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NYPD Promises To Help Prevent Teen-On-Teen Crimes Amid Rise In Juvenile Arrests

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City's police commissioner is promising to help prevent teen-on-teen crimes in the five boroughs.

Commissioner Dermot Shea says the NYPD is assigning 300 officers to become youth coordinators who will be specially trained in counseling and outreach.

Police want help with what may be another case of teen-on-teen crime.

A young suspect seen on video is on the loose after they say he robbed a 15-year-old at knifepoint, stealing the boy's iPhone.

It happened Thursday morning inside the 176th Street station in Morris Heights, the Bronx.

"We are seeing an uptick in juveniles engaging in crime," NYPD Transit Chief Edward Delatorre said.

In the subways alone, the NYPD reports 132 robberies since Jan. 1, resulting in 93 arrests with 43 of them juveniles. The arrests of the young people marks a 46% increase over the same period last year.

The trend spills out to malls and sidewalks and parks.

"It feels like you're lucky if you don't get robbed," one teen told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

Police want the public's help finding three young-looking suspects in connection with an armed robbery in Starlight Park, the Bronx, last week.

They say a 14-year-old's AirPods were taken as he was kicked and threatened with a knife.

RELATED STORY -- Police: 14-Year-Old Beaten, Robbed On Bronx Playground

At a recent meeting on the Upper West Side, some parents talked about their kids getting robbed of sneakers and iPhones.

One teen told CBS2 about a cell phone robbery on the street. The victim was his friend.

"A person ran by and snatched it," he said.

"We have to do better," Shea said.

Shea says the NYPD has a new program modeled after community policing to get dedicated officers in every single precinct interacting with kids, getting to know the at-risk ones and getting them to the right programs.

"We have private groups throughout New York City that are calling us up and saying we're already doing that, how do we partner with you?" Shea said.

Hundreds of officers get the special training. As youth coordinators, they do home visits and work closely with school safety officers and parents.

"If we don't get this right, we will deal with the repercussions," Shea said.

So to get crime lower, use officers to lift more kids to a better place.

The NYPD says crime involving juveniles will be tracked with meetings to be held every month at police headquarters.


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