Queens South Crime Forum Brings Police Ideals to the People

Queens South Crime Forum Brings Police Ideals to the People

Photo: With the commanding officers of every Queens South precinct in the front row, concerned civic leaders and residents (background) waited in line to ask questions of NYPD brass during the Q and A session. Forum photos by Michael V. Cusenza

Stakeholders of southern Queens neighborhoods on Monday gained insight into modern policing, crime trends, and NYPD initiatives at the Patrol Borough Queens South Community/Crime Forum in Jamaica.

Organized by the Community Affairs Bureau, the event featured commanding officers and executive staff leading brief, but detailed and engaging presentations on seven topics: Neighborhood-Based Policing, NYPD Training, Juvenile Justice, Crime Prevention, Body Cameras, Social Media, and Youth Services. A question and answer session with Police Department brass rounded out the forum, which was hosted by the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety.

Monday’s event seemed to signal a borough rollout of the larger One City, Safe and Fair—Everywhere neighborhood policing initiative unveiled last week by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

“There’s never been a more critical time for police-community engagement,” said Chief Joanne Jaffe, head of Community Affairs.

Assistant Chief David Barrere, commanding officer of Queens South, talked about “Eddie the Cop,” or the concept of the police officer as a member of the community he patrols, to illustrate central tenets of neighborhood-based policing.

“Right now, it’s all about specialized enforcement units,” Barrere said, adding that this focus has resulted in the loss of cops on the street. “The new model establishes a different set of expectations and role of our patrol officers. It’s going to enable patrol officers to get to know the people who live and work in their sectors, and get to know what’s driving the crime in those sectors.”

Deputy Inspector Gregory Sheehan’s presentation on the department’s training initiatives detailed how the NYPD is moving toward a military model, in which officers attend training courses with their partners and bosses.

“You train as a team because you perform as a team,” he said. “We’re trying to enhance the quality of police officer we send out there.”

Among the most intriguing and popular of the presentations was that of Assistant Commissioner Kevin O’Connor, who discussed the differences between gangs and crews in the city, and how social media has drastically changed the NYPD’s approach to street organizations.

“We need to have a discussion with our young people about what they’re posting on Facebook and other sites,” Sheehan said.

Speaking of social media, Administrative Staff Analyst Yael Bar-tur discussed how the department has embraced modern technology as a crime-fighting tool and instrument to communicate with the community.

“It’s new technology, but an age-old practice of the police and community working together,” she noted.


By Michael V. Cusenza




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