NYPD to Provide Friendly, Helpful Greeters at Precincts
By Yehudit Garmaise
The NYPD has now created a new position: community guide, to supplement desk sergeants, who are not known for their friendliness” serve as greeters and friendly faces who will provide compassionate customer service in the corridors of precincts citywide.
From 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, the NYPD is hiring people to work at the entrance of precincts to say, “Good Morning, how are you?” said Rebecca Smith, who started at the 25th Precinct as a custodian, who, along with her sister and her mother, was recently hired as a community guide before participating in training at the Police Academy.
“My mother taught me to be to be polite, courteous, and about the importance of kindness,” Smith said. “A precinct can be an intimidating environment. We will put them at ease, while helping them to get the help they need.”
While working as a custodian in the 25th precinct, Smith saw that “a lot is going on when people come in and that experience can be intimidating,” she said. “When I am there, I can talk to people, tell them that officers are getting their paperwork.
“It is not a happy thing when they are coming into the precinct. We can helps them to feel at ease and to make things smoother.
The community guides position, which are there to improve customer service at the NYPD, will increase the positive engagement between police and community, said City Council member Adrienne Adams.
“Too often, in police precincts, you have one negative impacting on another negative,” Adams said. “Someone comes in with trauma and then that person experiences people in precincts not caring.
“The Community Guide Initiative moves us forward to the reform we want to see.”
“The sad reality is, most New Yorkers are often not treated anything with like customer service, and the NYPD, from Commissioner Dermot Shea on down will be taking part in this revolutionary new approach to helping their fellow residents to have a community experience, be greeted by someone they can relate to, and have a positive experience when they have an issue or a complaint in their communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning, who added that he wants to re-bond police and community.
“Now we are talking about a new step forward: the notion that when you go into a police precinct, or just get involved and work with police, instead of interacting with people in uniform who can be gruff and dismissive, or making people feel like they are pushed away, now we are trying to create a positive experience.”
NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes explained that the NYPD created its customer service initiative after the department launched a customer service survey that provided feedback that New Yorkers were not happy with the way they were treated in precincts.
“Now I am excited to announce the more important element of customer service: the human element,” said Chief Holmes. “We got a lot of complaints about individuals walking to precinct and not feeling treated nicely.
“Now we have someone be there Monday to Friday in every precinct. Their sole reason for existing is to deal with everyone in a timely and courteous manner.
“Customer service probably the main component in improving community relations and become the fabric of the NYPD.
“We are focused, and we are going in the right direction.”