Neighborhood policing leads to arrests, crime reduction

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MORRISANIA, Bronx — Midnight. July 31.

A 38-year-old man was shot several times and killed outside the Webster Houses.

Detectives working the case were having a tough time turning up many leads.

So they’ve turned to neighborhood coordination officer Detective Fred Washington for help.

"The individual was shot several times and we’re just looking for leads and we need your help," said Deputy Inspector Ernest Morales III, the commanding officer of the 42nd Precinct.

"I can do a video canvass, go to different businesses and see what I can pull from that area," said Det. Washington.

As a neighborhood coordination officer, Det. Washington is uniquely positioned to get video and information.

"If you trust the person and you see them on a regular basis, you're going to give them information. You going to tell them what’s going on," said Terence Monahan, the NYPD chief of patrol.

Detective Washington is equipped with a department cellphone and gives his number out to residents and businesses a like.

That’s why he was one of the first phone calls, 5-year-old Jaheen Hunter’s father made, in the minutes after his son was killed.

Those deep community ties lead to a quick arrest of the suspect in that case.

NCO's are also tasked with responding directly to complaints from the community.

"I just received two letters from your sector up on Washington Ave, where we have residents who are complaining about drug dealers are apparently taking over their building," Morales told Washington.

The detective agreed to create a plan of action including quality of life enforcement.

"It's not just superman Fred going out handling everything. It's Fred, talking to the narcotics teams that were out there. 'Hey I need a hand because we’re getting complaints over here,'" said Monahan.

The NCO program was created in late 2014, at a time when police and community relations were at an all time low.
Following the deaths of Eric Garner and later the assasinations of Dets. Weinjain Liu and Rafael Ramos.

Commanders who were long number driven policing had a tough time adjusting to the NYPD's new policing method.

"[All they] had to see were the results. It's the safest year we ever had last year. This year unbelievably safe," said Monahan.