Volume 20, Number 37 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 25 - September 1- 7, 2010
Familiar with the First Precinct, commanding the Seventh
BY Albert Amateau
When Deputy Inspector Nancy Barry became commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct on the Lower East Side in May 2009, she was no stranger to the station house on Pitt Street.
“It was my first assignment after I graduated from the Police Academy,” she told Downtown Express last week. Her July 1981 Academy class was assigned to the Lower Manhattan Neighborhood Stabilization unit.
“We were based here and covered the Fifth and First Precincts too. I was thrilled to come back here,” she added.
Of course, the changes in the precinct over the past 29 years have been enormous; bars and lounges along with high-end restaurants and boutiques have become dominant in the diverse Lower East Side neighborhood.
But for Barry, now as well as then, the community’s relation to the precinct has been an outstanding experience as a police officer. The Seventh Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime on East Broadway this month had the biggest turnout in Manhattan, she recalled.
“I love working in the Seventh because of the people,” Barry said.
Crime in precinct in the seven major categories is down two percent for the year from January to August, which is especially significant because of the important drop in the crime rate in 2009, Barry said.
“We’ve had a spike in burglaries with a couple of patterns in the past few months. Commercial burglaries in June and July on the late tour after businesses hours, coming through skylights and windows but we closed nine cases with arrests,” she said. “We’ve also had a pattern of residential burglaries – mostly on Orchard Street, and we’ve identified at least one suspect,” Barry said.
The number of non-fatal shootings, three this year the same as last year, all resulted in arrests, Barry said.
Grand larcenies constitute the greatest number of crime complaints in the precinct, which extends south of Houston Street from Allen and Pike Sts. to South Street and F.D.R. Dr. “Mostly unattended bags in bars and restaurants,” she noted.
Barry brings her varied NYPS experience to the precinct. After her first assignment as a rookie in Lower Manhattan, she was an officer in Midtown North on the West Side between 43rd and 59th Streets. She also served Midtown South, between 29th and 45th Street from Eighth to Lexington Avenues, including Times Square — the busiest police precinct in the city, with the most radio car calls and criminal complaints in the city. Barry next served in the 26th Precinct on the West Side as a sergeant covering Columbia University and Hamilton Heights.
Her next assignment, as a lieutenant, was Executive Officer (second in command) of the Police Cadet Corps, a program based in the Police Academy on East 19th Street and open to students of colleges in New York City, Westchester and Nassau county. In addition to following their college curriculum, the cadets work flexible school year hours and during the summers and receive wages for their work and tuition loans of up to $5,000 per year. “It’s essentially an internship program,” Barry said. After graduating college, the cadets take the standard academy admission exam, which serves as their promotion exam to become officers.
Barry then was appointed in charge of school security in the Bronx where she spent five years and rose to the rank of captain, an assignment that included commanding the Orchard Beach police unit in the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Her next assignment was as captain of P.S.A. 9, the housing police covering all of Queens where she spent two years before coming to her present command in the Seventh Precinct.
Barry is part of a family tradition in New York City public service. Her mother was an NYPD officer and retired 10 years ago in charge of the Queens North Patrol Borough Command. Her father was a firefighter and retired as a battalion chief.