Violence down 60% in part of the Bronx

April 12, 2013 8:14:19 PM PDT
There is more than welcome news to a section of the Bronx that typically under siege by gangs and violence.

It's been 53 days since the last recorded shooting in the Concourse, High Bridge and Mt. Eden neighborhoods.

Police in the Bronx say that 60% of the shootings are motivated by gang members.

They have impacted that and significantly lowered the number of shootings.

"To go almost eight weeks without a shooting in this command is pretty much unheard of," said Inspector Kevin Catalina, Pct. Commanding Officer NYPD.

But it's what Inspector Kevin Catalina hopes to continue in the 44th Precinct.

It is one of the largest and densely populated precincts in the Bronx, stretching from Yankee Stadium and the Grand Concourse and into Mount Eden and over to High Bridge.

"Where I live in the High Bridge section there have been quite a few shootings in that area," said Jacqueline Snow, a High Bridge resident.

But since last year much of the police intelligence crackdown focuses on some 12 gangs in the precinct.

Following this violent shooting in which a 17-year-old is seen firing at rival gang members, police were able to arrest 12 leaders of the gang WTG.

"As a result of that, not only did we extract some of the worst individuals from the equation, but that takedown reverberated throughout the community, specifically the gang community," Inspector Catalina said.

Now when 44th precinct officers patrol the streets, gang members are left to wonder, who is next?

"Maybe 15 individuals are responsible for maybe half of the shootings that occur. What we aim to do, we aim to target and remove those individuals from the equation," Catalina said.

They hope to decrease the danger for the innocent people who are sometimes caught in the cross fire.

"Due to drug violence and gun violence, the kid got shot," said Deborah Pascoe, a neighborhood resident.

Deborah Pascoe remembers the 9-year-old boy who was shot in crossfire and survived last summer.

She's glad there have been no shootings recently.

"We want to prevent those innocent bystanders from being hit," Catalina said.