The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Calling All C.O.P.'s

If you're interested in being part of a Civilian Observation Patrol in the 71st Precinct, Ben Edwards is rounding up a posse to take the training and saddle up. It's hard to find hard facts about what this entails, but I know there's a really sweet jacket that you get, and a walkie-talkie figures prominently. After coming up clean in the NYPD database, and producing a driver's license, and passing the fitness test (able to run from the Dunkin' Donuts on Flatbush to the Dunkin' Donuts on Empire in less than 20 minutes), then it won't be long til you're sitting pretty behind the wheel of a hybrid cop car, maybe hanging with your C.O.P. partner and engaging in delightful antics like Hollywood police buddy movies.

Please email me if you're interested and I'll see that you get the sign-up sheet. We need a few more to "trigger" the program in earnest.

In all seriousness this is not some sort of vigilante justice thang. It's a simple eyes-on-the-street group that helps keep the precinct aware of problems through the perspective of concerned neighbors. It's not Shomrim; it's much more low key and there's no reason to think you'll be in harms way. Typical longterm time commitments for volunteers are like 3 hours a month...same as a Park Slope Food Coop shift. (but remember, I haven't taken the training yet so I'm pretty much relying on stuff I've heard or read). C.O.P. programs are sprouting up (again) all over the City. You owe it to yourself to at least find out what it's all about.


Anonymous said...

This is a cool idea, but would it not be more effective if the C.O.P.s remained in civilian clothes? Don't get me wrong--I'd love one of thos jackets ;-)

Anonymous said...

I sat in on a meeting or two a few years ago when C.O.P. was proposed by the NYPD to make a comeback (it's actually is a program that was in practice many years ago and stopped for a while). Here's what I remember we were told: you drive around in the car and stay in the car and you don't chase or confront people. You just call it in if you witness anything. The high visibility is its raison d'etre actually; you serve as a deterrent not a crime fighter. Like a Neighborhood Watch program. Again, that's as I understood the NYPD's fuzzy instructions years ago. They really do need to create a very clear, concise description of the program.

Anonymous said...

FYI, I just saw NY Daily News has an article on Crown Heights and East Flatbush getting more organized in fighting crime and utilizing the C.O.P. program. Every other neighborhood, all those that are very similar to PLG in all other ways, either have been a long time or are getting organized against crime and partnering with the police. To declare we're wronging people to do the same (which has been stated at meetings and in posts to the list serv) is simply not supported by all these other examples.

Anonymous said...

Re: 9:54A I think that to get community buy-in, though, after we get the founding C.O.P. members onboard we need to be clear that we aren't interested in profiling young black men for being young, black and in public spaces, just in reporting and deterring illegal activity. Of course, there will be racebaiters that won't believe anything you say, but I think we need to advance the conversation beyond 'Well they do it in X Y Z neighborhoods' and move it to 'We are neighbors looking out for neighbors'.