By Amanda Woods
March 14, 2022
-New York Post
The first wave of the NYPD’s new anti-gun units hit the streets Monday — beginning their patrols in multiple neighborhoods heavily plagued by gun violence.
About 168 cops from the department’s Neighborhood Safety Teams — a key pillar of Mayor Eric Adams’ crime-fighting plan — are stepping out into 28 areas where shootings have increased during the pandemic.
The remaining roughly 300 officers will be added on a rolling basis as they complete their seven-day training, police officials said.
“They’re intensively trained in minimal force techniques, advanced tactics, car stops,” Chief of Department Ken Corey said Friday. “De-escalation is essential to all of it, communication skills is a big part of it, courtroom training and as the police commissioner indicated, constitutional policing.”
The officers deployed during phase one — which was delayed a few weeks from the previous start date — are patrolling the following areas:
- Manhattan’s 23rd, 25th, 32nd and 34th Precincts
- Bronx’s 40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 46th, 47th, 48th and 52nd Precincts
- Brooklyn 67th, 71st, 73rd, 75th, 77th, 79th, 81st and 83rd Precincts
- Queens’ 103rd, 105th and 113th Precincts
- Housing’s PSA 2, 3, 5 and 7
Each unit will have one sergeant for every five officers, police sources said. If more than one unit is assigned to a precinct, a lieutenant will oversee them.
The new teams are something of a reboot to the department’s controversial anti-crime unit, which was disbanded in 2020, under the last administration.
But in stark contrast to the plainclothes anti-crime officers, the cops in the new units will be clearly marked as NYPD officers.
They will wear navy blue tactical pants, black boots or shoes with a polo shirt, quarter-zip sweatshirt or Neighborhood Safety vest that has NYPD clearly written on the back and front, along with patches bearing the officer’s name, shield, rank and command, according to a police memo obtained by The Post.
Neighborhood Safety cops also have the option of wearing a baseball cap or knit hat with NYPD stitched in white, the memo adds.
The officers will patrol in undercover cars, which will ultimately all be equipped with dashboard cameras.
Officers assigned to the old anti-crime unit wore street clothes and were only identifiable as police by the badge hanging around their necks or on their belts.
That unit had a history of high-profile police-involved shootings and deaths — including the 2014 incident in which a plainclothes cop killed Eric Garner with a chokehold.