By COLlive reporter
The New York Police Departement has announced the replacement of Deputy Inspector George Fitzgibbon as the Commending Officer of the 71st Precinct in Central Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Captain Norman Grandstaff who headed the 69th Precinct in Canarsie for the last 3 years is being transferred to the equally multiethnic Crown Heights section, home to African American, Lubavitch Jews and Caribbean Americans.
Grandstaff’s appointment happens as the neighborhood’s Jews await for news about the arrest of the black man who stabbed 25-year-old newlywed Leiby Brikman on Empire Blvd. on February 10.
Deputy Inspector Mark Magrone, Commanding Officer of the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit, spoke about the investigation at the Legislative Brunch of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC) on Sunday.
Magrone reported that the police department had many officers working on the case and there were “some very strong leads,” but they still do not have a successful conclusion to report.
As COLlive reported, the NYPD has identified a suspect but they are collecting additional evidence to make an arrest. A community source said the knife used to stab Brikman has been retrieved.
Notwithstanding this case and 2 other stabbings of Jews this past year, the 71st Precinct boasts an overall 43% drop in reported crimes in the area since 2001 and a drop of 21% in the past 6 years.
The new chief Grandstaff is a Staten Island resident who has been on the force for close to 20 years. Out of 4 brothers, 3 are police officers. He is a father of 3 children and has a steady smile on his face.
He served precincts throughout Brooklyn such as the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg, the 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant and the 75th Precinct in East New York before the 69th, according to Canarsie Courier.
In that, he followed Fitzgibbon who served in the 69th Precinct before coming to Crown Heights in 2013. Fitzgibbon is being transferred to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, led by Assistant Chief Steven Powers.
During his tenure, Fitzgibbon handeled the “Knock Out” game of throwing down Jews, claims of biased ticketing, a stabbing of a Yeshiva student in 770 Eastern Parkway, a string of muggings and safety precautions in schools after the San Bernardino attack.
Use the ‘Comments’ below to notify the new Commanding Officer what issues and concerns are most pressing in the area.