The Satmar Run Borough Park, NY, 66th Precinct Retirement Celebrated – Where Lines Get Blurred



Detective Joe Vitella, the Longtime Community Affairs Liaison at the 66th Retires and Borough Park’s Satmar Offer a Celebration

Det. Joe Vitella, the longtime community affairs liaison at the 66th Precinct, retired today after 27 years in the NYPD

Detective Joe Vitella has been credited with taking down Shaya Lichtenstein, the Shomrim member who pleaded guilty in a gun-permit scandal. Vitella had been asked to testify in the trial of former Deputy Inspector James Grant who was ultimately acquitted. Vitella himself was not implicated and we make absolutely no suggestion that he should have been.

He has retired with a string of laudatory credits to his name. But the majority of his praise comes from the Satmar community covered by that precinct.

For us, what remains disturbing is the gray area that characterizes the lines drawn between the police department, the community boards and the Shomrim of Borough Park.

We are concerned lest a private community be favored by a police department, not in how that department protects its precinct but in how they handle the badly behaved within that precinct. 

We fear that it may be the roosters running the hen-house and wonder why the Borough Park papers offered Vitella praise in painstaking detail but his retirement is really not mentioned elsewhere. We begrudge Retired Detective Joe Vitella nothing. Mazel Tov on your retirment.

We do ask, who is running whom within the walls of that community and the doors of that precinct.

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