Bay stats drop

Sheepshead Bay led the borough in crime reduction in 2009, according to year-end numbers.

Far out-pacing its neighbors in southern Brooklyn, as well as commands in tony downtown Brooklyn, the 61st Precinct celebrated a 26 percent drop in felony crime.

According to crime statistics dated December 27, the Coney Island Avenue precinct saw a 36 percent drop in robberies and a 30 percent drop in car thefts. Burglaries in the precinct, which encompasses Homecrest, Manhattan Beach and parts of Midwood as well, fell by 25 percent.

“Nothing good can come from this,” joked one high ranking officer from the 61st Precinct, who remarked that the cops would have to work even harder to match or better their success in 2009.

The 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge followed Sheepshead Bay with a nearly 22 percent crime reduction.

The third largest crime reduction in the borough was in Brooklyn Heights with an 18 percent reduction. Rounding out the top five were the 60th Precinct with a 14 percent reduction and the 70th Precinct with a nearly 13 percent reduction.

“It’s been a great year for everybody in Brooklyn,” remarked Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, which also saw a 13 percent drop in crime for the year. “This is a testament to both the cops and the community at large. We never envisioned a year ago that we would be down by so much.”

Fox said that the robbery numbers are used as a barometer when it comes to overall crime reductions. In 2009, robberies fell by 14 percent.

“The crime of robbery is always one of our main concerns,” he said. “In 2009, we had 800 less of them. But we don’t look at this as pure numbers. There is a person behind every one of these reductions.”

Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, which maintains order in the rest of the borough, saw a 10 percent drop in felony crime, according to statistics.

As cops look ahead at 2010, they’re not seeing a bottom when it comes to reducing crime and locking up criminals.

“There isn’t a fear that we will ever see crime numbers like we did in the 90s,” said Deputy Inspector John Sprague, who was just recently transferred from the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst to the 66th Precinct in Borough Park. In 2009, the 62nd Precinct rounded out the year with a 10 percent drop in crime. The 66th Precinct saw a nearly three percent drop in crime at year’s end. “Today law enforcement is done more intelligently and efficiently and our strategies are smarter. Every day we are dealing with real numbers and real data and trying to figure out how to move forward.”

“I’m not sure there will ever be a leveling off,” he said.