Philip Hirsh, second from the right, was honored by the 84th Precinct Community Council for avoiding a gunfight in the Farragut Houses last March. Photo by Rob Abruzzese.

Philip Hirsh, second from the right, was honored by the 84th Precinct Community Council for avoiding a gunfight in the Farragut Houses last March. Photo by Rob Abruzzese.

The 84th Precinct Community Council named officer Philip Hirsh it’s Cop of the Month after he and his partner narrowly escaped a gunfight with three individuals in the hallways of the Farragut Houses two months ago.

“Remember, this is not television these are real guns,” said Leslie Lewis, president of the 84th Precinct Community Council. “It’s a tough job out there for cops and officer Hirsh did an amazing thing arresting three individuals like that without harming anyone.”

Hirsh and his partner Jeremy Catania were patrolling the precinct when they heard a call come over the radio about a robbery near the Farragut Houses. They headed over to 224 York Street and canvassed the building.

While searching, the two officers saw two men immediately try to run away upon seeing them so they chased after them. Hirsh and his partner each grabbed one of the perps and one brandished a gun during the altercation. That person threw his gun to a third female who immediately pointed the gun at Hirsh, but he and his partner were able to eventually apprehend all three without harming themselves or anyone else.

“I’ve never been in a situation like that before,” Hirsh said during the community council meeting. “Most cops are never in situations like that and what made it more unique was that my partner and I got split up.

“You definitely get nervous, but your training kicks in. You have no idea how much you fall back on your training until you are in a situation like that,” he said.

Hirsh was an EMT for 10 years before he joined the NYPD so despite the fact that he was never in a situation quite like that before, he is no stranger to tense situations. His history as an EMT also helped when he had to call his mother. “When you are the mother of an EMT for 10 years, you are used to late night phone calls so she’s alright. She’s just glad that I’m OK,” he said.

“A police officers job is difficult enough as it is and I’m very proud of what Phil did that day,” 84th Precinct Captain Maximo Tolentino said. “In a split-second he made a decision and he made the right one.

“More importantly these individuals were targeting Chinese delivery guys,” Tolentino added. “They would call them to the building and then ambush them in front of the housing development. Because of this, we haven’t had any recurrence of that near the building.”

 

CRIME REPORT

Crime is up slightly in the 84th Precinct with 73 incidents over a 28 day period compared to 69 over the same period last year and. Tolentino attributes much of that to the good year they had last year though, but did state that they are concerned with burglaries in the area.

With burglaries up from four to nine over the same 28 day period a year ago and up from 20 to 37 year to date, Tolentino recognized three hot-spots in the neighborhood.

One of those spots is 100 Wyckoff Street where police suspect an individual that used to live in the building of gaining access to the building, kicking in doors and burglarizing people. The police believe they know who it is and have plain clothes officers patrolling the area to catch him in the act.

Another spot is along Hicks Street where an individual has been pushing in air conditioners through windows and breaking into apartments that way. They have an idea of who that person is as well and plan on setting up a sting to follow up after a court date he has later this month. “We’re going to set up and follow him from court because at his last court appearance he basically left court, climbed up a fire escape and stole a laptop. He was nearly dressed and everything.”

The third trouble spot is along State Street. Tolentino didn’t have as much information at that location and only stressed that everyone lock their doors and don’t make it easier to become victimized. “The majority of the burglaries are occurring during the day time. Believe me, we are very eager to make the arrest because in our experience locking up even one person has a positive effect for several month.

Robberies are up 10 versus six a year ago, assaults are down nine versus 10 a year ago, and they have arrested people in nine out of 10 of those instances, and grand larceny are down 39 versus 45. “Out of the 73 crimes that we took, 39 of them are grand larceny related and 69 percent of that is attributed to unattended property. Please, I can’t stress this enough, pay attention to your belongings,” Tolentino said.

 

VISION ZERO

There have been zero fatalities this year and accidents were down over the past 28 days compared to the same time last year. The 84th Precinct will continue to heavily enforce traffic violations along Tillary, especially coming off of the Manhattan Bridge, and along Atlantic Avenue, which has become a 25 mph zone. 1,601 parking violations were given out over the past 28 days.

They have also begun cracking down along Jay Street, which has become a no standing zone, so they are on the lookout for double-parked cars and cars blocking the bike lanes.

 

FOURTH OF JULY

The fireworks will be back on the Brooklyn side of Manhattan for the Fourth of July this year and Tolentino said that his police force will be ready to handle the crowds, thanks to an additional 320 officers being assigned from other precincts, and encourages everyone to check out the unique event.

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