Greenwich Police Say Plain Clothes ORCA Unit Is a Model for Other Towns

Since the debate in the RTM Tuesday night over returning Greenwich Police officers to posts on Greenwich Avenue to direct traffic or reallocating the manpower to efforts including the bicycle unit and the ORCA Unit, which stands for Organized Retail Criminal Activity, the department shared some additional details on the unit.

ORCA, which was established in 2019, was a response to the increase in organized shoplifting, identity theft and misuse of fraudulent or stolen credit cards.

The plain-clothes detail has a mission of proactively reducing the growing trend of larceny, fraud, identity theft, and other related crimes that targeted the central business district of Greenwich.  

According to a statement from Greenwich Police, of the main reasons ORCA has been successful is the ability to engage with local business owners, managers, and employees.

“ORCA officers have been able to instruct employees and business owners in ways of detecting and deterring fraud, in the trends and strategies utilized by shoplifters, and in sharing information regarding the criminal groups operating in the tri-state area,” police said in a statement.

Through these relationships built with local businesses, ORCA officers have been able to make arrests that have included members of violent gangs and organized retail theft organizations.  

They have stopped crimes in progress and created an omnipresence in the Greenwich central business district.    

ORCA criminal cases will frequently become intertwined with Federal Law Enforcement investigations, as well as thieves of the New York Police Department and other surrounding state police agencies.  

The Greenwich ORCA Unit has become a model unit for police agencies in the region.

Below is a breakdown of the work initiated and performed by ORCA.

January 1, 2020 – December 8, 2020

• Cases Investigated: 45

• Cases Closed by Arrest: 26

• Number of People Arrested: 37

• Number of Felony Charges: 65

• Number of Misdemeanor Charges: 37

 Note, several arrestees have been tied to violent gangs and numerous firearms seized.

See also:

Priorities for Police Presence on Greenwich Avenue Debated at RTM

Jan 20, 2021

RTM To Contemplate Return of Greenwich Police to Direct Traffic on Greenwich Ave

Jan 18, 2021