“A true investigator”

Detective Kevin Gieras was named Detective of the Year for the NYPD’s Manhattan North borough, which encompasses roughly 140 detectives in 12 precinct commands above 59th Street. Photo: Michael Garofalo
An Upper East Side detective who loves the challenge of solving crimes wins a top NYPD honor
By Michael Garofalo

A 19th Precinct detective has been recognized with a prestigious NYPD award for his work bringing burglars and robbers to justice on the Upper East Side.

Detective Kevin Gieras was honored last month as the Detective of the Year for the NYPD’s Manhattan North borough, which encompasses roughly 140 detectives in 12 precinct commands above 59th Street.

“His investigatory skills are second to none,” said Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, commanding officer of the 19th Precinct. “The guy doesn’t leave a stone unturned. When he gets the case, I am confident it will be solved.”

Gieras, who has worked in the 19th Precinct since 2012, credited members of the Upper East Side community for often lending their assistance during investigations.

“Rarely do you come across someone in this area who doesn’t want to help,” he said. “I know so many of the doormen and supers from the buildings in this area, and they’re always eager to help out and get a conclusion to these cases, which is a tremendous help to me.”

Lieutenant Kevin Blake, who heads the precinct’s detective squad, described Gieras as “a detective’s detective” and “a true investigator.”

Diligent and Thorough

Blake, a former detective himself, said Gieras is particularly adept at solving home burglaries — a significant concern on the Upper East Side, where affluent residents are often targeted. “These perpetrators are violating people’s homes and their sense of security,” Blake said. “You want to protect the public, protect their property and put a stop to it before it can continue.”

Blake cited Gieras’ work catching the individual responsible for one recent string of burglaries as representative of his diligence and thoroughness as a detective.

A surveillance video that showed the perpetrator leaving the scene of a crime initially appeared to be a frustrating dead end — only the individual’s back was visible as he exited the frame, seemingly making identification impossible. But Gieras kept the video rolling.

“Where most people would have turned the video off, Kevin watched it to the very, very, very end,” Blake said. “And at the last possible second, he sees the perpetrator interact with someone on the street in a familiar way.”

The brief interaction, which could have easily been overlooked, turned out to be the key piece of evidence that broke the case. Gieras was able to find and speak with the second person in the video, who identified the perpetrator; the burglar confessed to Gieras during a subsequent interview.

“Kevin’s interview skills are excellent,” Blake said. “More often than not he’ll get his guy to talk to him, even if they have no reason to.”

Gieras, who worked in the Midtown South Precinct for 12 years before joining the 19th, finds satisfaction in his service. “I always wanted to be a cop and I always wanted to be a baseball player,” said Gieras, who played college and independent ball before joining the force, and was the ace of the NYPD baseball team’s pitching staff for many years.

“I don’t really call it work because I enjoy it,” he said. “I like being out on the street, chasing down different leads, getting tips. I just love putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”