East Village Gets New Commanding Officer

Screen shot 2012-02-02 at 12.58.08 PMNYPD Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr

Captain John Cappelmann has replaced Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr as the top police officer in the Ninth Precinct, which covers the East Village.

Detective Jaime Hernandez of Community Affairs at the Ninth Precinct confirmed the move, and said that Captain Cappelmann came over from Public Service Area 6, which covers public houses in Harlem and the Upper West Side.

The new commanding officer will be formally introduced at the next community council meeting on Feb. 21 at the Ninth Precinct station house on East Fifth Street.

Deputy Inspector Lehr, who alerted The Local to the transfer in an e-mail this morning, is now the commanding officer at the 67th Precinct, which covers Flatbush in Brooklyn. His transfer is standard practice within the Police Department, which has a rotation system for commanding officers.

According to Deputy Inspector Lehr, overall crime decreased in the East Village by 11 percent during his two-year tenure. But if Mr. Lehr’s time in the East Village will be remembered for anything, it was the resolution of the scandal involving officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata. Mr. Moreno was accused of raping an intoxicated woman in her East Village apartment while Mr. Mata stood guard. Both were exonerated of the more serious charges but were convicted of official misconduct.

Editor’s Note: Though the widely publicized acquittal of officers Moreno and Mata occurred during Deputy Inspector Lehr’s tenure, the incident occurred in December of 2008, well before he took charge.

An earlier version of this post included inaccurate statistics regarding the decline of crime in the neighborhood during Mr. Lehr’s tenure. The Local regrets the error.