The new Commanding Officer of the Nine-Four, Captain Pete Rose with Officer Norberto Rivera, 94th Precinct Community Affairs stand before their pink pumpkin patch, part of their contribution to #NYPDBlueGoesPink Pinkest Precinct competition for Breast Cancer Awareness.
It was just about three months ago when Captain Pete Rose was assigned to the 94th Precinct (100 Meserole Avenue, BK 11222). However this 24-year veteran who is well travelled in the NYPD (in that he’s worked in Queens, the Bronx, and then Brooklyn North) is not much of a stranger to the Greenpoint precinct he now leads. Prior to his arrival here, Captain Rose was worked in Crown Heights, another Brooklyn North precinct. “When a captain is off we have to cover their command, so it’s not the first time I’ve walked into this building or the neighborhood.” He mentioned the opportunity to eat in Greenpoint restaurants was a perk of getting this duty; plus he said , “All the COs and XOs go to meetings of the borough and become aware of what’s going on. Just sitting at these meetings, I kind of knew what I was getting into.”
Educating the community on crime prevention and encouraging an interaction of his officers with people of the neighborhood are some of Captain Rose’s top objectives in his new post. “Where I came from as a captain prior, I was in Crown Heights. Different situations, different scenarios, different thing: it’s a more violent precinct. Here it’s just educating the newer residents. There’s a big population that comes from all over the country and they like to leave their windows and doors open. They leave their cars unlocked, the windows open, and a computer sitting on the seat. We’re just trying to educate them [and in a way say], ‘Welcome to the neighborhood but please don’t do that, because you are going to be a victim of a crime.’ This part of Brooklyn is all property crime driven. People have high-end bicycles; some of these bicycles they chain up to a pole and go to work in Manhattan just the frame is a couple thousand dollars. So we try to educate them about better locks and better security. We tell people if you have stuff delivered, you just got that brand new 60” flat screen TV, just break down the box, tape it closed, and put it out in the garbage. Somebody’s not going to take the time to untape your boxes to check out what you have. [Then] it’s not an invitation. We’re fortunate that we don’t have a lot of shootings here. Where I came from, in Crown Heights there was — a lot.” He also advises,
He also finds Greenpoint is similar to where he grew up in Forest Hills Queens. “You can walk the streets and people are actually happy to see you. When I became a cop that’s how you started. You started walking a foot post and got to know the community. The police department got away from that, and I’m trying to get my officers back into [it]: Say hello to somebody. [They] might be a cranky old person or a cranky young person or somebody not used to a cop talking to them, but eventually if you say hello to that person enough they’ll say hello back to you.”
On a more somber note, the 94th Precinct was attached to Officer Randolph Holder personally and to the investigation of his shooting. Captain Rose said his detectives helped with the investigation, “because they called on any detective working to assist with the investigation.” He added that, “I have two officers that were familiar with the officer that was killed, and they’re of Guyanese decent.”
As to the population changes in Greenpoint, Captain Rose says, “The buildings that are going up are just going to benefit everybody. Those vacant parcels all over the waterfront, yeah developers are making a lot of money off it, but it does improve the neighborhood. Hopefully somebody’s going to realize that and give us more police officers.” It’s not that he thinks that this will cause a crime spree. It’s that with an estimated 30,000–60,000 new residents coming into the neighborhood within the next three to five years, “That’s a lot of people. I want to be an optimist and say crime’s not going to go up, but if you add that many people statistically there might be an increase in crime.”
Everything is looking pretty rosy for Captain Pete Rose, and that’s not just because during
October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the 94th has been competing to be the Pinkest Precinct. “From the pink stripe on the cars, pink shoelaces (before Officer Holder passed away), pink mourning bands. Sgt. Therese Garafalo grabbed [the concept] and ran with it. It’s people contributing their own money, their own ideas, she went with the Pink Halloween,” said Captain Rose. “The [NYPD] do it every year, but I don’t remember it being like this. The 83rd has a police car that is all pink, they spent their own money and time wrapping the car. I’ve never seen the department go this all out. I mean we always have fundraisers and they’re always supporting the cause. It’s a lot of fun. We got a picture from the One-Oh-Four so now we are trying to outdo [them]. I think one of the uptown precincts also went a little nuts. This is the perfect size building, it’s kind of compact, it’s easier to decorate than the Seven-Seven or the Seven-Five because they’re just huge.”
The 94th Precinct holds a community meeting the first Wednesday of every month except for July, August, and September. The 94th Precinct also tweets at @NYPD94Pct where you can find out if they won the Pinkest Precinct. Or search for #NYPDBlueGoesPink to see other pink precincts.