In his first few months of taking command of the Central Park precinct, police captain Peter Andrea led the rescue of seven teens who fell into a frozen pond and also locked up a serial robber.
Andrea, who took over the reins as of December 6, 2016, is now responsible for leading the precinct and responding to complaints about noise, traffic, and quality of life issues from residents while also cracking down on crime in the park.
So far, the park has only seen about six major crimes since January. Three of them were robberies by 19-year-old Shaiquisse Mont, who targeted women in the park, robbing two women within the span of just five minutes, police said. Central Park Precinct detectives working with the Special Victims Unit nabbed Mont on February 1, 2017.
On February 20, 2017, seven teens were rescued after falling through a frozen pond near Sixth Avenue and Central Park South.
Andrea said that the park is typically safe, aside from incidences like this.
“We have a few issues we have to deal with on a weekly basis, but this is a very safe park,” he said. “There are about 40 million people who come here a year and it’s a balance between the needs of those who reside on either side of the park and the visitors who come here.”
Andrea, 45, replaces Christopher McIntosh, who was promoted to Detective Inspector and transferred to the 28th Precinct.
“It’s exciting to have my first command and I’m very thrilled that this community is so active,” Andrea said.
“He has been on the force for 22 years and served as captain for eight, but this is his first time as a commanding officer”, he said.
Before the Central Park precinct, Andrea worked as the executive officer at the 34th Precinct in Inwood and at Harlem’s 32nd Precinct. Before that, he worked at Midtown’s 17th Precinct, the West Village’s 6th, the 100th and 105th precincts in Queens, and in the NYPD’s Patrol Boro Queens South and Impact Response Team.
“As executive officer, you work hard to support your commanding officer’s policies and protected them like a quarterback,” Andrea said. “Now I can use my own policies, have my own experiences to have a positive impact on the park.”
Andrea, who lives in Gramercy with his wife and twin boys, said he has been visiting the park since his boyhood in Bronx.
He said he knows the park well but is constantly finding new paths and new knowledge about it every day that he works there.
“I’ve missed so much,” he said. “It’s a lot to take in.”