These days, most of what people know about law enforcement come from media (film, TV, social media). I had an opportunity to get a glimpse of the inside, with a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be an officer on the streets of Brooklyn and what it takes to be a commanding officer of a precinct within the NYPD.
We drove through the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn that have the 2nd highest number of shootings in the entire 5 borough area of New York. The Commanding Officer shared with us his strategy and thought process behind how to keep crime down near the public housing developments and city homeless shelters where crime is rampant. He places officers there in pairs 24/7. And then there’s technology. There are surveillance cameras on the street poles that help with investigations when bad things happen.
The most interesting part of the night was when a large group of us entered the open courtyard of an apartment housing complex notorious for fights, drugs, and gunfire. A little girl walked up to us, curious and innocently wondered what we were doing there. “We’re just touring the neighborhood,” we said. “Why? It’s trash here”, said the little girl. The officer then said, “It’s going to get better. We’re working on it. I’ve been working here for 10 years and I’ve seen it get better. Don’t worry. We’re going to make it better.”
And while we walked through the courtyard, one of the residents decided to humor us by opening their apartment window above and blaring the cop theme song “Bad Boys” on high volume. We smiled at the welcome.
Two hours after we left that neighborhood, our Commanding Officer got a call notifying him that there was a shooting there.
These are brave men and women who patrol these streets, trying their best to bring a sense of order and control while preventing and solving crime. They tell me they’re just doing their job when they toward danger.
The experience gave me a deeper appreciation for the complex job law enforcement have and gave me insight into how we at THE HETTY GROUP might be able to play a role in building positive police-community relations.
THE HETTY GROUP