The blue coats are coming, the blue coats are coming!
On Monday night at local crime reporter Nicole's house we met Charlie, one of the two cops who's job it is to patrol Flatbush. Joe and Charlie are our guys, and precinct head Jack Lewis will introduce them to the community next Wednesday in the lobby of 40 Lincoln, a building that itself has struggled to keep drugs, gangs and litter at bay. (Or DG&LatB as the Q just coined, for kix.) Please, everyone, make time to come and let them know how much we appreciate their appearance on the avenues.
Here's the groovy flyer:
By the way, the Q hit the streets last night to check out the massive police presence on Westbury Court. It appears that an "emotionally disturbed individual" created an emergency situation...that's all I got from Lewis and I'm sure we'll hear more as they release details. When I saw the Canine Unit packing up to go, they seemed none too concerned. Had their been a major shooting or murder they would have stayed and cordoned off the block. Let's hope it was none too serious.
At the meeting on Monday there were about 12 residents and 8 cops in a comfortable living room, and much was discussed. In particular, as I've noted here, Lewis and company know EXACTLY who the bad guys are. It's not for lack of trying that they haven't been able to keep them behind bars. Most of the worst actors have been jailed or incarcerated many times. The trick is catching them doing something serious enough to put them away for a long time. Unfortunately, this usually only happens after they attempt or succeed at murder, almost always of rivals. With the drug stuff, unless they have massive amounts on them, it's hard to get a long sentence. Parole officers stand in the way, too. Lewis is none too happy with his counterparts in that part of the system - he really has to stay on them and point out the guys we really, really want off the streets.
The D.A. That's who we should engage next. Organized Crime statutes, aggressively enforced by the district attorney's office, have helped rid other areas of gangs, most notably Franklin.
And what can WE the people do? Lighting, lighting, lighting for one. If you're concerned about the area in front of your house, or your walk home, your block association and PLGNA should focus on better lighting. As beautiful as are the street trees, they often block illumination. Bad guys like the dark. It's really quite simple, but few work to enlighten the nabe. Many complaints about crime, but few take an active role in this straight-forward time-honored technique.
More interesting and promising in my view would be a mini-version of Eric Adams TBOC (Take Back Our Community), wherein each block or block association has one captain with whom both the cops AND individuals on the block can communicate. Then these captains could get together regularly to share information, since many bad dudes move around. We'd get to know the ruffians names, their habits, and hopefully be able to lead the cops towards the right houses and apartments, and keep each other informed of goings on. I like it! I like that it involves members of the wider community getting to know each other better. This has worked in other NYC neighborhoods, and though it used to be more commonplace here in NE Flatbush, it's really died out in the last few years.
Gotta get to work...see you next Wednesday!
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.