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.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cum on Feel the Noize - Lefferts Style

So the Lefferts listserve is all abuzz with talk of crime, drugs and quality of life. A couple of concerned neighbors have joined together to call a meeting. Here's what they're saying:

Dear community members and neighbors,

The time has come to meet to discuss the safety and future of our neighborhood. The time is here to gather and discuss how we can collectively and collaboratively act to make a difference in reducing crime where we live. Please tentatively reserve Thursday July 14th at The Church of Evangel at Hawthorne and Bedford at 7pm to meet as a community. Please spread the word. We will confirm the date before the weekend but wanted to share this information with everyone now. We look forward to your attendance and active participation.

Josh Greenberg, Martin Ruiz and Nicole Fabri

I say come on down! Always good to meet and discuss the latest trending topic...

But it might be worth noting a couple things. One, crime is not up generally in our Precinct. A few high profile, or well-talked about, cases may be blurring the bigger picture. Here's the latest statistics from CompStat:

One of the things I'm going to call and find out more about is the jump in rape...13 over 6 at this point last year. That's probably the most remarkable thing in these numbers, and worth investigating. If you look at the historical perspective, though, I think you'll see why so many people feel safer in the area than 10, 15 and 20 years ago. Look at one figure in particular: 1,708 robberies in 1990...just 273 last year! Wow.

There's a lot more we can do, obviously. And I'm looking forward to hearing what people have to say. Remember you can always call 311, 911 or the Precinct Community Affairs officer. Try Vinny Martinos at (718) 735-0527. Get to know him. You can even email him at Please...they don't hear from us as much as they'd like. Or as often as I'd think they WOULD, considering how many people get very upset about this stuff. They LOVE to see the numbers go down, and they need our help. It ain't 1990 anymore; the force has been very much improved, corruption decreased, and while the majority of officers till come from outside the neighborhood, the diversity of the force is WAY better than it used to be. Always room for improvement of course. I for one would love to see more beat cops - not necessarily a sentiment shared by all, but suffice to say most.

Lastly, ever since moving here 8 years ago, I've heard people compare our neighborhood to Park Slope. I get that. We're right along the park, and people move here when they get priced out of the Slope. There's a million reasons why such a comparison is misleading or unnecessary, but in one major respect - crime - it's worth noting the reality vs perception. Here's a similar statistical report taken from the 78th Precinct:

Guess what? Park Slope is a safer neighborhood! And it's cleaner. And it's got more coffee shops and restaurants. And it's got higher incomes and educational attainment levels. And better schools. And yes, it's got more white people. There...I said it! (Btw, you want to know what else they got over there? Massive community involvement in their Community Board (just check the difference in CB9 and CB6 websites) and precinct council. So if replicating the strengths of another neighborhood are a priority, then we really need to look at what works and what doesn't. Just sayin.)

It's worth looking at the actual numbers. (Feel free to take a look at "worse" precincts like the 75th too for more perspective). Generally, given that each precinct has about 100,000 residents, you could make the statement that Park Slope is twice as safe. THAT'S A MASSIVE GENERALIZATION OF COURSE, but fairly accurate statistically. Or you could argue that you're WAY less likely to be the victim of a violent crime over there. This shouldn't surprise any of us. Checking maps of reported crime, you could argue that MOST of the violent crime happens east of PLG. Most violence is by people known by the victim, and relates to domestic violence, gangs or drugs. If you're lifestyle doesn't fall into one of those categories, and you exhibit common street smarts, I'm pretty confident that you have a very low chance of experiencing extreme trauma associated with living in the North Flatbush area. Enough with the devil's advocacy...I felt the need to add my perspective. After all, that's what a blog is for! And yet...

Let's get together and make it even safer, friendlier, cleaner and more beautiful. I look forward to seeing you all next week.


Anonymous said...

Both graphs are for the 71st. do you have the 78th?

Bob Marvin said...

I've ALWAYS known that this neighborhood was safer than Park Slope :-)

David said...

Thanks for the perspective Q. It's not just about numbers of course. I for one feel safest when I know the people on my block. It makes sense to get to know your neighbors. When I lived in Park Slope I never talked to anyone; here, I feel like I'm part of something. Big difference.

Bob Marvin said...

Which, of course, is one of the reasons that it's safer here than in PS.

Anonymous said...

So which one is actually safer?

As a priced out of PS family who've been living in PLG for two years, I have to agree that people here are nicer. But as it comes for raising kids, I think its hard to compete with PS..