7th Precinct Sector B Meeting Takes Place Feb. 1

As you might have heard, the 7th Precinct launched its new neighborhood policing initiative a few months ago. The Lower East Side (below East Houston Street) is split into three sectors (A, B and C). Neighborhood coordination officers in each sector have been holding meetings to build stronger ties with local residents.

A Sector B meeting is coming up next Thursday, Feb 1 at the Abrons Arts Center. I begins at 6:30 p.m.

If you need to click up your sector, click here.

Rhonda O’Reilly-Bovell Replaces Steven Hellman as 7th Precinct Commanding Officer

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, speaks as NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill looks on during a community meeting last spring.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, speaks as NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill looks on during a community meeting last spring.

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill is making a lot of personnel changes to start 2018, as 29 captains were reassigned this week. Here on the Lower East Side, the 7th Precinct will be seeing new leadership.

After about two-and-a-half years on the job, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman is moving up to the 13th Precinct, which covers Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, Gramercy and Union Square. His replacement as commanding officer at the 7th is Deputy Inspector Rhonda O’Reilly-Bovell, who most recently was in charge of Transit District 2. Previously she was captain at the 30th Precinct in Harlem and served in the 63rd Precinct in Brooklyn (Bergen Beach/Flabush/Marine Park).

The Daily News earlier today reported on the NYPD’s reshuffling:

The 23rd Precinct, 25th Precinct and 30th Precinct in Harlem and the 7th Precinct on the Lower East Side all lost their current commanding officers in favor of new blood, sources said. The transfers also moved three women into more high-profile leadership positions.

It’s not the first time in recent years that the 7th Precinct has had a woman as commanding officer. Captain Nancy Barry was the top cop in the 7th from the middle of 2009 until August of 2011.

Deputy Inspector Rhonda O’Reilly-Bovell.

Deputy Inspector Rhonda O’Reilly-Bovell.

7th Precinct “Sector A” Holds Neighborhood Safety Meeting Thursday Night

Neighborhood Coordination Officers - 7th Precinct - at a recent community event.

Neighborhood Coordination Officers – 7th Precinct – at a recent community event.

Earlier this month, we told you about the 7th Precinct’s new community policing initiative. It’s the NYPD’s way of putting more cops on the beat — in closer contact with local residents. The precinct is now split up into three areas. There are two Neighborhood Coordination Officers in each section, who are the main points of contact for the community. As part of the program, there will be public meetings in each area.

Tomorrow night (Thursday), there will be a Neighborhood Safety Meeting in Sector A, which covers the part of the Lower East Side below Grand Street. You can see an interactive map here.

The meeting will take place at Gouverneur Community Center, 605 Water St., 7 p.m. It’s a chance to meet your local officers and express concerns about public safety issues in the neighborhood.

7th Precinct Launches Community Policing Initiative

Neighborhood Coordination Officers introduced themselves at a community meeting.

Neighborhood Coordination Officers introduced themselves at a community meeting.

Neighborhood policing has come to the Lower East Side. The NYPD’s initiative to put cops in closer contact with local residents was unveiled last night at a community meeting.

The model has been implemented in neighborhoods across the city, including in the East Village (9th Precinct). The police department credits neighborhood policing with driving violent crime downward in the past year. Here’s how it will work in the 7th Precinct, which hosted last night’s meeting at Gouverneur Health.

Below you see a screenshot from the 7th Precinct’s web page, which now includes a searchable map. The precinct has been split up into three sectors (A, B and C). Sector A is the area below Grand Street and East Broadway, including the Two Bridges neighborhood. Sector B incorporates the Grand Street cooperatives, the Grand Street Guild, Seward Park Extension and several blocks between Essex and Allen streets. Sector C covers the part of the Lower East Side between Delancey and East Houston streets. Here’s how the NYPD explains the program:

Neighborhood policing divides precincts into (a few) fully staffed sectors that correspond, as much as possible, to the boundaries of actual existing neighborhoods. Sector officers work the same neighborhoods on the same shifts, increasing their familiarity with the local residents and local problems. The radio dispatchers, supervisors, and sector officers work together to maintain “sector integrity,” meaning that the sector officers and sector cars do not leave the boundaries of their assigned sectors, except in genuine emergencies. Neighborhood policing seeks to foster a sense of ownership among sector officers for the people, the problems, and even the perpetrators in a particular sector; a sense of geographic responsibility and accountability.


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Each sector also has two Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCO’s), who act as liaisons between cops and the community. You can find your sector and look up assigned NCO’s here.

There’s a separate website, Build the Block, which residents can use to find sector meetings. You can also sign up for email and text alerts from this site.

Last night, police officers said they’re hoping to open a dialogue with people in the community who don’t normally participate in regularly scheduled community council meetings or who have negative impressions of the police department. The sector meetings are just now being set up, so you probably won’t see many details about upcoming events for a little while.


Police Commissioner Visits 7th Precinct

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill at the 7th Precinct. Photo courtesy of the 7th Precinct/Mike Mowery.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill at the 7th Precinct. Photso courtesy of the 7th Precinct/Mike Mowery.

There was a surprise guest last night at the monthly 7th Precinct Community Council meeting: Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

The commissioner has been making the rounds at precincts across the city, in support of his community policing initiative (coming to the Lower East Side in October).

He praised Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, the precinct’s commanding officer, who was recently promoted from captain. O’Neill did have one complaint, remarking jokingly that it felt like about 105 degrees in the meeting room (it was, in fact, sweltering)!

O’Neill posed with officers receiving this month’s “Cop of the Month” awards.

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13 Women Arrested in Columbus Circle Protest Taken to 7th Precinct

Photo by Pat Arnow.

Photo by Pat Arnow.

Thirteen women arrested during protests at Columbus Circle yesterday were brought to the 7th Precinct on Pitt Street for processing. They were all taking part in a rally near the Trump Hotel on International Women’s Day / Day Without a Woman.

Local resident and photographer Pat Arnow was on the scene last night at about 10 p.m. as the last of the women, Sophie Ellman-Golan, was released. That’s Sophie’s mother, Rabbi Barat Ellman, on the right and Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour on the left. Sarsour was one of the 13 arrested for blocking traffic uptown. She was released earlier in the evening.

Upon their arrest, a message went up on the Women’s March Twitter account asking demonstrators to meet those arrested at the Lower East Side precinct.


Arnow said she asked a police officer why the protesters were brought down to the Lower East Side:

He said he didn’t know, since there are a lot of precincts where they could be booked between here and there (Columbus Circle). He suggested that it might be that this out-of-the-way police station was chosen in the hopes of keeping the number of protesters down. It might have worked but still, some intrepid people waited for the more than seven hours for all those who had engaged in civil disobedience to be released.

More from Time Magazine on the scene inside the station house:

The 13 women were kept two to a cell. They sang “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine” and gospel songs up and down the corridors of the NYPD’s 7th precinct in downtown Manhattan. “We checked on each other,” said (Tamika) Mallory, the first of the 13 to be released. “The goal is to show young girls and women that their voice is their power,” said (Carmen) Perez after her release. “The fact that we’re able to inspire so many other women out here in the world is truly an honor.” Perez joked that the detained activists spent their time behind bars “plotting the next big action” and said the detained activists were cold, hungry, and tired after their ordeal.

Photo by The Lo-Down.

Photo by The Lo-Down.

Photos by Carol Anastasio.

Photos by Carol Anastasio.

Ellman-Golan’s mother was arrested about three weeks ago while protesting Donald Trump’s travel ban. Rabbi Ellman, waiting outside the precinct said of her daughter, “I’m incredibly proud of her… Her activism has encouraged my more recent activism… Were a mother-daughter arrestee team.”

Here’s one more photo from Pat Arnow. A driving dog kept people entertained on Pitt Street last night:

Dog drives by protesters

Hit-and-Run Truck Driver Strikes Pedestrian on Allen Street

Allen Street and Division Street.

Allen Street and Division Street.

Police officers are on the scene at the intersection of East Broadway and Division streets today, where a pedestrian was badly hurt by a hit-and-run driver.

Police say a truck driver struck a 67-year-old man, breaking both of his legs, before fleeing the scene. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

There were no witnesses that investigators know about right now. They’re checking security camera video from the immediate area. As of a few minutes ago, Allen Street between East Broadway and Division streets was closed off to motorists. There was a pool of blood near the manhole in the uptown lanes. The 7th Precinct  is handling the case.

We’ll update this story when we have more details.

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