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New Rochelle Police Department Implements "Park and Walk" Program as Hybird Approach to Traditional Cop on the Beat

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New Rochelle Police Department Implements "Park and Walk" Program as Hybird Approach to Traditional Cop on the Beat

February 22, 2012 - 17:08
8 comments

NRPD in Downtown Area 078Since last fall the New Rochelle Police Department has quietly begun to put more cops on the street, at least briefly, in certain high crime areas including downtown New Rochelle and the area around Lockwood Avenue and North Avenue.

In a "Park and Walk" patrol, a police officer will leave his vehicle to walk a particular route in a problem area for about 30 minutes. During that time the officer is considered unavailable to respond to calls except in an emergency situation.

The initial response has been positive.

"Any program that provides more visibility in the downtown is a very good idea", said City Council Member Ivar Hyden whose district includes the city center. "I am favor of a police presence in downtown."

Some New Rochelle residents have been calling for a greater police presence in downtown New Rochelle for years including police on foot post and a downtown kiosk.

"Five thousand people have signed a petition calling for more police in downtown", said Jim Killorin of Westchester Habitat for Humanity and long-time proponent of a police kiosk in the center of the downtown area.

The New Rochelle Police force is down over 30 officers from past years due to budgetary constraints and there are no plans to increase the force anytime soon forcing the department to do more with less.

"Foot patrol is the most expensive form of patrol," said New Rochelle Police Captain Kevin Kealy.

Kealy says he can recall the time when there were only cops on the beat in downtown but uninformed officers directing traffic. Park and Walk is a way to achieve elements of a foot patrol on a limited basis while continuing to allow officers to cover more ground more quickly in their vehicles.

There are 8 Comments

comonsense's picture

I guess it is the easy way out for Mayors Office to push the cop on the street than to hire more officers. The NRPD has limited manpower for this right now. The streets of New Rochelle are dangerous because of the lack of manpower not to mention the safety of the officers when backup to far away or no backup at all. Removing an officer from a car makes no sense at all. You want beat officers, hire them. What about placing cameras in the downtown area, didn't the city get funding for that already? Where are they? Hmm!!!

Maybe they're using some of that camera money for the city yard?

Nope that can't be it, the city borrowed $600k to design something for the city yard so at least they're not co-mingling funds, nope wait a second they are co-mingling garbage tax funds with the general fund so I'm not so sure anymore about the camera money.

Best idea In years! The Cops are going to be busy.

This may finally be a good idea! Cops in police cars with the windows up playing on their cell phones all day long are detached from whats going on outside in the neighborhood. I dont think hiring more officers is the answer, I think better use of resources and use of effective tactics are the way to do this. Lockwood is a cesspool, and Im glad its being targeted. Most of the freaks, drunkards and crack heads originate from that building "NEW ROCHELLE HFA" right next to the Sutton Rehabilitation center on Lockwood, between North Ave & Memorial Hwy.

comonsense's picture

Cops in NR to the best job they can with the recources they have. Their budget always gets cut to do more with less. You can do that to a point, then it becomes dangerous for the citizens and the officers. The public is the first to bash them until you need their help.

The city's broke (as are most homeowners at this point) so stop complaining about there not enough cops.

If you want to suggest more spending on police, why not also give some suggestions on how to fund it without raising revenus (aka taxes)?

There is available funding. There always is; it depends on how you allocate funds. Simple answer given most peoples opposition to raising taxes is to challenge the administration's value judgments and eliminate, reluctantly I would admit, exempt, supervisory, management and non-essential staff in City Hall and consultant positions.

If an army eliminated front line troops to support more support and headquarters troops, that would be a recipe for disaster.

First rule of society is to provide safety and security. Nothing trumps that. All other plans pale before this. I agree that the park and walk procedure is helpful. However, the City needs to create a basic fact and find the funds for it. That fact is a small police precinct midtown, staffed with uniform desk, back office, disabled, and other non patrol staff who can bring their computers, etal to the stret level, 24 hour, well lit, large signaged site and augment this with scheduled patrol car stops to pick up information, coffee, I don't care what. You show the colors to the community period! In fact the site could serve to dispatch patrol cars and you would not have to add to staff, the assigned officers, in uniform please, would not have to leave the premise.

Don't tell me "we cannot afford it". If city property doesn't exist, get a "friendly landlord to comply." Figure it out. Create a fact!

Also an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I am in favor of "after the fact" applications like cameras, but not as replacements for on-site immediate police presence. Again, in the military, when a forward element occupies a village, for example, with the intention of establishing a base, the first order of business is always to create a safety and security fact. How else can you support what it is needed for, forward supplies, etc. or give confidence to the locals?

A few days ago, Iris Miranda tragically died in a hit and run situation on Main and Cleveland. Yesterday, another fight broke out near Habitat and was phoned in to the dispatcher by the proprietor of the nearby laundromat. This is something that happens with some regularity.

Of course these sorts of things are not the fault of the Administration directly. Too often they are faulted for what is endemic in our society where human life is essentially held in low value by too many people and yet, it is not unfair to point out that elements of society are emboldened to act if there is no impetus not too obey the law. It is also fair to point out that the administration has, until recently, boasted about the safety in our city. It is no longer the case.

Nor can we continue to fail to see that there is a direct causal connection between a healthy and thriving business district and the growth in both the residential and commercial tax base. Surely the Council, surely Noam sees this and the remedy is not more of the same of what contributed to our dilemma today. And, it all begins with the basic assurances of safety and security. No one comes out to shop, dine, or be entertained if they fear for their safety. And, our brothers and sisters up north cannot be persuaded to roll up their sleeves and rebuild our once vibrant business district, if they cannot arrive and stay here safely as well as park with confidence.

Noam in several days you will again give a State of the City report. As someone who still wishes you well, I admit the criticisms hurt and it is understandable that this pain can cause disruption in the City and within your consciousness and will.

But, Iris Miranda is the latest voice stilled. Those still here call out for aid and assistance. It would be unconsciousable in my view to ignore the basic truth and priotiy of what is needed to restore and rebuild and to get on with it.

There are second chances, no third, forth and more chances to put things right. Please rework your upcoming remarks if you must to put the business district and its needs foremost in your talks. Reach out to those less than a mile from where you will speak and commit to reach out and employ their talents and good will. It is here, it is not false or non-existent.

Please create this basic fact. Rebuild, restore and make the streets of the business district safe and secure. Other actions can follow on. And, tell Chuck that there is money. There always is money but money is a resource and a constraint. Use it properly and sometimes it is painful to employ in the right way. That right way is to build up the police and fire and not to strip them any further.

Commit to this and to all of us. The decision is yours and yours alone. More is more!

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