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, November 28, 2012

The Q would like to ask for your support on a petition to show the NYPD that we need more than just talk along Flatbush Avenue, and as witnessed by shooting just today, on other thoroughfares as well. I've been to at least a dozen meetings in the last two years, most recently the CB9 "Envisioning" meeting, and I've lost count of how many people have asked for a consistent presence of cops along our intense, vibrant, hectic and sometimes downright lawless main streets. Would it be so much to ask for a pair of beat cops, preferably on foot, to patrol the Flabenue 24-7? Get to know the people and businesses? Answer questions, help people in need, maybe share a laugh or two when the times are good? I've heard so much about "community policing" and "broken windows theory" and "smart law enforcement." But where are the uniforms when we need them? We hear about Stop and Frisk, and the problems of cops not knowing the people they suspect, and resorting to old-fashioned profiling as a result. But what if they knew their communities well enough to know the good guys from the bad?

In response to those who cite that Compstat shows the overall crime going down, I'd ask you to consider your own experiences, and to read this oft-cited document from a former NYPD PBA exec about how those numbers should not be the ruler by which precinct performance is judged. I for one trust the Jack Lewis and his crew are generally well-meaning and hard-working. And maybe we need to speak loud enough so that they can go to their superiors and get the resources they need to make beat cops a reality. We the people are asking for a simple, straightforward, and hopefully affordable collaboration with those who protect and serve us. We need help to move forward as a neighborhood, and we're asking to be heard.

Here's the petition if you'd be so kind as to consider signing it. Below is the text as it appears on the document. And please, pass along to your neighbors. Thanks! tt

71st Precinct, NYPD: Please Provide At Least Two Beat Cops Up and Down Flatbush Ave Below Empire Blvd!

Illicit activity along our "main street' has held the neighborhood back for too long. We'd like to see the 71st partner with the community to make Flatbush a safer place to walk, bike, drive, shop and grow a business. We believe that an investment of even just two foot officers, getting to know the people and rhythms of the neighborhood, would be the perfect anecdote for rampant lawlessness, drug selling, gang activity, and a near-constant sense of danger along this important commercial artery. A relatively small number of people are holding an entire community captive. Please consider the mutal benefits of a consistent presence along the Flatbush corridor!

Sample Letter
71st Precinct, NYPD
Please Provide at least two consistent "beat cops" up and down Flatbush Ave below Empire Boulevard. We need your help!
[Your name]


Martin said...

Not surprisingly, "safety", is leading as the top issue in the PLGNA Neighborhood Issues Survey, followed by "youth/education".

Installing "Beat Cops" would be a clear and credible response to the community's *real* concerns.

Everyone... please sign this petition.

About PLGNA survey -

Survey: What issue is most important to You?

A) Safety
B) Youth/Education
C) Unemployment/Jobs
D) Sanitation/Trash

TEXT A, B, C or D to (646) 493-3747

Anonymous said...

Regular, visible patrols in marked cars in addition to whatever unmarked cars are supposedly patrolling the streets and regular arrests of drug dealers on known drug corners is TYPICAL in any city. It's absolutely outrageous these very basic things are not provided to the residents of this neighborhood. Anybody who thinks those actions by police would be excessive clearly hasn't lived anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Why haven't the COPS cars been used? LMA was supposedly leading the initiative. I'm told that the precinct has the cars and that they are just sitting there with no drivers.

Aren't there LMA leaders who should be held accountable?

tim said...

Anon 9:45: Those of us who signed up have been riding their arses about this. Some folks were even trained. The latest from the precinct is that they're getting new directives on the program from headquarters. But yes, we've struggled to get LMA to take the lead beyond just talk.

Anonymous said...

LMA leadership = disgraceful on this issue. They should let someone else take the lead.

Anonymous said...

LMA is not the organization to use for spearheading crime initiatives for all of PLG. It's not their agenda. They haven't been effective in these efforts as people point out here and really their main concern is beautification, protection and promotion of the Manor looking at what they do accomplish all year. The precinct making the LMA the leaders on COP or other things could be seen as offensive because it makes the Manor seem like some kind of landed gentry in charge of everybody else. And I say that as a Manor homeowner.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

agreed, and yet until recently there weren't really any other organizations to turn to. PLGNA, with its larger geographic area and deeper reach is more appropriate. Or any other committed group of characters who are champing at the bit for a chance to drive a cop car around, in a swell jacket to boot.

Bob Marvin said...

I agree about PLGNA. When PLGNA's first incarnation vanished in the '90s LMA, by default, stepped up to some functions that weren't an especially good fit for a homeowners association that only covers part of the neighborhood. For example, LMA organized a security patrol in the late '90s without police cars, but with a radio base station at the precinct. It disbanded a few years later (but I still have my jacket).

Anonymous said...

Lots of people care about this issue but don't read the blog or are on the yahoo groups. Can folks stand outside the subway station with clipboards to get more signatures? I'd sign up to do an hour-long shift of that if it's organized.