He may be the new kid on the block, but the new commanding officer at the 70th Precinct is getting a warm welcome from longtime residents and activists in Flatbush and Midwood.
At the May meeting of Community Board 14, which was held at Edward R. Murrow High School, 1600 Avenue L, Deputy Inspector Ralph Monteforte introduced himself to board members and local residents.
Monteforte, who moved to the 70th Precinct earlier this month from Canarsie’s 69th Precinct, replaces Inspector Thomas Harris, who retired at the end of April.
“Inspector Harris left big shoes to fill,” acknowledged Monteforte to the group. “He’s a great man. He’s a good teacher. He’s a good leader. I’m going to do my best to do the work he did.”
In brief comments, Monteforte went over his approach to law enforcement. He stressed that he welcomes hearing from local residents with compliments and complaints alike.
“I like working with the community. I like to hear your problems,” Monteforte noted. “Sometimes you might have a problem with a police response. I’d like to hear it so I can defend my guys or give you the reason why we’ve done that. Anything you see out there, if you have a question, bring it to me so I can explain it the best I can. A lot of times we get phone calls on the good jobs cops do. I want to hear that too.
“In the 69th Precinct,” he told his listeners, “when people brought problems to us, I think they were somewhat satisfied. I think that was happening in the 70th Precinct and I hope it can continue.”
Monteforte said that his intention was to keep residents updated about any crime patterns that are surfacing in the precinct. “I do a lot of PowerPoint presentations,” he said. “I want the people in the community to know the crimes that are happening.
“I’m going to let you know where the robberies are, where the burglaries are, if there’s a rapist out there,” Monteforte went on. “The people in the community are going to help me. If I have a burglary condition somewhere in the precinct and I don’t let the community know, it’s going to hurt me.”
But, he stressed, “If I let you know somebody’s out there committing burglaries, what the person might look like, his M.O., one night when you’re going home, if you see a suspicious male coming out of the driveway, you’re going to remember what I said and call 911, and maybe well catch the guy.”
Monteforte began his career in law enforcement as a housing cop, in PSA 1. He has spent 18 years in the NYPD, in various positions throughout Patrol Borough Brooklyn South. He served as a police officer at the 70th Precinct in 1993 and 1994, and was a captain in the 67th Precinct, in East Flatbush, before moving over to Canarsie, where he served as commanding officer for three and a half years.
“I’m very happy to be in this precinct,” Monteforte told the crowd. “It’s going to be my pleasure to serve you.”