By Daniel Katzive
Inspector Naoki Yaguchi, who has led the 24th Precinct for three years, is retiring. The Inspector confirmed he would depart “soon” at the precinct’s monthly community council meeting on Wednesday.
Tom Burnett, the community council president, told the meeting that a replacement for Yaguchi has not yet been selected, but that two strong candidates are currently being considered.
Yaguchi joined the NYPD in 2005. Prior to commanding the 24th, Yaguchi was briefly commanding officer of the Central Park Precinct and before that served as executive officer (second in command) at the 40th Precinct in the Bronx. According to a Daily News report at the time of his promotion to commanding officer in Central Park, Yaguchi was the first NYPD officer of Japanese ancestry to be promoted to the rank of Captain and the first to command a precinct. Yaguchi was promoted to the departmental rank of Inspector late last year.
While working in the 40th Precinct in 2017, Yaguchi faced criminal charges, accused in a case brought by the Bronx District Attorney of delaying the administration of a Breathalyzer test on an off-duty detective involved in a car accident. He was acquitted of all charges by a judge in 2019 and, according to the Daily News, Police Commissioner James O’Neill at the time believed strongly in his innocence and felt he was maligned.
In terms of crime in the precinct, the Inspector reported a uptick in robberies in the past week after numbers had been improving in the final months of 2022. There was an attempted bank robbery Wednesday afternoon at the Wells Fargo at 88th Street. The suspect got away, but no money was taken.
The precinct has also recorded its first shooting incident of the year on Saturday night in the Frederick Douglass Houses. The victim survived and the case is being investigated by detectives currently. There were only 4 shooting incidents in the precinct in 2022, all of which resulted in arrests.