Introduction by Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan, NYPD
We’re out here today to announce that on the 1-2-3 precinct will be joining in as one of our neighborhood policing commands. They will be one of four more commands that will be rolling out on the 24th including the 6-3 – excuse me, including the 2-5, the 7-6, the 9-4. On , that will give us 43 out of our 77 police commands that will be running under this philosophy. In the summer, we are going to be announcing four more commands in July. It will be the 6-3, the 8-3, the 1-0-6, and the 1-1-5. So by summer we will have 47 out of our 77 police precincts and all nine of our housing PSAs will be running under this philosophy.
Neighborhood policing is a philosophical change in the way that we police. It’s tying out cops to specific areas, specific geographies within their commands. It is our neighborhood coordination officers working and creating a team that it is within its command that has ownership. We allow our cops to resolve problems; we allow our cops to figure out how to provide services, working together with the community. Before we put these cops out we do extensive training with them, and that is currently where the officers that are going to be the neighborhood coordination offices here in the 1-2-3 are today. They are receiving our criminal investigation course. This is the same course that every new detective gets. They will be able to respond to and investigate crime in a manner similar to our detectives and working in close conjunction with the detectives up in the squad. This is the change that we’ve given to our officers; we trust our officers to have their discretion and to be able to resolve problems on their own. So, we are very glad to have to 1-2-3 involved in this program starting on April 24th. Thank you. Mayor –
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well thank you, Chief. Thank you for the good news and I want to first of all say really happy to be starting this week here in Staten Island and starting with good news for all the residents of the 1-2-3 precinct. Chief – Chief I want to thank you for the leadership role you play as chief of patrol in taking the vision that began when Commissioner Bratton was commissioner and Jimmy O’Neill was chief of department and has continued to grow. Our neighborhood policing vision has deepened throughout the City – has a lot of elements, the NCO program is a key piece of it. But under Chief Monahan’s leadership it has really deepened all over the City. And look, this is part of how we keep people safer. We believe in neighborhood policing for many reasons; we believe it will bring community and police closer together. We believe it will make our officers safer. We believe it will increase the flow of information to our officers from communities. Overall, we believe it is the right path for public safety. And it is something very powerful when we can bring it to another precinct. Neighborhood policing, overall, affects how we train all our new officers and it affects, obviously, the retraining we do on a regular basis. It has to do with everything we are now doing in the police department. But one of the leading elements is the neighborhood coordination officers. And to have the NCOs here in the 1-2-3 will deepen the already extraordinary efforts that are happening all the time in this precinct. This has been a precinct where the precinct leadership and the men and women who patrol these streets have done an extraordinary job. And we want to keep building on those gains – as an example of the fact that we believe even when he NYPD has found great success that we have to keep go farther.
You know, we have talked in the last couple of weeks about big changes we are going to make in the city. Obviously we have talked about the decision to close the jail facility on Rikers Island in the coming years. That was predicated on the idea that we can keep driving down crime. And we have to do that in every single one of our precincts. So we are dedicated to – even in places that have seen great success – going farther because we are depending on the NYPD and all of their partners in neighborhood all over New York City to continue this success; to keep deepening it year after year.
Let me tell you that the NCO relationship – what the neighborhood coordination officers do – the relationship they have to the people they serve, I have seen it all over the City now and it is extraordinary to me. You talk to the officers – the level of satisfaction they have doing their work is striking because they really get to know the community; they really bond with not only community leaders but everyday people in the community. And they hear what is going on in a way that they didn’t have an opportunity to before. They learn about a lot of problems even before problems emerge; they are getting the kinds of tips that allow them to stop crimes before they happen. They are getting the kind of information that allows them to get to illegal weapons. They are getting a lot of thank yous from the people they serve because that relationship helps bring out the best in everyone.
And I tell you, when I talk to neighborhood residents they are so appreciative to have that personal relationship with the officers who serve them. So, this is the wave of the future. This is how policing will continue to get better. And we are convinced that the numbers are now backing up – we felt all along this was an idea that was going to work and it has gone along we have said many times – Commissioner O’Neill and I have said – we have heard from so many community residents, so many officers that we knew anecdotally that it was working. But now we are in a position to give you some numbers to further clarify the success already of neighborhood policing overall and specifically of the neighborhood coordination officer program.
So let’s look at the first quarter of 2017 – the first three months of this year – the precincts that had NCOs saw a 6.2 percent drop in index crimes versus the same quarter a year ago – 6.2 percent drop in crime in those precincts. Now, that compares to a 5.2 percent decline in the citywide crime statistics. So we’re very proud of what has been achieved citywide – 5.2 percent decrease in index crimes from last quarter to this is amazing to begin with, but the fact that we have even gone farther in the precincts that had NCOs is something that really makes clear why this is the idea we needed to keep [inaudible]. And remember a lot of those precincts are some of the ones that have had he toughest problems with crime over the years. When we rolled out the NCO initiative we focused it on precincts that had the most violent crime. So even though that is the history – at the same time we have seen even greater decreases in the crime than the citywide average.
And now, I want to give you one example that I think really puts – gives you a real clear sense of why this initiative works and it is from the 7-1 precinct in Central Brooklyn. So the NCO program was initiated there and we started to see the way that it could solve crimes in a different way. So in the 7-1 precinct there was a major uptick in car break-ins last fall and the NCOs who were assigned to the area worked with neighborhood contacts they had; they worked with neighborhood resident who were helping them to get the information they needed and they found a way to get video of some of the break-ins. They used the video to identify the suspects and to determine the pattern of the crimes. And then the NCOs – because this is a program that focuses on being strategic and flexible – they adjusted their schedules. They worked the shift when most of the break-ins were happening. By staying in close contact with community members, constantly updating their information, they were able to pinpoint where the suspects would be and they were able to catch them in the act of breaking into vehicles. And that meant that that crime pattern was immediately stopped. To make matters even better, one of the suspects had a loaded gun on him. So you got a gun collar in the bargain – an illegal weapon taken off the streets at the same time. This is an example of why this model is so powerful. It allows the NYPD – already the greatest police force in the country to go even farther and to focus resources even better and use that community information in a way that solves crimes like never before.
So it is a great joy that the 1-2-3 precinct will benefit from the NCO initiative. Again, this is a precinct – everyone should be very proud of this precinct; the safest residential precinct in the city for the last six years. The people who live here should be proud, elected officials should be proud, first and foremost the men and women of the NYPD should be proud. But you don’t rest on your laurels. We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to keep driving down crime. So, this is a place that benefits from this initiative too.
I got to tell you it is exciting to see how all these pieces are coming together because the NCO program was made possible – just like our anti-terror efforts, our Critical Response Command and other units were able to be as strong as they are because we added 2,000 more officers on patrol; because we have added the technology, we have added the training. All of these pieces are adding up to make us safer. And we are convinced this is the way of the future. This is the first time we have been able to see statistics from such a wide sample of the city. But if the first quarter of this year is any indication, neighborhood policing is well on its way to making us safer and the NCO component, in particular, is really leading the way.