Many people have asked me what is required to become part of the soon-to-be-formed 71st Precinct C.O.P. (Civilian Observation Patrol) program. The below four pages need to be filled out. It's really not such a big deal, and the photo and fingerprints happen at the station house. Basically, they want to know you're not a convicted felon. Some of us laughed about whether to "cop" to illicit drug use at any point in the past, but the way I figure it, a little deviousness from your salad daze only makes you a better noticer of stuff. No need to lie, though if you stuffed someone in your trunk once or twice maybe it's best you sit this one out.
I've also been asked what kind of a commitment is involved, and whether it's dangerous. I think that's up to you...there haven't been problems with this program elsewhere in the City, and of course you can only do what you can do timewise. You will not be carrying weapons, and you'll be strictly observing - no intervening. But I'll tell you this much...if all people do is complain about loitering, drugs and gang-related activity but don't do anything about it, we all might as well just leave it up to the 71st and the borough patrol and keep our mouths shut. Which is a viable option, of course. If keeping tabs on neighborhood hot spots isn't your cup of tea, you could always join efforts to get better lighting, talk to landlords and owners, shame businesses that allow thugs to take over their stores, lobby for cameras, aid efforts to beautify blocks and clean up trash. Me, I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm in it for the jacket, and by gum I'm gonna get my jacket.
The Q at Parkside
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.