CROWN HEIGHTS — Forty-seven NYPD rookies joined Central Brooklyn's 77th Precinct this week, hitting spots where crime is highest, police officials said.
"These are the ones that just got out of the police academy," Deputy Inspector Eddie Lott, the precinct's commanding officer, told residents at a community meeting Monday. "We got a very good group to enhance the group that we already have here."
The influx of new officers would be deployed to the precinct's two Impact Zones, where they would target "high-crime" areas including St. Johns Place near Utica Avenue, Lott said. The St. Johns Place commercial corridor was the site of 60 percent of the precinct's shooting incidents in 2013, Lott said.
Lott was forced to shrink the precinct's two Impact Zones in the fall of 2013, when the previous group of rookies was reassigned, but the new officers would allow Lott to restore coverage and even expand it, he said.
The rookies would pay particular attention to Lincoln Terrace Park, a busy public space on the command's southeastern corner where there has been a string of cellphone thefts, and Milk River, a popular nightclub that opened at 960 Atlantic Ave. between Grand and Washington avenues in the fall, he said.
"We have one of the hottest clubs in Brooklyn, if not in the city, that just opened up — Milk River," said Lott, who praised the club's security staff but warned that crowded clubs often drew thieves.
"So far, so good," Lott added, "but since they’ve been open, they’ve taken a handful of grand larcenies in there ... it's not violent crime, but it's crime nonetheless."
Management at Milk River did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thanks to the precinct's new officers, the eastern Impact Zone will now extend west from Ralph Avenue to Utica Avenue, and from Sterling Place in the north to Eastern Parkway, dipping south to cover Lincoln Terrace Park between Rochester and Buffalo avenues. The western zone will once again include the entire east-west stretch between Nostrand and Franklin avenues, running north-south the entire length of the precinct from Atlantic Avenue to Eastern Parkway.
"We now come down and cover Lincoln Terrace Park and that area of Union Street, which hasn’t been used to seeing [that level of police presence]," Lott said. "The second zone is actually going to be further west...they work a little bit later, because they have a lot of clubs there."
As of the first week of December, 2103, major crime in the 71st Precinct had risen 13.6 percent compared to 2012, according to NYPD statistics. The biggest jump was in grand larceny, which was up 31 percent as of Dec. 8, 2013, compared to the same time the previous year.