Last Thursday, Police Officers Kenedi Nwajei and Nicole Robin-Edwards were recognized by the Breevort Houses Resident Association for their hard work and commitment to the community. As Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) in Police Service Area 3, Officers Nwajei and Robin-Edwards are dedicated to building relationships with residents and solving community problems. Officer Nwajei has been on the job for nine years, but is especially enthusiastic about what he has been able to do in the last two years as an NCO:
“The kids really look forward to seeing us and we look forward to seeing them. I get to interact with the community in a way I never imagined was possible.”
Every Wednesday, Officers Nwajei and Robin-Edwards mentor six teenagers as part of the Young Men’s Initiative Program. During these sessions, the officers help the teens achieve their professional, educational, and personal goals. In a recent session, the officers helped the mentees write resumes so they could apply for summer jobs. The NCOs and the teens they mentor often participate in skits simulating typical interactions between the police and community members. These role playing activities help the police officers and the teenagers put themselves in each other’s shoes and understand each other better.
Officers Nwajei and Robin-Edwards spend lots of time connecting with the community: they have organized trips to the movies, helped with handy work at residents’ apartments, and participated in food and toy drives. When residents have issues that can be resolved within the community they often call the NCOs directly in order to bring the parties together and mediate the dispute. The NCOs often transport residents to community board meetings and connect them with elected officials. A recent community board meeting resulted in a free basketball camp led by a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Officer Nwajei expressed how much it meant to receive this award:
“We work really hard and care about this community, so it means a whole lot to receive this recognition and know that those feelings are reciprocated.”