Occupation: 104th Precinct Commanding Officer
Birthplace: Long Island NY
Number of Children: 2
Number of Years in Law Enforcement: 26
Previous Precincts Served:
• 108th – Patrolman
• 94th – Sergeant
• 106th – Lieutenant
• Patrol Borough Queens South
• 109th – Executive Officer
• 114th – Executive Officer
Family History of Service: Father was an FDNY Chief, Brother also in law enforcement.
Why a Career in Law Enforcement? His father encouraged him to take the exam, he passed, and just like that he was a police officer.
Hobbies: Sports, Favorite is Golf (Best Round 88!)
Favorite Sports Teams: Jets and Yankees
Mentors: Previous supervisors, learned different things from many of them.
Captain Christopher Manson is a unique commanding officer in the NYPD. After spending just an hour of one-on-one time with him you can see why he has a history of success in the NYPD.
Captain Manson is what they call in sports, a “players coach.” His management style and philosophy is about getting to know the people in his command, which includes his officers as well as the community. His intention is to lead not through fear but through leadership and understanding. He wants to foster an atmosphere of support and respect among the people in his command by getting to know them and being approachable. He seeks out conversations with all of the officers and often supports them on the street during their arrests. You will find that the captain gets very involved with “hands on” in policing our community.
The captain was asked at one the community meetings about a homeless person that sets up camp by the Fresh Pond Road train station. Without skipping a beat he spoke about his numerous conversations with the homeless person in question. You could hear compassion in his voice and the determination to find a resolution to this situation. It was impressive to know that the captain not only knew about this issue, he took the time to personally try to resolve it. He is determined to find answers to these issues and he cares enough about the people that he tries to avoid arresting folks that have already had a tough break in life. But, he will not hesitate to make that call to protect the community.
Just Over a Year at the 104th
When the captain was given the 104th precinct to command, he was not familiar with the 104th precinct. He had worked all over Queens in the NYPD but the 104th had not hit his radar until he became the commander, a type of challenge for which he is more than prepared.
The captain explains that this precinct is unique in many ways; there are four distinct “towns” all with large populations. Each of these areas also has their own set of crime patterns. The captain can recite each area’s challenges, hot spots and the daily adjustments he and his team make to address the trouble spots.
Captain Manson is very complementary of the previous commander, Deputy Inspector Michael Cody. He was very impressed with the personnel that were in place upon arrival and he has put his stamp of change on several areas in the precinct. Using some innovative ways to increase personnel and patrols during the 7pm – 4am tour, he beefed up the police presence to address the crime patterns that he noticed during this tour. His attention to robberies during the day also has resulted in a dramatic reduction in these crimes using a tag team of officers patrolling hot spots and educating business owners. He also had the wisdom to not try to “fix” areas of the command that were not broken. And that is what you will find with the captain, he is extremely practical in his approach to all matters.
A Day in the Life
When asked to describe a day in his life, the captain gets even more animated about working with his various teams. His routine is packed, here’s a snapshot: A pile of papers sits on his desk from various reports such as 311, complaints, etc. He spends much of the morning reviewing these, taking notes, addressing concerns.
After the mountain of papers is reviewed, the captain meets will ALL of his direct reports: Detectives, Traffic Squad Commander, School Safety, Special Ops, Narcotics, Domestic Violence, Conditions, etc. Each session with these teams includes strategy based on trends, and the pile of paperwork that he just reviewed. More importantly, the captain gives direction while absorbing all of the feedback from his staff.
Next in line is various administrative work, signatures and the like, admittedly time consuming.
Then the captain is off to various appointments throughout the command including obligations to the borough command as well as One Police Plaza monthly.
Finally, time-permitting, the captain will go out on calls, follow-up on issues that he attends to personally and supervising calls to let his officers know he is there to support them and the community. He wants to be seen throughout the community.
Keeping up a pace like this is challenging! Asking the captain how he does it, he just kind of shrugs like it is no big deal. When you love what you do, you don’t think of this as work but the volume of communication and direction is huge.
The captain is particularly interested in two areas that he feels keep the neighborhoods in good standing. He HATES litter. He knows through experience that litter sends a message to criminals that people don’t care about their neighborhood. Now, that is surely not the case with our neighborhood, but that perception is very real when certain areas are litter zones, the crime goes up in those areas. So in his mind, you clean the litter, crime will go down.
The captain wants the neighborhood to have clean and safe parks. That is something that he pays very close attention to all the time. This is his way of caring for the hard working people in our area, giving them a safe and clean place to take their children, exercise, etc. His command has a lot of green space and he has a plan for assuring his command will keep these places crime free.
A Relentless Leader
You can tell that he loves this job and is dedicated to fighting ALL crime. You can tell that the captain takes this job very seriously. He has a great sense of humor and it shows in the civic meetings he attends. What he does not have is a sense of humor about is crime. You can see he is never satisfied and is always looking for ways to make things better for his officers as well as the community. He is a supportive leader; he never forgets that his officers have a tough job. He also does not tolerate bad behavior in his command.
Finally, it was a pleasure to interview Captain Manson. Given his personality and leadership abilities, you can’t help but feel that he is the right man for this important and challenging position. New Yorkers are known throughout the world as being tough and demanding. The captain has over 170 thousand of those folks in his command to serve and protect. He is a solid leader for a great community; we are lucky to have him! When you get to know him and his team, you know you will get action, not talk.