Volume 75, Number 26 | November 16 -22, 2005

The Sixth Police Precinct Special Narcotics Enforcement Unit team with District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, center.

The chamber honors narcotics and anticrime officers

By Albert Amateau

The Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce last week honored the Sixth Precinct’s SNEU (Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit) team and Officer Ronald Castro, of the 10th Precinct’s anticrime unit, with the Cop of the Year Award.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau made the presentations at the chamber’s second annual Safe Cities, Safe Communities luncheon on Nov. 2.

During 2004, the seven members of the Sixth Precinct SNEU team were responsible for 653 narcotics arrests, effected 57 warrant arrests and made more than 800 seizures of narcotics, guns and cars in the Greenwich Village precinct, which is one of the smallest precincts in the city. The SNEU team is among the most productive in the entire city.

Sergeant Kevin Griffen, an 18-year veteran of the department and a member of the Sixth Precinct for five years, is head of the Village precinct’s SNEU team. He previously led the precinct’s Prostitution Conditions Unit.

The other SNEU team members include Officer Washington Hernandez, with 18 years of police service, nine on the Village SNEU team; Officer Caroline Bacon, a policewoman for 12 years and a SNEU member for two years; Officer Carlos James, a nine-year Police Department veteran with six years on the SNEU team; Officer Robert Jackson, a policeman for 12 years and SNEU team member for seven years; Officer Keith Murray, also a police veteran for 12 years and SNEU member for six years; and Officer James Walsh, a member of the force for 10 years and SNEU member for three years.

In the 10th Precinct, which covers Chelsea and the west side of Midtown up to 43rd St., Ronald Castro has been a member of the plainclothes anticrime unit since 1996. For the year from October 2004 to October 2005, Castro made 16 felony arrests, seven of them for robberies. He was instrumental in closing out two robbery patterns in the precinct during the previous 12 months.

The event last week also initiated the chamber’s Save Haven program in which local merchants will volunteer to offer help and temporary refuge to children between the ages of 8 and 12 who feel threatened on their way to or from school.

Participating merchants, to be recruited by chamber and parent volunteers, will display bright yellow Safe Haven decals indicating that they are ready to help by calling police or home or simply listening to a frightened child. Early next year, the chamber will sponsor a workshop for teachers and parents on child safety and Safe Haven locations in Chelsea and the Village.

Safe Haven is an initiative of the West Side Crime Prevention program, organized on the Upper West Side 20 years ago by a group of parents led by Marjorie Cohen. State Senator Tom Duane, who attended last week’s event along with Cohen, was instrumental in bringing the program to Chelsea and the Village.

Among the chamber members and officials attending the Nov. 2 event at Tiro a Segno, 77 MacDougal St., were Assemblymember Deborah Glick; members of Community Boards 2, 3 4 and 5; and Commanding officers Deputy Inspector Theresa Shortell of the Sixth Precinct and Captain Stephen Hughes of the 10th Precinct.

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