At 10th Precinct, NCO Program to Bring New Sheriffs in Town
BY SEAN EGAN | In his second Community Council meeting as the commanding officer of the 10th Precinct, Captain Paul Lanot spent the evening of Wed., Oct. 26 examining new problems, addressing old issues, and looking forward to the future.
Getting right down to business, Captain Lanot announced that the precinct had seen a significant uptick in grand larcenies over the last 28-day period — comprised largely of cyber crime. “We saw a lot of those scams go on,” he commented.
Lanot noted that these scams often target elderly people, and frequently take the form of a Craigslist ad for an apartment the person posting the ad doesn’t actually own, or some other such enticing transaction. “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” Lanot said. “Don’t fall for it.” He also cited another common scam, in which a criminal places calls pretending to be from the IRS (or some other similar agency), and asks the listener to purchase money cards to take care of an alleged debt. “No one’s going to call you from an agency threatening you,” Lanot noted. “Don’t let yourself be pressured over the phone by anybody.”
Lanot then had pamphlets handed out, on identity theft and Internet crime, with helpful tips as to how to stay safe while online — chief among them, protecting your passwords and personal information.
Next, while fielding questions from the public, Lanot was prompted to share some exciting news with the crowd after Miguel Acevedo, president of the Fulton Houses Tenant Association, asked about the NYPD’s new Neighborhood Coordinating Officers (NCO) program, and its status in the 10th Precinct — and Lanot eagerly announced that the precinct would be a part of it.
According to an NYPD statement announcing the initiative, NCOs are officers assigned to specific neighborhood beats (two per beat), and spend a third of their time on the clock meeting with community members/leaders, identifying problems (with an emphasis on youth crime prevention), and becoming immersed in the area. In practice, it is meant to help the police better use resources to serve their areas of coverage, and tailor their methods of crime prevention and issue-solving for what is best for their community.
“I call them the ‘Neighborhood Commanding Officers,’ ” Lanot quipped, asserting that the NCOs would improve efficiency and relationships with the community, and report more directly to the public. “They’re going to own their sector…they’re the people who make it happen.” He expressed hope that, with the NCOs reporting on what they learn, he would be able to better serve the public as Commanding Officer.
While not able to provide a concrete date for the implementation of the NCO program, after the meeting, 10th Precinct Community Affairs was able to confirm that it would be put into action in the near future. This news comes in tandem with another recent announcement from the NYPD establishing that by 2018, there would be over 150 specialized “victims’ advocates” stationed at precincts city-wide — reaching out to victims of crimes and providing emotional support for those dealing with trauma.
Closing the meeting on a positive note, a long-standing Community Council issue was brought up — homelessness. This time however, the officers received cheers rather than complaints.
“There’s been an enormous, noticeable increase in police presence,” at Eighth Ave. and W. 23rd St., one woman commented, noting that she had seen a reduction of homeless people and associated issues in the area after the subject was brought up extensively at the last Community Council meeting. At this point, Lanot took a moment to recognize Officer Triantis, who has taken the lead in helping to straighten up the area and address the homelessness crisis there.
According to Triantis, some of his effective efforts include clever solutions — such as asking liquor store owners to slightly raise the prices on tiny bottles of booze — that have seen great results thus far. In addition, Triantis has used his interactions with the homeless population to try to guide them to services, such as Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen (296 Ninth Ave., at W. 28th St.), that could provide assistance and further resources. He expressed hope that, with his efforts working so well thus far, he could expand his area of coverage in the future (including to Ninth Ave.).
The next Community Council meeting takes place on Wed., Nov. 30, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct (230 W. 20th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). For more info, call the Community Affairs office at 212-741-8226. Follow the 10th Precinct on Twitter: @NYPD10Pct.