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Commanding officer makes graffiti arrest

Graffiti criminals in the 49th Precinct better watch out, because it is not just the officers in uniform looking to nab them. The captain, as it turns out, handles graffiti arrests personally even when he is off duty.

Captain Kevin Nicholson stopped to make a graffiti arrest as he was headed westbound in his own car on Pelham Parkway near White Plains Road on Wednesday, May 26. Nicholson had just worked a double shift, but nabbed the young vandal with the help of other officers.

Christopher Estrella, 17, was arrested after Nicholson watched him write graffiti on a pillar and traffic signal pole near the busy intersection. He has been charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti, and possession of graffiti instruments.

“This is an example of the kind of captain we have in the 49th Precinct,” said community affairs officer Victor DePierro. “He is the kind of captain whose precinct you want to be living in because he is very community-oriented. Captain Nicholson stopped to make this arrest after working what was more than a double shift.”

The ambitious Nicholson took over the helm of the 49th Precinct on April 5, and has had an 18-year career in the NYPD. He first came to the Bronx when he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2001, serving in the 50th Precinct, and achieved the rank of captain in 2005.

Nicholson was the executive officer of the 47th Precinct for some time before he was transferred to the Bronx Narcotics division, acting as commanding officer in the area covering the 47th, 49th, and 52nd precincts.

Joe Thompson, president of the 49th Precinct Community Council said that he believes the graffiti arrest to be an example of Nicholson’s committed approach to policing.

Thompson said Nicholson walks the streets to get a feel for which situations may be affecting the community and has done so on White Plains Road, in Van Nest, and by Eastchester Gardens.

“He is aggressive and knows what really affects this community,” Thompson said. “We know his expertise in terms of narcotics, but he has honed in on quality of life issues..”

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