Community-oriented captain to guide precinct


By Tommy Hallissey

Captain John D'Adamo, who served as second in command at the 43rd Precinct, took control of the 50th Precinct on Monday from Deputy Inspector Dermot Shea, who was transferred to a busier precinct.

Capt. D'Adamo, 37, served as executive officer at the 43rd Precinct for more than two years. He has been an NYPD officer since 1990, starting out in a housing district in the South Bronx. Being a police officer, he said, was the only thing he ever wanted to do. "I followed in my dad's footsteps," he explained.

Capt. D'Adamo is no stranger to the Five-0. He served as a lieutenant at the precinct for three months in 2000. "I have a vested interest here. My mother grew up on Godwin Terrace and I have family that lives here," Capt. D'Adamo said. "I'm very happy to be here. I'm looking forward to serving the residents of the Five-0 precinct."

Capt. D'Adamo lives in Rockland County with his wife.

In an interview on Tuesday, the new commander said he plans to spend his first week getting the pulse of the community in a series of get-togethers with community leaders. Today, Thursday, Feb. 21, he will host Community Board 8's public safety committee meeting, at the Five-0 at 7:30 p.m. "I plan to keep a strong bond with the community," he said, stressing that his door would always be open.

Capt. D'Adamo vowed to fight a recent uptick in crime. "We're going to address the lower end of the command in Marble Hill and Kingsbridge," he said. "We've had a spate of burglaries there."

Though Capt. D'Adamo appeared brisk and business-like, he admitted being a little swept up in the excitement of a new job. "Yes, it is very exciting and challenging at the same time," he said.

On Tuesday, Deputy Inspector Shea was spotted at the Five-0 in street clothes tying up loose ends. Capt. D'Adamo said he has been in touch with D.I. Shea since the shakeup. "It's been a very smooth transition," he said.

Capt. D'Adamo's predecessor, Deputy Inspector Shea, started at the Five-0 as a captain in September 2006, after a period commanding the Bronx Borough Anti-Crime Unit. He was promoted in late December to deputy inspector and received his transfer orders to the 44th Precinct on Feb. 15. The 44th Precinct is a much busier command that has seen two murders and a DOA just since D.I. Shea was transferred.

Under D.I. Shea major crimes were largely held in check, both murders and rapes - already rare - were cut in half in one year from 2006 to 2007. But the precinct continued to be plagued by car break-ins and burglaries. D.I. Shea worked relentlessly to identify serial offenders and beef up patrols at troubled spots. Most recently, under his command, two patrol officers doing extra surveillance in Marble Hill nabbed a 14- year-old burglar, responsible for upwards of 30 burglaries.

D.I. Shea's 17-month stint in the Northwest Bronx follows a pattern of many commanding officers that came before him. Including the last popular police leader, six of the last seven commanding officers were promoted to deputy inspector while at the Five-0. Like D.I. Shea they were then transferred to busier commands.

The day before his transfer, D.I. Shea presided over the monthly community council meeting and the precinct with no indication he would be gone the next day. The hands-on commander was engaging as ever, working the room with aplomb.