children? Preventive policing means gang-related gun sweeps, broken windows tactics, etc. Are you also upset that we have metal detectors at airports and government buildings? What is it that you’re hiding?

    8. Bill Williams says:

      It doesn’t matter how many officers we have if they’re not allowed to do their job!

    9. Jimbo says:

      Bill and ROB GOT IT RIGHT.Take it from someone who knows firsthand.
      Vote NO on question 2 this election
      to show some support for the NYPD.

    10. Jerry says:

      I’m surprised and disheartened by all the hyperventilating and hyperbolic comments that are consistently appended to each and every article published here about an instance of crime that occurs on the UWS. Yes, to be the victim of crime is horrible, awful, horrendous; my heart goes out to anyone who has been violated by an act of crime. But we live in a major city–the biggest one in the U.S.–and there inevitably is going to be some crime. The UWS is not somehow immune to the laws of human nature: Unfortunately, not all human beings treat others well. That does not mean, however, that we need to lose all sense of proportion or reality, speak or act out of ignorance or unbridled fear, invent our own crime statistics, or behave as if there is always a politician or policy to blame (that is, an easy scapegoat) for every single criminal act. The UWS is a wonderful and wonderfully safe neighborhood. It is not falling apart. Crime is not increasing. Those are objective, provable facts. With the sincerest condolences to anyone who has been a victim of crime, I wish that everyone else posting comments here every time there is an article about crime would please get a grip.

      • ben says:

        I swear if some readers were to have their way, they’d want police officers around every city block, every hour of every day. We all want to feel and be safe but hyperbolic and unrealistic demands are easily brushed aside for being as such and don’t help or give credibility to any of us in the neighborhood.

      • Handsome City Man says:

        Jerry for Mayor of UWS. He is correct on all counts.

      • UWS40 says:

        Finally a voice of reason.

    11. Balebusta says:

      Like Joan I have lived on the UWS for over 15 years (born and raised in NYC, lived here my whole life) and have never felt unsafe until now. I unfortunately am not able to make the meeting due to my job but I hope our voices are heard. I have a daily group of people harassing me outside of my place of business screaming they will rape me and to go f**k myself among other things. Initial attempts at kind words and deescalation proved futile and now it is a game for them to come almost daily. Not only am I scared but I cry about this due to the helplessness. The harassment won’t stop. I called the police and they never showed up. A couple months ago I watched a group of people trash a bodega on Amsterdam avenue. They were menacing toward me while I was walking my dog and threw a chair at us. The mayor has totally disempowered our police force. This city is the least safe it has been in decades. The robberies, harassment, assaults, attempted rapes, attempted murders, murders, drug deals, beatings just keep piling up and minimized under political rhetoric. I no longer take the subway at all (did anyone see the video of a group of people assaulting a group of police officers at the Jay street station Brooklyn this weekend, or the man who threw a woman into a subway car smashing her face last week?), and frankly even walking around in broad daylight on the UWS has become a scary unpredictable experience. The rights of everyone should be protected and no one should be oppressed or marginalized but public safety must come first. The Mayor and City Council have tied the hands of the police force. We are living in dangerous times as everyone is on edge, more tense, angry…this is a setup all the way around, on all sides for escalations of violence. I pray that we all take this seriously and stop minimizing the very real dangerous things that are happening every day and use our voting power to make the city safe(r) again.

      • Jerry says:

        If I didn’t know better, I would wonder whether this comment was written by a Russian troll designed to sow discord and fear among residents of the UWS! How could someone who was “born and raised in NYC, lived here my whole life” claim that they have never felt unsafe until now? The city was infinitely more dangerous in 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009 than it is in 2019! To state that, “This city is the least safe it has been in decades,” and “walking around in broad daylight on the UWS has become a scary unpredictable experience” is ludicrous. Robberies, harassment, assaults, attempted rapes, attempted murders, murders, drug deals and beatings DO NOT just keep piling up! In fact, most of these are at all time lows.

        I guess the purpose of a troll is to spark a response, so perhaps I’d do better than to take the bait (and recite facts), but with regard to the recent headline-grabbing incident on the subway (which apparently involved a mentally disturbed person)…

        Per Wikipedia:

        In 2017, the NYC subway delivered over 1.72 billion rides, averaging approximately 5.6 million daily rides on weekdays and a combined 5.7 million rides each weekend (3.2 million on Saturdays, 2.5 million on Sundays).

        I get that if a person has been the victim of a crime all bets are off–there is emotional trauma there that cannot or should not be poo-pooed. But as a general matter (in relation to comments on this blog) if it only takes a relatively few crimes to make a person feel unsafe, then they probably shouldn’t be living in New York (or almost any other big city in the world.

      • alicia says:

        Until this mayor and those of his ilk are gone, and they try someone who actually has a serious plan for this City, nothing will change.
        I am sorry for what you have to go through on a daily basis. You’re right, our NYPD does the best it can, but fighting crime with one hand tied behind ones back, is a poor way to run a large city. Alas, DeBlasio’s allegiances do not fall with the taxpayers of this city.
        Seriously speaking, the last time I felt safe was during the Giuliani years and the first term of the Bloomberg years.

        • Jerry says:

          Seriously speaking, Rudolph Giuliani served as the 107th Mayor of New York City from January 1, 1994 until December 31, 2001. In 2000, there were 673 murders in NYC; in 2001, there were 649 murders in NYC. In 2017, there were 290 homicides in NYC—the lowest number since the 1940s, and less than half the amount when Giuliani was mayor. (Many other crime statistics for other violent crimes and property crimes show similar sharp declines.)

          It may serve a political agenda to say that you feel unsafe and that you blame Mayor de Blasio for that, but I submit that your feelings are not based on facts.

          If you need someone to blame for ill feelings about policing in NYC, I would look to PBA President Patrick Lynch–he’s the one (in my view) who’s allegiances do not fall with the taxpayers of this city.

          • EricaC says:

            Well said, Jerry.

            No one disputes that there are things that need to be done. Community policing would help – but does cost money. But the city is safer than it was 10 years ago, and we are not in a stunning decline. We need to deal with the problems that are arising, but that is more likely to happen if we remain rational.

    12. John says:

      If you read political news there is starting to be a push to disarm police (in NYC by the liberal Socialist) Just think how that will go along with Justice reform and the release of 3700 prisoners from RI. When the new jails can only hold 3300 (currently 7000)

    13. Cecily says:

      Wow. Really astonished by some of these comments.

      I have lived in the city for over 40 years, and in the neighborhood for over 30 years. This neighborhood is very safe – far safer than when I moved here in ‘87, when car breakins were regular occurances and I wouldn’t walk down side streets alone late at night.

      Of course the two recent attacks are upsetting. But they are isolated incidents. (It is interesting to me that in both cases it was teenage GIRLS who were the attackers)

      The matter of a few homeless people setting up encampments is not primarily a police issue, so it isn’t fair to blame the police for it. And anger directed at the police, or at DI Malin, is way out of line, IMO

    14. Anonymous says:

      The politicians and their liberal policies are who to blame. Not the 2-0. All perpetrators were caught. The 20th pct is doing a fine damn job

    15. Brenda says:

      I see plenty of officers in the neighborhood. I’ve yet to see one NOT using their personal phone while on duty. Can we start there?

    16. B.B. says:

      NYPD has one of the lowest numbers of officers in recent memory. Even so certain elected officials and others want force to be reduced further still.

      Look around, how often do you see patrolmen pounding the beat? Not nearly often as back in the day, and IMHO that is one of the problems.

      When you do see LE they are in patrol cars or whatever. In certain areas of city such as Times Square yes, you do see officers working beat, but still nothing like it was years ago.

      I get there are cameras every where now; but that alone isn’t a deterrent. Great for catching people after they have committed a crime, but tell that to victims.

    17. Barb says:

      Very ironic to me, in an age where police is being so vilified, now suddenly they scream for wanting more. Ridiculous. They aint’ so bad after all.

    18. NY10023 says:

      For some reason this hasn’t been reported anywhere… but at the news stand at the corner of 69th/Broadway, on Monday the 21st a robber jumped inside the stand. The older guy that works in there ended up with a broken arm.

    19. WS says:

      The UWS doesn’t have a serious crime problem and none of the three crimes in the article would have been prevented by more cops.

      Breathe into a bag and calm down. This is a great neighborhood.

    20. Chrigid says:

      Did those teens know what the 85-year-old woman was carrying in that purse? Did someone tell them? Is there a third person in this case?

    21. 64th Street Resident says:

      I live right next to the park on 64th street and I have never seen a police presence in the park or even on the street until the recent shooting. I walk through garbage, bottles of alcohol, and drug deals every single morning, afternoon, and night.

    22. David Zelman says:

      Since you want more police in this neighborhood, you want street people moved out, homed and fed, you want police on every corner, street vendors eliminated, scaffoldings removed, more playgrounds, more schools, and more. I want, I want, I want. I, I, I,
      Most of what you’re talking about are laws that our politicians have enacted, without allocating the funds to accomplish these tasks. You’ve voted for the same people for 50 years even though each of them have said “education is our number one priority, safe streets, clean streets, affordable housing. These are their promises.
      Have you attended Pct Council meetings? Have you attended CB7 Board meetings.worked to elect people who will do better?
      Oh I see, you’re too busy.

    23. LOIS LAZARUS says:



    24. O'Connor says:

      It is unfortunate there have been some recent violent and disturbing crimes that are well publicized. I am not sure how many of you attended the meeting on Monday, so you may not have seen the major crime briefing by DI Malin. Here are some notes from the meeting:

      Major Crime Categories are murder and nonnegligent homicide; rape; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; larceny-theft; and arson.

      Crime stats by these categories are updated weekly and available on the 20th Pct website.

      – Crime OVERALL is down 8.1% year-to-date. 712 this year vs. 775 in 2018.
      – HOWEVER, crime is up in grand larceny auto (mainly motorcycle theft in summer) AND in robberies (which by definition includes a violent component). ROBBERIES ARE UP 17% YTD, 62 vs. 53.
      – Many have told him “I feel unsafe”.
      – Of the 77 precincts in all of NYC, crime is up in 32 of them.
      – Of the 77th precincts in all of NYC, our 20th precinct is 19th overall in crime. “We are doing well.”
      – 2019 was third best year (least crime) in last 10 years
      – Of 77 precincts in all of NYC, only 11 have FEWER robberies than the 20th. “Crime is not exploding, despite the sentiment to the contrary.”
      – Of the 62 robberies, 21 were shoplifting gone wrong; 4 in chain store w/ weapon; 1 in parking garage; 5 in banks; 20 on street (7 on public transit, 2 domestic, 2 break in)
      – Of the 20 on street, 4 were for ear pods; 3 for iphones; 1 street ventor’s tip jar; 3 delivery people; and 9 “misc” à including the two violent ones we’re aware of
      – 71% of robbery cases have been “solved”/criminals found
      – In last 3 classes, 20th pct has received 6/6/7 officers during 2018. Currently have 106 working officers vs. 127 last year.

      What the data tells us is that crime has decreased over time in the neighborhood. It also tells us that relative to other precincts, the 20th has relatively low crime rates. That does not change or disregard people’s feelings, but it does contextualize the situation. Violent crime is scary and this is a family neighborhood with a lot of children as well as elderly people. Incidents like these are less common than other neighborhoods and when it happens it is startling.

      I grew up on the UWS during the crack era when people were dealing on every corner, empty vials were in the street crevices and you had to walk down the street avoiding eye contact with everyone to lower the risk of getting mugged or jumped. The neighborhood is nothing like that anymore. However, there are problems. These problems, I would argue are not necessarily the issues for the police, rather than are policy issues that make it difficult for operators (police, social services, department of buildings, NYCHA, etc.) to be more effective.

      Linda’s letter is convenient but misguided. If anyone should be taking responsibility and action it is her and Helen Rosenthal. More policing would have a short term impact, but there are bigger issues that are not being discussed or considered. There are homeless throughout the neighborhood, many with mental health issues, that refuse assistance and impact quality of life. There are regular safety and drug concerns near the Amsterdam Houses, some of which is due to on going construction and scaffolding (making crime easier), some may be to specific individuals living in that area. Has anyone reached out to the people in that community and engaged with them? Why doesn’t Helen and Linda lobby city hall for better services for that community? Why not engage with the residents to understand their concerns and needs to see if they can be addressed. 24hr policing is a stop gap that will not rout out the criminal activity. 24hr policing is a point in time solution that will be effective for however long it is implemented.

      DI Malin is a good man that is deeply connected to the community. He is actively engaged with a number of stakeholders and does a fantastic job of listening. He is also a pragmatic man who will act in the best interest of the community given the rules, policies and protocol he has to follow.

      I would urge any community member to speak to him and engage, not only to articulate your feelings and concerns, but to listen to his response and seek to understand. I would also encourage you to do the same for our elected officials. What I suspect you will find is that Linda and Helen will give lip service and will say its a police problem to avoid getting involved in difficult and complex policy issues around social services, mental health and police tactics. We have weak political leaders that would rather take a populist stance than effectively engage in difficult policy discussions. They would rather spend time on larger macro issues (which are important) but are sexier and are potentially better resume builders. Their negligence for our community issues is what should be targeted and the community should focus efforts on them.