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Increasing Gang Violence in Bronx Precinct Prompts Extra NYPD Support

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TWC News: Increasing Gang Violence in Bronx Precinct Prompts Extra NYPD Support
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Another shooting in the Northeast Bronx Wednesday morning brings the total in the area this year to 22. The growing issue is one the NYPD and community are eager to get under control. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

A man was found dead in the back of a U-haul truck after a late-night shoot-out. Two weeks later, a 19-year-old died after being shot in the face.

"Right here, Quashawn Thomas, he used to hang out in the park. A good kid. It's not, sadly, the kid that you think. Yeah, he was always hanging out with the gang bangers," says Williamsbridge resident Brian Melford.

The violence in the Northeast Bronx is on the rise and it's happening in middle-class neighborhoods—many lined with trees and private homes, not the areas typically thought to have more than 20 shootings so far this year, several of them homicides.

The crime continues. Wednesday morning, shortly before 9 a.m., a man was shot and killed on East 229th Street.

Long-time residents say this isn't the norm.

And the NYPD says they're paying attention. Like all Bronx precincts, the 47th, that covers the Northeast Bronx, saw a drop in crime in 2013.

"Last year at this time the 47 was showing eleven shootings, so we're showing a 100 percent increase. 2012 it was 11, and in 2011, there were 20. We're up slightly in 2014," says Police Chief Philip Banks.

Gang violence appears to be a big part of the recent uptick.

The department is looking into gun-shot detecting technology to remedy the situation.

"It's also a good predictive tool, that if you have gun shots in a certain neighborhood—for example, what's going on in the Bronx right now. We've got four gangs going at each other up there. If we have gunshots in one area, you can guarantee within 24 hours you're going to have a retaliation in another," Police Commissioner William Bratton says.

And putting more patrol cops in the 47.

"Our community must be flooded with police officers. I mean, really flooded. We are promised 58 more officers, maybe next week," says 47th Precinct Community Council President Elizabeth Gill.

Bratton says he can't promise any more, though.

There isn't room in the budget and any extra officers the department could get wouldn't hit the streets until 2015.

The commissioner says he will work, though, to move officers around if needed to cover trouble areas.

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