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Burglars, Noise, and Money Boys: A Sit-Down With the Ninth’s New Commanding Officer

IMG_3074Stephen Rex Brown Captain John Cappelmann at the Ninth Precinct.

Captain John Cappelmann has taken over his new post as the top police officer in the East Village with a bang, arresting three men suspected of a string of nine middle-of-the-night robberies of local businesses as well as a series of apartment break-ins.

In a conversation with The Local that covered his previous experience policing public housing in Northern Manhattan, gang activity in the East Village and the challenges of quality of life enforcement, the new commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct shared a few more details about the bust.

“Burglaries are the biggest crime that we have here, grand larcenies notwithstanding,” Captain Cappelmann said in his office overlooking East Fifth Street. “We normally average about 16 for a 28-day period. So, that would be four a week on average from last year. Now to go almost three days since the arrest without any burglaries, I think we got the right people.”
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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. Read more…

Crime Generally Down in East Village This Year, Petit Larceny and Car Theft Up

Yesterday, City Room reported that “the picture of crime in New York City in 2011 is shaping up as virtually a mirror image of the year before, according to police statistics.” In the East Village, statistics released this week (tracking incidents reported to the Ninth Precinct in the period ending Dec. 11) show that crime complaints were almost universally down with three weeks left in the year. Petit larceny (theft of property valued at $1,000 or less), grand larceny auto, and misdemeanor sex crimes were the only categories that saw increases in reported crime following Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr’s appointment as precinct commander in January. Below, our chart comparing this year’s numbers with last year’s, and comparing the percentage of change in the Ninth Precinct to the same citywide.

Screen shot 2011-12-23 at 10.39.48 AM

Here They Are: The Heroes of the Ninth Precinct

Officer LuongoDominique Zonyee Scott Officer James Luongo

On Nov. 11 of last year, Sergeant Michael Fabitti and officers Katherine Keating, Joanna Lopez, and Natasha Deleon came upon a burning building at East Fourth Street and Avenue A. Recognizing that many of the residents would still be asleep in their apartments, the police officers ran into the blaze and helped evacuate the building. No one died — though all the officers and seven residents were treated for smoke inhalation.

The heroic tale of police work was just one of the many stories shared on Wednesday evening in Cooper Union’s Great Hall as part of the Ninth Precinct Community Council’s 16th annual awards ceremony. Read more…

The Day | Bike Lane Ticketing Expands

EV parked bikesGloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

The ongoing debate over bike lanes in the neighborhood took a new twist this week when Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr, the head of the Ninth Precinct, announced that his officers were stepping up efforts to ticket cyclists who flout traffic laws. The Times reports today on a similar effort by police across the city.

In other neighborhood news, we’d like to remind you, courtesy of Neighborhoodr, that Saturday will feature the 20th annual Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park starting at noon. The Halloween Parade prompts us to tell you about our recurring feature, Beyond The Dog Run, in which we display photos of neighborhood pets here on The Local. If you’d like to contribute your photos, please join our Flickr Group.

While on the subject of photos from the neighborhood, we’d also like to tell you about a new feature on The Local’s photo contributors. Later today, we will showcase the work of Gloria Chung, who contributed the image above and whose work has often been featured here in our morning roundup.

And this morning the Village Voice posted an item from its archives about Sammy’s on the Bowery, the bar and music hall on the Bowery at East Third, which closed its doors in 1970 after 36 years.

Police to Ticket Scofflaw Cyclists

IMG_8290Timothy J. Stenovec Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr, pictured at a police ceremony earlier this month, told the Ninth Precinct Community Council Tuesday night that cyclists who violate traffic laws in bike lanes will receive tickets just as motorists do.

The head of the Ninth Precinct issued a stern warning to East Village cyclists at the Community Council meeting Tuesday night – traffic laws don’t just apply to vehicles.

“They are under the same rules and will get a moving violation just like a motorist would,” said Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr, referring to neighborhood cyclists. “They’re required to adhere to the same rules as the road.”

Much of the council meeting focused on enforcing traffic laws in the re-designed bike lanes that were introduced this summer along First and Second Avenues from Houston to 34th Streets.

Kurt Cavanaugh of Transportation Alternatives called bike lanes the “new hot button issue” and asked the Ninth Precinct to step in to prevent bike lanes from being blocked by vehicles, delivery trucks and even pedestrians.

“We ask the local precinct to increase the bike lane blockage enforcement,” he said. “There’s still a lot of bike lane blockage, which is really unsafe for all parties.”
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Honoring the Ninth Precinct’s Finest

IMG_8301Timothy J. Stenovec Officers Edward Thompson (left) and John Sivori were honored at a ceremony Thursday night saluting officers of the Ninth Precinct.

A loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic weapon, eight daggers and a silencer.

Those are the items that Officer Edward Thompson and Officer John Sivori, both of the Ninth Precinct, discovered on a burglary suspect in the East Village early one morning in March.

The officers, who are also Marine veterans and have served in Iraq, were two of the 34 police officers who were recognized last night for their “outstanding service to the safety and well being of our community” at the annual Ninth Precinct Recognition Ceremony.   The Ninth Precinct Community Council, a volunteer organization focused on strengthening the relationship between the community and the police, put on the event, which highlighted specific instances in which officers had acted with exceptional bravery.

“Not a lot of people know what we do on a daily basis, and it’s nice for my guys to get the recognition,” said Sergeant Elias Miranda, who supervises the unit that includes Officers Sivori and Thompson.
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