After listening to police updates and information, Flatlands and Mill Basin residents from Sector C expressed gratitude to their Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) at the 63rd Precinct Build the Block meeting held on Thursday, June 22nd at Purpose Life Church, 4021 Flatlands Avenue.
As locations often change for quarterly Sector C meetings, so do NCOs. New Sector C NCO Alexander Castilla replaced former NCO James Saintil. Castilla has been with the 63rd Precinct for six years and formerly patrolled the Sector D Glenwood Houses.
NCO Felicia Grant and he were joined by the precinct’s Crime Prevention Officer Ryan Walsh; together they discussed updates about continued efforts to remove abandoned cars, car theft prevention, quality of life issues and neighborhood updates.
“For crime prevention, this is your guy,” Grant said as she directed attention toward Walsh. In addition to performing free catalytic converter VIN and bicycle etchings, Walsh can arrange a survey to check door locks, alarm systems, cameras, window locks and other security measures in the home and make recommendations to the homeowner. His email is Ryan.Walsh4@nypd.org.
Grant discussed prior operations in cooperation with the NYPD, DOT and the Sanitation Department to remove abandoned cars and urged residents to report any others for another tow operation to take place the following week.
This prompted one resident to say, “I would really like to thank Officer Grant and Officer Castilla for having two abandoned cars removed from my street, East 58th Street, as well as a U-Haul that was taking up a long space,” she said. “They did very well.”
Longtime resident Michelle Harris and her neighbor Lystra Medas, on East 54th Street and Avenue J, also thanked Grant for the way she handled neighborhood complaints by reaching out and talking to everyone involved, forming bonds with the community and resolving issues.
“She reached out and she comes by periodically to make sure they’re all behaving, but it could’ve went really ugly,” Harris said of perceived problems with some of the young men who like to work on their cars in the neighborhood, but who she said are good kids. “You can talk instead of always arresting them and hauling them off to jail; they are not nuisance kids.”
Other issues discussed included the legality of charging e-bikes between cars on the street because of their potential to explode; posting of signs and posters on streetlights, lampposts and other public property; the sudden issuance of $150 tickets for double parking while waiting for a spot to open up on alternate side of the street parking days; no smoking in park regulations; and communications about Sector C meetings.
Grant said that with summer, there will be a lot of programs directed at youth such as graffiti cleanups and other activities. The Police Commissioner’s Day of Play will recommence throughout various parks over the summer. “Last year we had one day of football, basketball, soccer — so we’re out here trying to connect with the younger youth out here to get them more involved in the community, especially in the summertime when they’re out of school and idling,” she said.