New NYPD public meetings debuts in Chelsea

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Initiative seeks to build cop-community relations at local level


  • Officers will hold regular meetings with local residents as part of a new neighborhood policing initiative. Photo: edwardhblake, via Flickr


The New York City Police Department is launching a new public engagement initiative designed to foster communication between patrol officers and neighborhood residents.

A new series of meetings, announced last month by the NYPD, will bring community members together with the police officers serving their neighborhoods for regular discussions focused on crime at the hyperlocal level.

The meetings are the latest feature of a NYPD’s neighborhood policing plan launched two years ago, and will be held in precincts where the department’s neighborhood coordination officer program is in place. The NCO program, which the NYPD plans to eventually install in all precincts, assigns two officers to work as community liaisons within each sector in a given precinct.

Neighborhood coordination officers will lead the new meetings at least once quarterly in each of the three sectors in the 10th Precinct, which covers much of Chelsea and where the NCO program was rolled out earlier this year. Detective Mike Petrillo of the 10th Precinct described the meetings as a “small, intimate” venue in which officers will strengthen relationships with residents and work together to solve crime issues at the most local level possible.

The first meeting for Sector A, which covers the area between 14th and 21st Streets west of Seventh Avenue, was held May 16 at the Fulton Houses complex on West 17th Street. Sergeant William Coyle, who oversees the precinct’s NCO program, ran the meeting alongside Sector A’s NCOs, Officers Robert Karl and Matthew Maddox.

Precincts will continue to hold monthly community council meetings attended by commanding officers and executive staff; the new meetings, which Petrillo described as “security summits,” will be more informal meetings geared to the needs of each sector. “At these meetings the captain’s not there, the lieutenants aren’t there,” Petrillo said. “It’s just the sergeant and the two NCO’s. It’s a more microscopic type thing, just for a certain area.”

The new community initiative, called Build the Block, was launched last month and is backed by a $1 million ad campaign, funded by the New York City Police Foundation, to inform residents about the meetings. “These ads and meetings are built on the idea that we need everyone at the table to keep our neighborhoods safe and to build better relationships between cops and residents,” NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement announcing the program. “We want to engage in conversations locally, between the cops and the people they serve wherever possible, because that is who can move policing, safety, and trust forward.”

The first meetings for the 10th Precinct’s other sectors are scheduled for later this month. Sector B, which covers the area between 21st and 29th Streets west of Seventh Avenue, will hold its first meeting at the Holy Apostle Church at 296 Ninth Ave., June 22 at 6 P.M. The first meeting for Sector C, which covers the area between 29th and 43rd Streets west of Ninth Avenue, will be at 6 P.M June 6 at Hudson Yards Conference Room A, 460 West 34th Street, Eighth Floor.

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