A “Unity in the Community” Meet and Greet With the Morris Heights Community & 46th Precinct

Hosted by Rachelle Brown, the residents of the Morris Heights community, and the 46th Precinct came together Thursday night for what they affectionately called a “Unity in the Community” meet and greet.

The event featured representatives of Community Board #5, tenant leader groups, the Tenant Right’s Coalition of The Legal Aid Society, the Board of Elections, the Bronx DA’s office, and the 46th Precinct.

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Residents met and mingled with Lieutenant Batista, Community Affairs Officer Vega and Perez, Officers Garcia and Henze, and other awesome members of the 46th precinct, to discuss their concerns and interests.

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Officer Vega, who seemed to be a very popular and well liked member of the community, informed the residents about the workings of the Neighborhood Coordinating Officers (NCO) program, a program of which the 46th precinct was the first to implement. How Cool!

Regarding the NCO program, a report by the NYPD notes:

“To provide a clear point of coordination between each Neighborhood Working Group and the precinct, the NYPD has established a new position in the pilot commands of the neighborhood coordinating officer (NCO). The NCOs are senior police officers charged with leading community outreach efforts, coordinating the Department’s resources with the other city agencies and directing problem solving activities in their sectors. There will be two NCOs assigned to each sector.”

As noted by Officer Vega, the program works in concert with the Community Affairs department, and is designed to ensure a good quality of life for all residents.

Jessica Bellinder of the Tenant Rights Coalition of the Legal Aid Society informed residents of their housing rights and noted the assistance available to residents. With respect to community matters, Robert Barnes of the Bronx DA’s office noted the approach and philosophy of the Bronx District Attorney, and Lisa Gattis of the Board of Elections highlighted how registering to vote empowers communities.

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Lt. Batista and Officer Vega further provided the audience with information on additional quality of life resources, as well as upcoming activities, and encouraged the attendees to not only partake in the upcoming activities, but to continue to engage in events that bring the community together.

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Lt. Batista was asked by an audience member: “Pertaining to something that you would ask of the community, if you had one wish, what would it be?” to which Lt. Batista humbly replied: “Teamwork.”

His response was met with arousing applause from the audience noting that the community is on board!

Lt. Bastista’s wish particularly resonated with the amazing young people in attendance, as the children were in amazement of the officers and even became new best friends with Officer Garcia and Officer Henze!

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The children followed the officers around with wonderment, wanting to know everything about being a police officer, and one youngster informed Lt. Batista that he wanted to be just like him when he grows up! Impressed!

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It was such a great night and I’m certainly looking forward to more of these progressive community building events throughout the city and state!