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More cops to combat Flatbush crime

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An infusion of rookie cops in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South will help the 70th Precinct breathe new life into a dwindling Impact Zone.

Officials said Friday that the 150 NYPD academy graduates coming to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South will be assigned to patrol Impact Zones in Flatbush, East Flatbush and Crown Heights.

The officers that are currently in the Impact Zones will be reassigned to other commands and NYPD units, officials said.

Impact Zones are specially designated high-crime areas which are given extra cops to act as both a deterrent and crime-fighting measure.

But while the 67th Precinct’s Impact Zone, bordered by Remsen Avenue and East 95th Street, Church Avenue and New York Avenue has grown over the last few months, the Impact Zone in the 70th Precinct, which encompasses several streets in the northwestern end of the command, has begun to fade away as the officers were assigned to other areas.

Inspector Ralph Monteforte, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, said that he has reassigned other officers as well as authorized overtime to bring extra manpower to the zone, but was glad to hear that he was getting a group of new officers to replenish the Impact Zone.

Besides the three precincts, Brooklyn South will also have an Impact Response Team — officers who will be assigned to precincts who do not have Impact Zones, but are seeing spikes in crime.

“People will be seeing more officers in the communities, especially in the Impact Zones,” Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South told this paper. “We’re encouraging the new officers to greet people in the communities they’re going to be serving and we ask residents that as they go by these officers to give a smile and a nod. A thank you goes along way.”

Yet not everyone is happy about the infusion of new cops.

During last month’s 67th Precinct Community Council, a resident living in the Impact Zone said he’s seen cops arrest his neighbors for “no reason.”

“It’s like everyone in my neighborhood is getting locked up,” the man, who wished not to be named, said. “And every charge seems to be disorderly conduct.”

The resident said that just recently, he had witnessed a friend and neighbor getting arrested. The cops, he said, patted him down until the man’s pants were around his ankles. Then they carted him off.

“It was disrespect­ful,” he said. “That’s why there are some of us who don’t want the cops out there.”

Inspector Corey Pegues, the commanding officer of the 67th Precinct, told the resident that he would look into the case.

He said that over 100 cops patrol that small area, so much so that there is almost “a cop on every block.”

“There are going to be interactio­ns,” Pegues said. “[The Impact Zone] is a bad area. We’ve had 75 gun arrests and a good number of shootings in that area alone, so the cops may be a little bit raised up.”

According to NYPD figures, 60 percent of the people arrested within the Impact Zone had already been in trouble with the law and had criminal records.

Pegues said that if residents feel that the cops are being disrespectful they should alert him immediately.

Despite the resident’s claims and Pegues’ open-door report policy, civilian complaints in the 67th Precinct were down in 2008, he said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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