Opinion Letter: New NYPD plan is not a 'band-aid' A man offering "free hugs" in Times Square allegedly assaulted a tourist who wouldn't give him money, NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said. Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro June 3, 2016 12:54 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email While we appreciate the coverage of Officer Grid Troci and his neighborhood policing role in the 73rd Precinct, we can assure New Yorkers that the NYPD Neighborhood Policing Plan is not simply a “Band-Aid” approach to community engagement. The plan, now in 26 NYPD commands and scheduled for six more by July 1, is anything but a temporary or superficial measure. We at the NYPD have gone to great lengths to structure and staff this plan so that it will have far-reaching and lasting effects on the way our department does business. The pitfall of many other community policing efforts, both here and in other cities, was the failure to staff sufficiently, resulting in a small group of community officers who worked with limited effectiveness and in relative isolation from the patrol cops who answer calls for service. What we have done, in contrast, is to build a team that is engaged in each sector, with each officer playing multiple roles – answering calls, problem-solving, community outreach, intelligence gathering and even preliminary investigation. The officers are intensively trained in all these areas and allotted enough off-radio time, when they are not answering calls for service, to function productively in the other capacities. Taking responsibility for specific sectors, these officers will prove more effective in dealing with both the community and crime. As in the case of Officer Troci, the cops love the work, and communities are better served. James O’NeillChief of Department, NYPD Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Can police officers be better neighbors?The NYPD is attempting to build bridges. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.