Photos Courtesy of NYPD
Capt. Brian Bohannon and Capt. Courtney Nilan
By Michael V. Cusenza
It certainly has been a banner 12 months for the City’s Finest. As of Wednesday, Dec. 27, there had been an eye-popping 286 murders in the five boroughs in 2017 – the lowest number on record.
For perspective, in the early 1990s the NYPD investigated more than 2,000 homicides per year.
Ask any veteran beat cop, seasoned gumshoe, or legendary boss: Success starts at the precinct level.
So The Forum sat down with the commanders of the 102nd and 106th precincts this week to learn more about their 2017 success stories, and the issues they’re looking to address during the first few weeks of 2018.
Though Capt. Courtney Nilan only assumed the reins of the 102 six weeks ago, the borough native is quite familiar with the command – she was its Special Operations lieutenant for two years. Nilan is especially proud of the overall decrease in crime in the precinct – 21 percent compared to 2016; the steepest drop of all Queens South posts. And the two-year difference is even more remarkable: 34 percent.
Nilan points to precision policing, technological advances, and the improvement in cop-community relations as reasons for the crime-fighting achievements in the 102.
“Technology has a lot to do with it; it deters a lot of criminals. Nowadays, you can’t commit a crime without being on 10 different videos, or tracked on your phones,” she noted.
Though the 102 isn’t set to install the department’s wildly successful Neighborhood Policing program until this summer, Nilan credits a strengthening of the unique bond between police and the people they swore to protect and serve with helping to bring down negative numbers.
“It has helped both with crime prevention and solving crimes after they happen,” she added.
As for what’s on her radar for 2018, Nilan said she’s focusing on a small uptick in commercial burglaries in the precinct, especially on Jamaica Avenue, 101st Avenue, and Atlantic Avenue.
Captain Brian Bohannon has skippered the 106th Precinct ship for the past 14 months. For 2017, overall crime is down more than 5 percent; two-year totals have it plummeting nearly 20 percent. He points to technology, the Neighborhood Policing program, which launched in the 106 over the summer, and “accurate and quick dissemination of intelligence” as pillars of his precinct’s success.
“Where crimes occurred, how they occurred – we can get that to our officers quickly, pretty much in real time,” he told The Forum. “And we’re getting a lot of good feedback on Neighborhood Policing. If we get a call about smoke, we address it before it becomes fire. And the people trust that we’re responding to them.”
In the first weeks of 2018, Bohannon said he’s also attacking a commercial burglary issue and some quality of life holdovers.
Overall he’s “extremely happy and confident in the command,” he added, “and looking forward to building on our success.”