June 2, 2014

NYPD Will Use Veteran Cops to Mentor Rookies

Retooling Operation Impact

By Mark Toor


PATRICK J. LYNCH: Union will keep on fighting.


The NYPD is rolling out changes this summer to Operation Impact.

The program, created by former Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was set up to deal with the drop in uniformed personnel—from a high of 41,000 to about 34,500 now—by flooding high-crime areas with new graduates from the Police Academy.

Sent Them Out Cold

Previously, these rookies would have been assigned to precincts and paired with experienced officers so they could learn the finer points of police work. Operation Impact skipped this step, sending rookies onto the streets alone or in pairs with vague instructions on fighting crime.

Supporters say this show of force was key to the historic declines in crime during the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Critics say it was a major factor in the rise of stop-and-frisk incidents, with untrained officers often stopping passersby without legal cause and treating them with needless harshness, driving a wedge between police and community.

The pilot Partner Officer Program, outlined last week by the Wall Street Journal, addresses some of these shortcomings.

About 450 of the 630 officers graduating from the Police Academy at the end of the month are expected to be assigned to the program, in eight precincts around the city and the Housing Bureau.

2 Mentors for Each Group

The new graduates will work in pairs, in groups of eight officers that include two veterans who will mentor the rookies, the Journal reported. Officers will be assigned day after day to the same post, allowing them to build relations with the community.

In the 79th Precinct, which covers part of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, officers will be introduced to clergy, block-association presidents and other local leaders. These leaders will walk alongside the officers and ensure that they meet other important members of the community, including business owners and school employees, the Journal said.

Community’s ‘Big Part’

“The interesting part of this is that the community is...going to be a big part of this new program,” Deputy Inspector Michael LiPetri, the precinct commander, told the newspaper.

Precinct commanders will be allowed to move officers around the precinct to deal with crime trends, the Journal said. Previously, changes in deployment had to be approved by Police Headquarters.

A spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said its president, Patrick J. Lynch, has always been a supporter of putting veteran cops with new officers.