Gearing Up in Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay has a new commanding officer at the 17th Precinct. Captain
Kevin Ward joined the 17th on September 20 of this year. A friend
of his father, who had been a police officer for 30 years, telephoned
to congratulate him, saying, "someone is looking after you;
the 17th is the Gold Coast."
Captain Ward graduated from John Jay College and received his
law degree from New York Law School. His brother is also a police
captain, as was their father before them. Ward has worked in many
New York neighborhoods: Midtown North anti-crime officer; eight
years in the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn, Internal Affairs Bureau,
and executive officer of Midtown South. He rose through the ranks
to sergeant, lieutenant, and, only 14 years after he entered the
Police Academy, captain.
The new precinct commander has a number of goals to make the 17th
an even safer neighborhood. One of the first is to improve the quality
of life by getting the homeless off the streets and into shelters.
His officers are also using enforcement techniques to improve the
traffic and noise problems in the precinct.
Another major project is to strengthen security in the office
buildings. Wearing shirts and ties, looking as though they worked
there, thieves walk in and remove wallets from jackets and purses
left on desks and chairs. These criminals are surveyed on tape and
then must be tracked down. Through lectures and seminars given by
the 17th, employees at businesses in the neighborhood are learning
to be cautious and not leave their possessions in full view.
While people in the 17th are reasonably responsible about reporting
crimes, one area that needs improvement is called unattended property.
Handbags hung over the backs of chairs or placed on the floor in
restaurants, bars or shops have a way of disappearing. Too often
possessions are left in parked cars. A thief walking past a parked
car will surmise that a package inside holds a computer. He makes
a cost/benefit analysis (will the price he can get for the object
be worth the risk of getting caught?) and then carries off the computer
or golf clubs. All these crimes need to be reported.
Constant vigilance helps keep Turtle Bay's crime figures low.
Weekly statistics are recorded to determine what offenses are being
perpetrated and where. This identifies any pattern in violations.
Crimes that go unreported impede the investigative process. Crime
is kept in check in this precinct because there are no large clubs
to attract the unsavory characters who often bring crime to a neighborhood.
There is some concern about unsavory characters flowing into Turtle
Bay from Times Square on New Year's Eve. At press time Detective
Jim Kelly said the 17th Precinct is in the process of formulating
response to emergencies. On a city-wide level the biggest problem
is Times Square. The primary solution at the 17th will be "additional
personnel." This will take the form of extended shifts and
canceled leaves for the 160 officers of our precinct. There will
be roving mobile patrols. A survey is being conducted of restaurants,
bars, and hotels in Turtle Bay so that the police can get a feel
for how many additional people will be in the neighborhood to celebrate
the millennium. Merchants, restaurateurs, bar owners or anyone planning
a large event in the neighborhood should contact Detectives Kelly
and Bogucki at the 17th: telephone 826-3224 or 3228 or fax 826-3243.
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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941