BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The Bed-Stuy precinct where two NYPD officers were murdered as they sat in their squad car last year has yet to see a shooting in 2015, police said.
The commanding officer of the 79th Precinct said it is the only precinct in Brooklyn North without a shooting incident in the first nine weeks of the year. The 84th Precinct in Downtown Brooklyn also shared in the streak up to Feb. 15, according to NYPD data.
“We haven’t had one shooting in 2015,” Deputy Inspector John Chell told residents at the 79th Precinct's first community council meeting of the year Wednesday.
“I’ll never be happy unless there’s no crime — that’s not going to happen, but I’m sure going to try with the help of my officers.”
Chell attributed the lull to “simple policing” and an “omnipresence” of officers in the precinct.
“It’s been a cumulative effort of crime prevention over the past years and we’re just moving it forward,” the commanding officer said. “And it’s really also thanks to the volunteer partnership with the community.”
Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot dead Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car near the intersection of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues. Gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, killed himself soon after gunning down the officers, who worked out of the 84th Precinct but were on patrol that day in the 79th.
The deadly ambush sparked renewed interest in police safety.
The most recent publicly-available crime data reports up until Feb. 15 and confirms no shootings up to that date. Chell said that streak continued up through Wednesday's meeting.
Last year, there had been two shootings before Feb. 15.
The rest of the Brooklyn North patrol borough, which includes the 79th and surrounding precincts, had seen 29 shootings as of Feb 15, according to NYPD data.
Despite the respite from gun violence in the neighborhood’s western section, the area has experienced a spike in burglaries, particularly truck break-ins, Chell said.
A large number of trucks are being broken into at construction sites following increased development in Bed-Stuy, Chell said.
"What that shows is that this community is growing so much, gentrifying, and the retail value of the homes is going up,” he said.
“With that being said, we’re getting nicer and nicer homes but there are still some bad guys walking around who will take the opportunity when they see an open door in a van or car.”
The 79th Precinct had 20 burglaries in a 28-day period ending Feb. 15, a 66.7 percent increase from 12 during the same time frame last year.