New York City is at a crossroads. As the national conversation once again turns to issues of police reform, relations between cops and the communities they serve stand on shaky ground.
The NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing model represents one of the key steps forward. Neighborhood Policing is a complete rethinking of the policing model that emphasizes communication between police officers and members of the community. No one exemplifies this effort better than Acu Rhodes—better known to New Yorkers as DJ Ace.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Rhodes works as a lieutenant in the borough’s 78th Precinct. He learned how to DJ as a kid—but what started as a hobby soon became a calling.
For the last few years, he’s been a fixture of NYPD community events, including Cops Versus Kids DJ contests, block parties, and National Night Out Against Crime. Since then, he’s garnered the respect of hip hop luminaries, such as DJ Scratch and Tony Touch. He also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1991 to 1997 as a radio technician.
“Having a guy like Lt. Rhodes DJing, strengthening those relationships with the hip hop community…I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” says Rodney Harrison, NYPD Chief of Detectives.
“To see someone who mastered […] that art form, I think it’s great for the department and I think it’s great for the community,” says Jeffrey Maddrey, Chief of Community Affairs. “People love him. I love him, and I love what he can do.”