Crime / Police

41st Precinct welcomes community

Natalie Lally

Juan Ramos (left) and Elias Matamoros (right) registering their cell phones with the NYPD Operation ID Program.

The 41st Precinct held a Meet & Greet on Sept. 13 with the goal to establish a stronger relationship between officers and residents, to formally introduce the new commanding officer, Capt. Martine Materasso, and to start what officers said will become an annual event.

Despite the bad weather, a dozen residents, half of which were children, stopped by the precinct at 1035 Longwood Ave. to meet the officers, some for the first time.

“I wanted to see what it was all about,” said Hunts Point resident Julanda Smalls.

The precinct set up three tables which were covered with flyers on everything from children programs to tips on preventing burglaries and theft to popular scams involving the elderly. “The elderly are targeted the most right now,” said Officer Veronica Guachichullca.

At the event, many residents signed up for the police department’s Operation ID Program, which encourages citizens to register the serial numbers of electronic devices so they can be traced in the event of theft. This system has been effective with finding electronics and delivering them back to owners, explained Guachichullca.

Materasso introduced herself to the community, and took time to mingle with everyone. The Meet & Greet is helpful to both the officers and citizens, she said. “People were able to come in and meet the officers that control their precinct every day. If they had any questions, cares or concerns, they were able to come in today and accomplish that.”

Det. Aida Haddock-Sanchez, who is involved with community affairs at the precinct, was passionate about the value of the Meet & Greet as well. “I am a product of this community,” said Sanchez. “I was always thrilled with police and what they were doing.”

Sanchez brought up the fact that many children become scared of police officers at a very young age, due to parents using the “I’m going to tell the police” threat. That’s something parents should try to avoid, she said.

“I would just like people to have a better relationship with the police officers,” said Sanchez. “They should feel a little more comfortable coming to the precinct. It should not just be because they’re a victim or because someone has been arrested.”

The Community Council, a group of residents who meet with officers, holds its meetings at the 41st Precinct every first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. This is another opportunity where the community can bring questions or concerns to precinct officers.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply