UPPER WEST SIDE — More cops are patrolling Upper West Side streets following a recent uptick in burglaries and property thefts, according to police at the 24th Precinct.
The NYPD recently assigned 13 additional rookie cops to the precinct, which runs from West 86th to 110th Street between Central Park West and the Hudson River. The precinct has 128 uniformed staff members, so the extra bodies should make a noticeable difference, a police source said.
"You're going to see more cops on the street if you haven't already," Deputy Inspector Nancy Barry, the precinct's commanding officer, said at a recent 24th Precinct Community Council meeting.
The rookies will be assigned to hot spots like the West 96th Street subway station, where there's been a rise in stolen cell phones and picked pockets, Barry said.
In addition, 30 to 40 officers from other northern Manhattan precincts are patrollling the stretch between West 86th and West 104th streets on Thursdays and Fridays, Barry said.
The beefed-up ranks come in response to an increase in crime, mainly property related, police said.
At this time last year, the 24th Precinct had seen 767 grand larcenies, or the theft of property worth more than $1,000, including credit cards. So far this year, the precinct has counted 976 such thefts — a 27.2 percent increase, according to NYPD statistics.
Violent crime isn't common on the Upper West Side, but police have responded to two shootings in the past few months, NYPD sources said. On March 12, just before midnight, a man was shot in the foot following a dispute between two groups at West 109th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Barry said. Cops have made two arrests in the case, and they're continuing to investigate, she added.
In December, two men were shot on West 94th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues.
Locals said they've noticed more officers in the neighborhood, and they're glad to see the stepped-up law enforcment presence.
"We've got some knuckleheads around," said Rob, the manager of Petland Discounts on Broadway and West 103rd, who didn't want his last name used. "Maybe with [the police] presence it will keep a little more control."
But others were more measured.
"If they're going to be policing the community, that's a good thing. But at the same time, we don't want them to be grabbing just anybody," said a man named Carlos at West 101st Street and Broadway. "You have to be concerned about stop-and-frisk."