The 40th Precinct station house has a new commanding officer, after the former CO, Deputy Inspector Lorenzo Johnson, was transferred to NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau in late July.
Mott Haven’s new top cop, Deputy Inspector Carlos Valdez, is a 25-year veteran of the force who headed the 61st Precinct in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, for a year before making the move to Mott Haven. He has also served for the transit and housing police.
The move was announced in late July after NYPD Commissioner William Bratton announced that an internal audit found that 19 officers from the 40th had underreported 55 criminal complaints brought by victims over a span of four months in 2014, representing about three and a half percent of the cases reported to the precinct during that time.
In most of the cases, the officers misrepresented felonies as misdemeanors, causing the year’s crime statistics to come in artificially low.
Johnson was not charged. He had served as head of the 40th since May 2014, when his predecessor, Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack was transferred out following another controversial incident. Crime rates in Mott Haven had plunged since 2011 under McCormack’s 2-½ year reign, but he was moved shortly after an officer secretly recorded a conversation in which McCormack pressured him to focus patrolling efforts on young African-American males, to bring down robbery rates.
As of early August, the implicated officers were still serving at the precinct while the internal investigation continued, according to NYPD.