Annual National Night Out
The annual National Night Out at Astoria Park was the perfect setting for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s introduction of the newly appointed NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. De Blasio, accompanied by the President of the 114th Precinct Community Council Ann Bruno and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who will leave in September for a private sector job, spoke about current crime rate statistics saying that the city is safe, while making mention of the new 1,257 officers who graduated on July 1 from the academy.
“What we want to achieve is a city that is safe and fair for everyone, everywhere,” said the Mayor.
To further illustrate his point, Mayor de Blasio described a new program introduced last year by O’Neill called the Neighborhood Policing Plan (NPP). The program is now in 20 precincts and has expanded to 31 as of this summer. The NPP model divides precincts into five fully staffed sectors that correspond, as much as possible, to the boundaries of actual existing neighborhoods.
The 114th Precinct has added 13 officers to the NPP program.
Commissioner Bratton added that NPP will allow the officer to become more involved with the community and even compared the NPP to old days of the so-called “beat cop” who canvassed an area for years and everyone in the neighborhood knew their name.
The ceremony ended with the awarding of a City Proclamation to 114th Pct. Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune.
The several hundred in attendance at the August 2 event enjoyed popcorn and hot dogs with soft drinks. Elected officials were also on hand, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Councilman Costa Constantinides.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown made an appearance as well.
“This event is free for everyone to enjoy and learn about ways to stay safe,” said Bruno.