The 67th Precinct’s top cop says he’s willing to put citizens on patrol to reign in violent crime — and the local community board wants to help him do it.
Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues said this week that a spate of gang warfare in his precinct has forced him to look beyond his ranks to get things under control. So he’s working with Community Board 17 to register for a city program that will train citizens to walk the streets looking for crime.
“We have the most violent gang problem in New York right here in this precinct,” Pegues said. “The more eyes and ears we have on the street, the better.”
Fifteen people have been shot this year in the precinct, resulting in five murders — and there have been six shootings in the last two weeks, so Pegues says more has to be done about the violence, and CB17 Chairman Terry Hinds added the community is full of people ready to walk the beat.
“We have a large number of retired police officers from the Caribbean islands,” he said, in addition to more than 150 block associations with willing participants.“They’re willing to lend their expertise.”
The city’s Citizen Observation Patrol program would provide money to train walkie-talkie-equipped volunteers to patrol the streets dressed in bright orange jackets and hats. Right now, there are 23 patrols throughout the city with about 362 members.
Those extra eyes and ears on the streets could make a difference, said Pegues.
The 67th Precinct has around 190 officers, and its auxiliary police patrol — uniformed volunteers trained and equipped by the NYPD — has 90 officers.