Barrere ‘Comes Home’ To 114th Pct. Community Council
“It’s so great to be home,” Deputy Chief David P. Barrere told the audience at the February meeting of the 114th Police Precinct Community Council. Barrere served as the 114th Precinct commanding officer from April 2002 to September 2005. “You guys got me promoted twice,” he said, referring to his rapid rise from Captain to Deputy Inspector and full Inspector while at the helm of the 114th. Barrere assumed command of the NYPD Central Robbery Unit a year ago and was promoted to Deputy Chief by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a June 26, 2009 ceremony.
“I have to thank this community,” Barrere said at the February meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council. “I was a young, inexperienced captain who wanted to move mountains. Astoria–this community council and community, specifically–is a model of how things should work.”
The practice of rewarding individual police officers for their actions, known as Cop-of-the-Month, long a staple of 114th Precinct Community Council meetings, is not universal. “That doesn’t happen everywhere,” Barrere said. Barrere credited 114th Precinct Community Council President Ann Bruno for her assistance with the community council at the 75th Precinct, where he became commanding officer after leaving the 114th.
He also tipped his hat to the numerous community organizations and their leaders in the 114th Precinct, describing them as “great friends and mentors” who took him under their collective wing. “It’s that community spirit,” he said. “You do it right here.”
“The tremendous crime reduction in my three years was a team effort,” Barrere added. “You pointed me in the right direction. I would not be a Deputy Chief without you.”
Barrere added that Gazette Advertising Director Julie Wager was one such friend and mentor in the community. “A month or two before he died I got a call,” Barrere said. Wager called to tell him “how proud we are of you”. Barrere noted Wager’s recent death as a “big loss”.
At Central Robbery, Barrere commands offices in all five boroughs that track all robberies in the city and identify patterns. Robbery and burglary are “pattern crimes”, he said, with robbery described as forcible stealing, i.e., muggings and armed robbery. Central Robbery also investigates any crimes that occur in transit.
Burglary, Barrere said, differs from robbery in that a burglar knowingly enters and remains unlawfully inside a building, taking computers, jewelry and other valuables. But doesn’t confront anyone. “Robbery is give me your money or I’ll shoot you,” he said. “It’s a vicious crime. Burglary is a terrible crime, too, but it’s a sneaky crime.”
“Patrol (policing) is where the rubber meets the road,” said Barrere, who spent his first 19 years on the force “always on patrol”. Central Robbery picks up a case when further investigation is needed. “It’s interesting work, different from what I’m used to,” he said. “Now, the one thing I miss is the community.”
Barrere joined the NYPD in 1990 and served as commanding officer of the 75th, 76th and 114th Precincts before taking command of Central Robbery. Summarizing his time at the 114th Precinct, Barrere said, “My phone never stopped ringing. It was a wonderful experience for me [and] I miss all of you.”