Two Southern Brooklyn precincts lead city in crime reduction

Man of the station: Deputy Inspector Winston Faison of the 61st Precinct, which is now number three in the city for crime reduction in 2016.
File photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Two Southern Brooklyn police precincts are leading the city in crime-reduction.

The 60th Precinct, covering Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and parts of Gravesend, had the best year for lowering crime out of the city’s 77 precincts in 2016 — and had the lowest overall number of incidents reported since cops began keeping tally in 1993. Nextdoor, the 61st Precinct, covering Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach, was third-best in bringing down crime last year.

Turns out, it’s mostly a few bad apples that were making Coney’s streets so rotten, according to the command’s top cop, who attributed the decline to his officers’ knowing where to look.

“We focused on a very small group of people, recidivists, people who have done the same thing over and over. And we were very successful in that as far as operating on the philosophy that, say we have a spike in robberies, and we’d say, ‘Okay, well who’s done this in the past?’ and more often than not, when it was brought to a successful conclusion, we were right that it was somebody that we knew already doing it.”

Total crimes went down from 1,413 to 949 between 2015 and 2016 — 33 percent, according to city data. The largest reduction was in robberies, which dropped from 275 to 155. Shootings declined from 23 to 10 over the same period, following a citywide pattern.

Over in the 61st Precinct, cops are using numbers-driven policing to put a magnifying glass on criminal hot spots, according to the precinct’s commanding officer.

“Every day, I sit here and read every complaint report that comes in through the precinct. If I see, I look on a map, and we see crime happening in a certain area, people calling 911 in a certain area, that’s where we put our conditions team, my crime team … that’s where they focus at,” said Deputy Inspector Winston Faison. “They make some good arrests, and crime drops. It’s simple.”

Overall incidents fell from 1,459 crimes reported to 1,174 — a 21.5-percent decrease, according to data from the city. The 61st’s biggest drop was in burglaries — 2015 saw 339 break-ins, and that number dropped to 184.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Sheriff of the People's Playground: Capt. William Taylor helped bring Coney crime to its lowest in modern history.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

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