Build the Block is committed to building mutual respect and stronger lines of communication between police officers and the communities they serve through neighborhood policing.
Neighborhood policing is a new direction of the NYPD to ensure police have real relationships and accountability in the neighborhoods where they work each day. Each neighborhood in the program is assigned a new type of police officer known as Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs).
These officers are hosting Build the Block safety meetings to jumpstart the dialogue between cops and community members to create real working relationships.
That’s where you come in–by attending these meetings and joining the conversation, you can help contribute to a safer, stronger New York.
Neighborhood safety meetings are essentially strategy sessions between local cops and the people they serve. They can vary broadly in size, but will always have two simple goals: to identify the public safety challenges of your specific neighborhood – big or small – and give everyone an opportunity discuss potential solutions together.
It’s important that you locate and attend the next meeting in your neighborhood. It’s also important that you invite friends and neighbors – whether they are young or old, a newcomer or a native New Yorker; we need them to join the conversation.
These meetings are one important step to improve trust, collaboration, and safety through neighborhood policing. It is an effort that can only succeed with the commitment of all New Yorkers to use these opportunities to encourage accountability, and collaborative problem solving with the individual officers serving in their community.
Under neighborhood policing, Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) work every day in specific neighborhoods rather than being deployed to different spots around the city. This lets New Yorkers get to know their cops, and helps officers get to know the people, the challenges, and what it takes to make everyone in their neighborhood be and feel safe over time.
Neighborhood policing ensures that NCOs spend significant time ‘off the radio,’ not simply racing from emergency to emergency. This gives officers more time to learn about and address problems in the neighborhood – and to work with community members toward collaborative and creative solutions.
By collaborating with the people in the community, neighborhood policing helps officers prevent crime, by finding ways to defuse and solve problems before they develop into a crisis.
“Ultimately how you’re perceived and evaluated by this department and by all New Yorkers is up to you. What counts more than anything is your character and your professionalism and how you all handle the challenges you face…. And something else – how strong will the bonds be that you forge with those who live and work in your neighborhoods? Because it’s those connections that will help you become successful police officers. We can’t do this alone, and we don’t do this alone.”
-Commissioner James O’Neill to NYPD Academy Graduates, March 2017