Police Commissioner Asks New Yorkers to Join in Building the Block

166 Neighborhood Meetings to be Held in Every Borough; $1 Million in Paid Advertising to be Placed to Inform New Yorkers About Local Meetings

New York, New York—Today, the NYPD announced new neighborhood meetings designed to identify public safety concerns and discuss potential solutions in every sector of every neighborhood policing command citywide. The meetings, run by the neighborhood policing officers of a particular sector, are strategy sessions between local police officers and the people they serve, where relationships are fostered, problems and crime are discussed, and a process for feedback is developed. The goal: enable officers to interact directly with members of the public to proactively address and solve crime and problems at the lowest possible level.

In order to spread awareness about these meetings, the NYPD has partnered with the New York City Police Foundation to create BuildTheBlock.nyc, a website that lists meeting locations and is searchable by address. Additionally, the New York City Police Foundation is also launching $1 million in paid advertising, featuring New Yorkers who are seeking to better dialogue with the NYPD. The ads also encourage the public to visit BuildTheBlock.nyc for information about their neighborhood meetings.

“Today, I’m asking every New Yorker to find and attend their meeting. We cannot solve crime or identify the problems by ourselves. These neighborhood meetings will be key to better understanding those issues,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “These ads and meetings are built on the idea that we need everyone at the table to keep our neighborhoods safe and to build better relationships between cops and residents. We need the young, and the old, we need transplants, immigrants, long time partners in public safety, and those who have concerns about the role of the police on their block. We want to engage in conversations locally, between the cops and the people they serve wherever possible, because that is who can move policing, safety, and trust forward. As you will see from the ads, it is not always easy to hear the criticism some people have, but we have to be willing to do that.”

“Neighborhood-based policing is a proven crime deterrent and is critical to our collective goal of improving police/community relations,” said New York City Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “I am proud to join the NYPD in announcing more than 150 safety summits across the City that will allow the neighborhood policing officers on the forefront of this work to speak directly with the residents they protect and serve. I thank NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill for his creativity, commitment, and consistency to prioritizing community safety and look forward to productive conversation with stakeholders and community members moving forward.”

“By leveraging public-private partnerships, New York City is able to lead the nation in developing innovative solutions that both enhance public safety and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the residents they protect,” said Chairman of the Board of the New York City Police Foundation Dale Hemmerdinger. “The New York City Police Foundation is proud to invest in Commissioner O’Neill and the NYPD’s neighborhood policing efforts which we know are making our City’s streets safer and serve as a model for other cities across the country.”

Over the past two years, Neighborhood Policing has fundamentally changed how the NYPD operates. Based on the simple concept that communities and cops will be safer if they know each other, substantial progress has been made in reducing crime.

NYPD officers now have the time to develop an acute awareness of the sector they police—
or the geographical area they are assigned. Each sector has two Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs), whose entire focus is to learn the corresponding neighborhood and advise their respective sector officers. These sector officers are consistently assigned to the same sectors, on the same shifts. This repetition yields a vastly improved understanding of the community they serve: the people, the problems, and the persistent issues.

NCOs are assigned to work in the same neighborhoods every day, where by getting to know as many residents as they can, they build relationships that can not only solve more crimes but prevent crime from happening in the first place.

About the New York City Police Foundation:

The New York City Police Foundation provides strategic resources in support of NYPD initiatives that make New York City a safer place to live, work, and visit. The NYPD’s budget covers most expenditures for operations, personnel, facilities and equipment, but leaves little to finance innovative initiatives. The Police Foundation invests in programs that are designed to help the NYPD keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, strategies, and training that could not get funded in the city budget.

The New York City Police Foundation is the only organization authorized to raise funds on behalf of the NYPD. Police Foundation’s partnership with the NYPD in action:

• The Foundation supports counterterrorist initiatives that include the International Liaison Program, which stations NYPD investigators around the world to gather global intelligence for the protection of New York City.

• All rewards for the Crime Stoppers and Gun Stop programs, which have assisted the NYPD in solving over 5,300 violent crimes and seizing more than 3,500 illegal weapons, are paid by the Foundation.

• The Foundation supports the Neighborhood Policing community engagement activities to improve relations between the police and the communities they serve and to continue to drive crime down.