2001-07-07 / Columnists

From the G-Man by Gary G. Toms

Precinct’s Revolving Door Policy

Before I begin I want to issue an apology to the members of the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway. In last week’s edition I stated that they were caught up in an alleged scheme to downgrade the level of crimes in order to maintain their status as a model precinct. These claims were put forth in an article I wrote three weeks ago, but the spotlight was placed on the 100 Precinct, not the 101. So, I want to be clear by saying that the 101 Precinct is not involved in any of the allegations made.

As a follow-up to the article that I wrote, a number of people have called and made personal appearances to the office to tell their stories about mishaps with the 100th. While many of their complaints involve "quality of life" issues, many were concerned about the lack of action taken by a number of precinct captains over the years.

In a one on one meeting I had with a community activist, I was informed that the 100 Precinct has had 10 captains in the last 12 years. I was able to confirm this with a number of people and it is quite alarming to say the least.

According to the activist, who asked to remain nameless, "This is why nothing ever gets done and our complaints are not taken seriously. We can’t get anyone to address our concerns because no one is there long enough to build a trust and relationship with the community. This has got to stop!"

After consulting with a few officers and friends in the area who have family "on the job", I was provided with an interesting reason as to why this precinct could maintain such an astonishingly high turnover rate. What I am about to say will make members of the NYPD very angry, but the people of Rockaway, particularly those that have been scratching their heads over why unfavorable conditions are allowed to exist in their communities, deserve to have some idea of what is really going on.

This is how it goes folks. Precincts within the five boroughs are graded as "A", "B" or "C". The "A" precincts are the top of the line. They are the most active precincts in the boroughs and most cops and detectives make the most "collars" here.

Next, you have the "B" precincts, which are generally used as training sites for captains and other law enforcement dignitaries. I refer to them as the "Bye-Bye" commands. Just close your eyes and picture Sunday morning talk show host John McLaughlin closing out his show. "Bye-Bye!!" "The 100 Precinct is considered a "B" precinct. Guys are sent there to get the feel of what it’s like to be in a command, and as soon as they have settled in, they are shipped out to another command, which is generally in a better area. This explains why there is such an enormous turnover rate at this command.

Finally, you have the "C" precincts. Most law enforcement representatives do not want to be shipped to these commands because it often takes them longer to obtain rank here. These are the slower paced commands with a very low rate of crime. They are usually found in some of the more affluent communities.

With all due respect to Captain Miller, I think this policy is a travesty to law enforcement. He has come under fire from many in the community, but this situation is not his doing. It all starts with the system and how it is governed. Until these conditions are addressed more seriously. There will always be a wedge between the community and the NYPD.

See you next week!

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