As the Spring made way for early Summer, Roc and several of the new guys were assigned to what was loosely referred to as Operation Sidekick.
There's a main Avenue that runs through SoB, where a lot of kids hang out on the street, populating the bodegas and stores, and just generally causing what I would classify as low-level mischief. It's a busy thoroughfare, and there are a lot of foot posts dotting this particular landscape. The guys and gals who work this area are often seen breaking up fights, dispersing a crowd, or giving out tickets to those who find it necessary to park in front of a fire hydrant.
Even kids from the lower economic strata have cell phones. Let's be real here: most people who live in the projects also own a cell phone. It's not considered a luxury anymore. Therefore that Spring the Avenue was populated with kids on phones, talking and texting their asses off. Hence: not paying attention to anyone around them. Henceforth: these kids were getting their Sidekicks stolen right out of their well-worn thumbs.
For a short while, the NYPD decided to saturate the area with cops.
Presence means most punks are less likely to grab someone's phone and take off.
Roc and the rest of his foursome were assigned Sidekick detail for a few weeks that Spring, and it was good for us, because he went in a little earlier and got out a little earlier. It was good for the community, because they began to see the cops protecting them, not just arresting them.
And it was good for the kids, because they got to keep their phones.