Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, dealing, and particularly dealing in public, is a serious quality of life problem and can lead to certain buildings, apartment and corners becoming well-known, drawing nefarious folks from all over to get in on the action or just to party. We live in a dense environment, and this can lead to unsafe conditions. And while you may have weathered your "experimentation" with drugs personally, a lot of the kids around here don't have a summer or "phase" to waste. The difference between success and failure is a thin line for kids from hardscrabble backgrounds. We need to do everything we can to help them stay on the right side of that line. (I like to say encouraging things to kids whenever I can - show them your approval and that you notice! Who doesn't like to be complimented?)
Of course, you could and should call 911 if you see a crime take place. You don't have to leave your name. But witnessing dealing is not a 311 call - save that for relatively minor offenses like dog poo (which we all know isn't MINOR, but the 911 operator will probably be playing back your call to colleagues and laughing at break time). Public dealing is a menace on a number of levels, and I would argue that the worst part is that it sends a signal to the kids that this is an acceptable lifestyle, and that no one will stop you if you choose this path. There's no glamor in street dealing (trust me I KNOW)*, but it starts to look good when it looks like fast, easy, money.
But here's a powerful (and relatively under-publicized) way to get the attention of the authorities - the sort of authorities who can actually do something about it. Your email to email@example.com goes DIRECTLY to a senior narcotics staff member at D.A. Hynes' office. He has the authority to conduct a proper investigation, using non-precinct-specific narcotics officers.
This from the D.A. website:
Thank you for your willingness to provide information that will aid law enforcement in combating drug activity in your building or neighborhood. We do not need your name. However, the following information would be of critical assistance in addressing the problem and should be included in your email report.
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Type of Drug(s) Apparently Being Used or Illegally Distributed (Examples: cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana, synthetic drugs, prescription medications):
2. Date(s) AND Times of the Activity:
If the activity is ongoing, time frames and/or patterns of activity
3. Locations of Activity:
Specific locations, including (where possible) street addresses, apartment numbers, NYCHA
location names if applicable, AND the specific areas within these locations where the activity has occurred (ex. hallway, lobby, stairwell, roof landing, roof)
4. Identifying information for those suspected of criminal activity:
Name, nickname and/or address; telephone number(s);
Vehicle license plate number, year, make/model and/or color;
Physical description: male/female; estimated age; height/weight; hair color/length/style; scars and/or tattoos; facial hair; complexion; clothing (hat/cap, coat, glasses); apparent culture/ethnicity
5. Additional Helpful Information:
The staff of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau who review this information will not contact you hereafter, unless you indicate in your email that you are willing to communicate with us further and specify the means by which you would like to communicate. Thank you again for taking this step to make your community a better, safer place.
- Weapons involved or carried?
- Are “lookouts” or “steerers” used?
- Are cell phones used?
- Are children present/involved?
- Are animals present/involved?
- Specific stash locations (for drugs or weapons)?
- Hidden compartments or specific areas (for drugs or weapons)
Personally, I wouldn't worry about anonymity. The D.A. is significantly more attentive to such details as your safety than other outlets. But you could always create a free dummy email for these kinds of things.
I'll bet you know a spot not far from your home. Why not send an email? What can it hurt?
*because I've seen gritty reality shows, silly.