PHOTO: Borough President Melinda Katz recently spoke to the 100 probationary police officers that have been assigned to the various commands within Patrol Borough Queens South. Courtesy of the Borough President’s Office
By Michael V. Cusenza
Of the 1,257 newly minted Members of the Service who graduated last week from the Police Academy, 100 have been assigned to the various commands within Patrol Borough Queens South.
“You are coming along at an ideal time – a force that is succeeding more and more, innovating more and more, is proving its abilities more every day,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said to the probationary officers during the commencement ceremony at Madison Square Garden. “And you’re going to be change agents. You’re going to be the next generation that makes us better, that bonds police and community in a way we’ve never seen before. You are going to be part of that generation that will look back on in years and say, we’re the generation who brought policing to the next level.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton added, “We have sought to do everything in our power to improve your training.”
The rookies now find themselves part of that successful, innovative police force to which de Blasio referred in his remarks. And for Bratton, the cornerstone of that force is Neighborhood Policing.
Rolled out in December 2015, the Neighborhood Policing Plan, now in 31 commands, is designed to greatly increase the cop/community connectivity without in any way diminishing the NYPD’s crime-fighting capabilities.
“We want to police with the community, not at the community,” said Assistant Chief Terrence Monahan, one of the architects of the NPP.
The plan divides precincts into four or five fully staffed sectors that correspond, as much as possible, to the boundaries of actual existing neighborhoods. Sector officers assigned to these sectors work the same neighborhoods on the same shifts, increasing their familiarity with the local residents and local problems. The radio dispatchers, supervisors, and sector officers work together to maintain “sector integrity,” meaning that the sector officers and sector cars do not leave the boundaries of their assigned sectors, except in genuine emergencies. The plan seeks to foster a sense of ownership among sector officers for the people, the problems, and even the perpetrators in a particular sector; a sense of geographic responsibility and accountability.
“It operationalizes community policing in a way that eluded previous models and reestablishes the primacy of patrol as the backbone of preventive policing,” Bratton said.
Eight precincts comprise PBQS, and its headquarters is the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows. Assistant Chief David Barrere is the commanding officer.