y Carla Zanoni
INWOOD — Although the NYPD assigned 60 additional temporary officers to the 34th Precinct last month to quash a spike in crime in Upper Manhatttan, Inwood residents will not see any of those officers patrolling their neighborhood, police said.
Chief Bill Morris of Patrol Borough Manhattan North, speaking at the 34th Precinct Community Council meeting Wednesday night, said the additional police officers would remain in the southern portion of the precinct, in Washington Heights section from West 181st to West 185th Streets.
"It’s about surgically applying resources to one area to reduce crime overall," Chief Morris said during the meeting. "The additional force means we won’t have to take officers away from other areas."
Morris said that under the current arrangement 34th Precinct Captain Jose Navarro would be able to dispatch his current staff as he saw fit without having to pull resources from one area to cover another.
"The problem with this system is that the problems from Washington Heights come north," said Inwood resident Susanna Acevedo, 52.
Erin Costello, another Inwood resident, questioned the information motivating the concentrated approach.
"What is the motivation behind confining the 60 to that area? Shouldn't they be spread out proportionally by population? Need?" she wrote in a direct message on Twitter. "Once again, the 34th Precinct is concentrating its resources in WaHi and leaving Inwood as an afterthought."
Morris also confirmed that the NYPD had no current plans to split the precinct into two parts, divided between Inwood and Washington Heights, despite talk of such a plan at community board meetings last summer.
Up until 1994, Washington Heights between 155th Street and the Harlem River in Inwood was policed by one precinct, before it was split into the 33rd and 34th precincts.
"We have serious issues in this community that need to be addressed," said one woman during the police precinct meeting who said she lives in Inwood. "I just don't see that happening now."
Crime throughout the 34th Precinct has been on the rise, with muggings reported in and near both Inwood Hill and Fort Tryon parks. The area has also seen an uptick in grand larceny, rape and auto theft, according to CompStat reports and the 34th Precinct.