Scooter Cops – NY murder solvers | NEWS
Back in the 1970s Scooter Cops patrolled the tough streets of the 79th Precinct. A square-mile of Brooklyn called Bed-Stuy. 110,000 people live in the district and crime is high, with a murder a week and a crime committed every hour of every day it took some looking after and a special kind of officer to gain respect amongst the community.
Luckily Bed-Stuy had two very special officers. These community based cops were meant to be out issuing parking tickets, and keeping an eye on the streets but this duo went way beyond their remit. These cops, one black, one white patrolled their precinct on a pair of Servetas and went after murderers, drug pushers and any other kind of bad guy who set foot in their neighbourhood. They didn’t do it with a heavy hand, or a loaded gun though, in fact Scooter Joe was remembered for wearing his gun the wrong way around in his holster and neither of them fired a round in 20 years of service. They looked after the area using common sense and respect, communicating with the people and gaining respect was their method of operation.
VIDEO: Scooter Cops trailer
Scooter Joe Willins and Kenny Kaufman were the stuff of legend, for starters a black & white duo was almost unheard of back then. Especially in the tough neighbourhood of Bed-Stuy. Forty years on and the duo are still revered and talked about with excitement on the streets. Stories of Scooter Joe arresting 14 men and walking them to jail are the stuff of legend.
A feature length documentary is in production, due for release in summer 2017. Filmed using first hand accounts from the older residents who remembered them and younger ones who grew up listening to stories about them it’s set to show a snapshot in time, a time when common sense prevailed and law and order didn’t come down to who shoots first. Scooter Joe and Kenny Kaufman are still alive and well, recognised and remembered by locals as they film on the streets of their old 79th precinct. The duo still have a zest for life and a glint in their eyes as they remember their time as scooter cops.
No shots fired in 20 years
Scooter Joe ended his career with hundreds of collars to his name, for an officer to retire without firing a shot and having gained the respect of the people he grew up amongst and served is testamant to his formidable character.
Kenny never fired a shot either. Having grown up in a gated community on Coney Island he had never even set foot in a black neighbourhood before arriving on the 79th Precinct in the summer of 1968. What he saw opened his eyes pretty quickly. Joe’s style of policing and knowledge of the area helped Kenny understand more about the problems faced by the neighbourhood and the pair were soon teamed up and became a formidable force.
Both Joe and Kenny worked for the people, rather than against them. Something that both the people and the cops could learn from in modern day society. A society where an unarmed black African American is five times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than an unarmed white American.
Many neighbourhoods could benefit from the Scooter Cops style of policing. Watch the trailer, look out for the documentary and make your own minds up…