Capt. Jack Lewis, second from left, with some of his top cops.
Well folks it was a short reign for Capt. Jack Lewis. The commander of the 76th Precinct was here for just a year and a half before he was transferred to the 71st in Crown Heights. The announcement came on Thursday, April 12.
Replacing Lewis is Capt. Jeffrey Schiff, the former Impact Unit Commanding Officer for the 67th Precinct, the area around Church Avenue from Flatbush to Nostrand over to Brooklyn Avenue. It’s Schiff’s first post as a precinct commander.
The moves comes with a spate of other NYPD top-post shuffling. Robberies have been up in precincts across the city, which may be related to the moves, or not.
Interesting that Schiff is moving from a higher-crime district to quiet Carroll Gardens, while Lewis is making the opposite move to Crown Heights.
Lewis was great with the media, very open, and worked well with the community. He took pride in walking the streets and getting to know the people in his precinct, both community leaders and criminals, and their families. He often told audiences at the local precinct meetings that he knew most of the young thieves around here and regularly talked with their moms and dads.
And it was a rough time to be in charge here. While in command, crime rose in the Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill-Red Hook-Gowanus area. Robberies were up 40 percent for the year back in fall 2010, and they continued to increase in 2011. In March, robberies were down, but crime increased 30 percent, fueled by a 50 percent increase in burglary for the year (thieves have been hitting restaurants on Smith Street, emptying their cash registers).
Citywide, robberies have increased, and here, more than elsewhere. Time will tell whether this is a condition of our economy, and the fact that we have in this area pockets of low-income residents living side-by-side with considerable wealth.