Police and local clergy reaffirm partnership in fight against crime


Ninth Precinct police joined members of the clergy and community representatives from East Village churches, synagogues and mosques last week to reaffirm the partnership of clergy and police in the fight against crime.

The Thursday meeting at the Cooper Union Engineering Building, conducted by Ninth Precinct commanding officer, Capt. James McCarthy, included a presentation of the city’s anti-terror program and precinct anticrime action.

“Nothing is more important than clergy-police relations in making this community a good place to live and a safe place,” said Inspector Joseph Riley, representing Manhattan South Borough Patrol commander Asst. Chief Michael D. Esposito, at the Oct. 23 meeting.

The Ninth Precinct clergy liaison program, founded 12 years ago, works to mediate disputes and defuse conflict in places like Tompkins Sq. Park as well as assist in domestic violence cases.

At the same time, the neighborhood clergy promotes anticrime efforts by acting as the eyes and ears of the precinct, McCarthy said. Father John Beskid, pastor of St. Nicholas Church, 288 E. 10th St., president of the precinct clergy-liaison, and Jerry Shea, president of the Ninth Precinct Community Council, also spoke at the meeting.

The citywide anti-terror program has become increasingly important since Sept. 11, 2001, said Det. Lynda Marmara, director of the program. She noted that since the program started, more than 5,000 calls were made to 1-888-NYC-SAFE, the anti-terror hotline, and more than 200 of these were viable leads in potential terrorism cases