Between Coney Island’s streets on the western end, the infamous Coney Island amusement district in the middle and the Russian-American enclave of Brighton Beach on the eastern end, Dep. Inspector Peter DeBlasio is enjoying his new role as commander of the 60th Precinct.
DeBlasio previously was the commanding officer of the 66th Precinct and he was recently picked to replace former 60th Precinct commander, Inspector Robert Johnsen, who was transferred to the anti-terrorism task force at One Police Plaza in Manhattan.
“I love it here,” said DeBlasio following his first 60th Precinct community Council meeting. “This is a great place. I love the diversity and ethnicity here and it seems like such a vibrant community.”
DeBlasio said since he assumed the command Jan. 4, he’s been going around t6he community and meeting people and to learn the precinct.
“The precinct did very well here last year. Felony crime was down 14 percent overall. Violence was up a little bit and we’ll see what we can do to bring it down,” he said, adding the western end of Coney Island will keep its impact zone status.
An impact zone is an area of a command that has seen a crime uptick, and in which extra police officers, usually rookies, are deployed for a greater police presence.
The precinct in recent months has also seen a slight increase in gangs and DeBlasio said he is keeping an eye on that situation as well.
DeBlasio also praised the officer in the precinct under his command including 21-year police patrol veteran Anthony Contessa, who received his first “Cop of the Month” award recently.
Contessa received the honor after answering a burglary in process call at the Brighton Bazaar, 1007 Brighton Beach Avenue and Brighton 11th Street.
Upon arrival at the crime scene, Contessa did a canvass of the area and police wound up closing down four floors of the building.
Contessa then searched the building where he collared the suspect inside one of the walls between floors.
Police said the alleged burglar had used a shovel to break through the drywall, where he then tried to hide before his capture.