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Technology Ibrahim 'Mike' Baycora prepares to take charge as Paterson's next police chief

02:20  31 january  2020
02:20  31 january  2020 Source:   northjersey.com

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PATERSON — The city's next police chief, Ibrahim "Mike" Baycora, said he will emphasize the use of technology in Paterson's crime-fighting efforts, including the possible acquisition of drones and an upgrade of law enforcement surveillance cameras.

Baycora, a 32-year veteran of the Paterson police department who has spent most of his career working in the patrol division, takes charge on Saturday.

“I’m a big believer in technology,” Baycora said during an interview on Thursday morning. “A person’s memory may fade, but a camera’s memory doesn’t fade.”

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Mayor Andre Sayegh noted the various “firsts” that Baycora will achieve in becoming Paterson’s top cop. Sayegh said Baycora will be Paterson’s first Muslim chief, the city’s first Turkish chief and the first immigrant chief in modern times.

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a group of people wearing military uniforms: Paterson’s next police chief, Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora, far right, at a 2019 Veterans Day event with Mayor Andre Sayegh and Deputy Police Chief Lourdes Phelan.© Provided photo Paterson’s next police chief, Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora, far right, at a 2019 Veterans Day event with Mayor Andre Sayegh and Deputy Police Chief Lourdes Phelan. “We’ve researched it thoroughly, he’ll be the first Turkish police chief in the country,” Sayegh added, noting that Paterson has one of the largest Turkish populations in the United States.

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Paterson Police Chief , Troy Oswald, addresses members of the Paterson Police and Fire Departments Oswald had said that there was a deal in place under which McDermott agreed to take a pay cut Paterson has two deputy police chiefs — Ibrahim “ Mike ” Baycora and Lourdes Phelan.

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Sayegh also said he thought it was important that Baycora was a product of the Paterson school district, having graduated from Eastside High School in 1977, and still lives in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Baycora replaces the popular Troy Oswald, who retires effective Feb. 1 after serving the past 23 months as Paterson’s chief. Oswald and Sayegh have been feuding for more than a year and his retirement stems from the settlement of a lawsuit triggered by the rift.

Baycora said on Thursday that he doesn’t expect any problems between him and the mayor.

“I never see infighting between the police department and City Hall as a good thing,” Baycora said. “I firmly believe we’ll work together well.”

Besides the emphasis on technology, Baycora said he expects to increase the number of officers assigned to the narcotics bureau.

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Paterson Police Department Official Website, Director Jerry Speziale. Police . DEP. Chief ibrahim baycora .

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“He understands the impact of the gangs, drugs and guns on our major crimes,” said Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale.

Speziale described Baycora as “intelligent, compassionate, and empathetic.”

“He cares about not only the police department, but also the community,” said Speziale.

City Council President Marita Davila said she met Baycora several years ago and has been impressed by him. Davila noted that Baycora brings a different style to the job than Oswald did.

Before becoming chief, Oswald already had established a high-profile by doing such things as attended numerous community meetings and even appearing on the “Cops” television show. Baycora has served mostly behind the scenes in a low-profile capacity, officials said.

Baycora, who is 60, said he wasn’t planning on becoming a cop when he went to college four decades ago. He said he graduated from Rutgers with a double major in business administration and engineering and took his first job oversees in staffing and employee relations at King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia.  When that contract ended, Baycora said he returned to Paterson and landed a job as an engineer trainee in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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Baycora said he decided to apply for a job in the Paterson police department when he felt like he was mistreated by two city cops during a fight in the Totowa neighborhood. He recalled getting a phone call from the mayor at the time, Frank X. Graves, Jr., widely known for his anti-crime policies.

“He said if I wanted the job I had to start the next day,” Baycora said.

As a patrol officer in Paterson, Baycora said he has encountered while on the job dismembered bodies, homicide scenes, and corpses charred in fires. Two incidents he said stand out in his memory.

In the early 1990s, he said he was responding to a report of a domestic stabbing when he found the victim hiding inside the car of Good Samaritan who was driving by. Baycora said the motorist, a woman, had put herself at risk by taking the victim inside her car.

“A lot of times, you hear some bad things said about Paterson,” Baycora said. “That just showed me how many good people there are in the city.”

The other incident in the late 1990s involved a 12-year-old boy who had stopped breathing, he said. Baycora said he gave the child mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but the boy still died. “What bothers police officers more than anything else is when children get harmed,” Baycora said.

Baycora said he already has begun to examine staffing in the department, and expects to change some things after he finishes his review. The Sayegh administration has hired a consultant to conduct an operational audit of the department that likely will take nine months. Baycora said he’ll begin making changes before that audit is completed.

Baycora said he may look to revise the work schedules for rank-and-file cops by modifying the current 11.25-hour work day. At present, officers in patrol other basic units work four days and have four days off.

Baycora said he thinks an 11.25-hour shift is too long and he would like to reduce it to 10 hours. Under that plan, Paterson cops would work four days and then have three days off, he said.

Email: editor@patersonpress.com

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Ibrahim 'Mike' Baycora prepares to take charge as Paterson's next police chief

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