The 70th Precinct welcomed a new commanding officer last week in the name of Deputy Inspector Ralph Monteforte.
Monteforte replaces Inspector Tom Harris, who recently retired. He comes to the command after a stellar three-and-a-half years commanding the 69th Precinct in Canarsie.
“I met him yesterday for the first time,” said Ed Powell, president of the 70th Precinct Community Council.
“However, I did a little research on his work in the 6-9 [precinct] and it’s pretty impressive. In the last two years there was around a 20 percent reduction in index crime,” he added.
Monteforte said the 69th Precinct, in fact, had the second biggest drop in reported felony crime citywide last year.
However, the 70th Precinct’s new commanding officer was quick to give much of the credit to the combination of the detective and narcotics squad, as well as to the police officers on the street and the great input from the community.
“Hopefully, I can bring that same combination here and do same thing,” said Monteforte.
“It’s more of a challenge because it’s a more populated area, but I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he added.
Monteforte grew up near the 70th Precinct in Kensington as the son of a NYPD detective and graduated from Madison High School in Midwood.
“My father told me how much he enjoyed it [NYPD] told me it was good job in helping people so I joined up,” Monteforte recalled.
Monteforte began his law enforcement career in 1990 as a public housing cop in Coney Island at the Public Service Area 1 (PSA).
In 1992, Monteforte joined the NYPD and did his first tour of duty as a police officer in the 70th Precinct before being promoted to sergeant and working out of Manhattan’s 32nd Precinct and the 78th Precinct in Brooklyn.
He was then promoted to Captain and assigned to the 67th Precinct for three years before becoming commanding officer at the 69th Precinct. He was promoted to Deputy Inspector about a month ago.
“I thought he did a great job as the C.O. [commanding officer] of the 69th Precinct,” noted Assemblymember Alan Maisel. “I thought he was an outstanding commander.”
Gardy Brazela, the president of the Friends United Block Association, agreed. “He’s a nice guy and we had a good relationship,” Brazela noted. “He will be missed.
“It was a shock to me. Normally, once they’re promoted to inspector, you don’t keep them long, so I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know it was going to be so soon,” Brazela added.
Monteforte said thus far within the confines of the 70th Precinct, he has met with the rank-and-file police as well as members of the community board, police community council, and several block associations and civic organizations.
“I loved the 6-9 [precinct] and had a great relationship with the police officers and the community. It was a pleasure and honor to serve the residents of Canarsie and I’m looking forward to the same relationship with the people in the 7-0 Precinct,” he said.
-with Helen Klein