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 10, 2010

New Q at Parkside Feature! ASK BOB!!

I don't know if you all know Bob Marvin, but he's a delightfully ubiquitous presence on the blogosphere and a wonderful booster for all things PLG. Regarding my post the other night about a mysterious old sign touting a PLGNA Security Patrol he had this to say:

"There was indeed a PLGNA Security Patrol in the late '70s--early '80s. IIRC they got a grant to buy (or lease) a van to patrol in. It seems to have been organized as a response to the far more active and long-lived CNIS (Committee for Neighborhood Improvement and Safety) which existed from the late '70s through the early or mid '90s. CNIS was an organization that paid for a professional patrol, using various security companies over the years. It covered (IIRC) all of Lefferts Manor plus Parkside, between Flatbush & Bedford and, possibly a few other blocks.

When it started CNIS needed half of the residents in their coverage area to subscribe (at $200/household/year--a substantial sum 30+ years ago). For that price you got a security patrol, monitoring of home burglar alarms, and separate car that took people home from the Lincoln Road subway station (for which there was an additional charge, after the first few years). Subscribers got a door sticker and a special red light to put in their windows, but everyone on the covered blocks benefited from the patrol.

You ask whether this security function was something the NYPD should have done. Of course (minus the car service from the subway) it should have, but these were the days following NYC's "Fiscal Crisis"--a near brush with municipal bankruptcy--which led to lots of cutbacks in all services. There was a considerable increase in street crime and burglaries. When I moved to PLG in 1974 it was safe--far safer than Park Slope, where I had lived earlier (although some of my South Slope neighbors, from whom I was glad to escape, were no doubt reassured that their local thugs were white :-) ). A few years later PLG was still relatively safe but, especially in the aftermath of the violent looting following the '77 blackout, people were getting scared.

By the early '90s conditions had greatly improved (IMO due largely to the Dinkins administration's "community policing") and it became increasingly difficult to collect the money for an expensive operation like CNIS, leading to the organization's being disbanded."

editor's note: BTW, If I recall correctly, IIRC stands for "If I recall correctly."

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