Captain Girven picks up where Melendez left off | The Riverdale Press

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From ETHAN STARK-MILLER

After almost a month of searching in a new selection process involving the community, the 50th district got a new commanding officer at the end of last month: Captain Charles Girven.

Although he is new to the office of district commander, Girven is no stranger to the 5-0. For the last two years he was the police officer of the district and supported his predecessor – the now retired Captain Emilio Melendez – in his role as district commander.

With more than three decades in the New York Police Department, Girven is ready to take on his first assignment as patrol commander.

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” said Girven. “It’s also a learning experience. And the curve is there too. So I’m just trying to work through what previous commanders have done. Both (Emilio) Melendez and Terry O’Toole. Both had successful missions here. So I’ll focus just like you did. “

The key to your success? They focused their police resources on quality of life issues, said Girven, which are center stage in this corner of the Bronx.

“We don’t have a lot of violence here in the 50th or Riverdale section of the Bronx,” Girven said. “But we have complaints or concerns about the quality of life that the police need to address. Be it the traffic situation (or) disorganized people in the park. “

Girven also builds on the work of its predecessors by continuing an open dialogue with organizations such as Community Board 8, the 50th Precinct Community Council and the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance. It’s all to make sure he understands your concerns when the time comes for him to channel the 5-0’s resources.

“At my meetings, people are sometimes not happy with calling 911 or 311,” said Girven. “That’s why I always encourage them to come in and speak to our community affairs officers. And we can do one-on-one banter back and forth so that we can really find out exactly what their concerns are. In this way we can use our manpower efficiently to go outside and prevent crime. “

In fact, representatives from CB8 and the local council – as well as some local business owners – were involved in Girven’s selection for his new post. The committee interviewed Girven along with four other candidates last month and made recommendations to another Girven predecessor in the 50th Ward: NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who made the final decision.

Girven’s familiarity with the community goes back a long way before he made it 5-0. He grew up in nearby Woodlawn and attended the parish of Saint Barnabas there. He even worked at the for a while Waldbaum’s grocery store on Broadway near West 234th Street, now Staples.

Girven studied history and research at Manhattan College – all with the aim of becoming a teacher. But Girven also always had entry into the NYPD in the back of his mind, he said, because it is the family business. His father and great-uncle were police officers.

“I was always exposed to it,” said Girven. “My father’s uncle came from Ireland in the 1920s and I think he became a police officer then. And then I guess I inspired my father. And then my father became a cop, and that inspired me. And that also inspired my son to become a police officer. “

Although most of Girven’s NYPD positions were in the Bronx, he has also served in units in other parts of the city. This includes a detective team in Manhattan and a deployment to a task force in the Coney Island district of Brooklyn. He has also served with patrol units, the Narcotics Division, the now defunct Anti-Crime Unit, and the Special Operations Division, which conducts tactical and rescue missions.

Girven even received FBI training from the agency’s famous Academy in Quantico, Virginia, a few years ago. The three-month executive development program earned him a master’s degree covering topics such as police wellbeing, terrorism and cybercrime.

“I got a feel for how they run their agencies from the officials who went to the FBI Academy,” Girven said. “And they attach great importance to officer training, individual training and group training in order to maintain a police standard. That was both a challenge and a privilege. “

As the new commander of the 50th district, Girven would like to continue to focus on improving the quality of service for his officers in the region. This means that regular training takes place and it is ensured that officials are present at the meetings of the ward council and the ward council.

“Because we’re only here eight hours a day,” said Girven. “When we get input from people who actually live here – all the time they live and work here – we really get a better sense of what needs to be done on our part. And we are able to take it easy. “


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