The assumption some had was that the 71st has "tenants lists" for the buildings that have signed up for the F-TAP program (not to be confused with the Park Slope Food Coop's FTOP program) which gives the police the advanced right to enter a building and do "verticals" of the stairways, hallways and elevators. F-TAP does not allow them entry to individual apartments though, of course, meaning that the most they can do is to intimidate criminals and partiers into staying out of sight and off-sight. If you're interested in getting your building into the F-TAP program, you can go here and contact the D.A.'s office.
Here's a brief vid of the scene last night:
But here's something they keep saying, and I'm starting to believe. They simply don't get that many calls. Even when we claim we do, they say we don't. You can call the precinct directly, or you can call specific people like Sgt. Falk at 718-221-3429 or Sgt. Kelly (mornings) at 646-235 8611. You'll probably have to leave a message, so an emergency or urgent condition should always be a 911. And DON'T think someone else will call! They probably won't, and more calls are better than no calls. Just get used to calling in problems...they promised they don't get mad numbers of calls anyway, and it really is how resources are deployed. So call. Call. Call! And talk to your landlord about better lighting. The cops say it makes a huge difference.
Let's be frank; the police don't always do the right thing. Sometimes they're brusque or dismissive. Sometimes they seem reluctant to take a report when we're clearly upset. These experiences can make us suspicious whether they care at all. But just like how sometimes you go to a restaurant and get a rude waiter, it doesn't necessarily mean the whole place is worthless. Of course, it always COULD be a crappy business run by people who don't care, and that's what Yelp is for. But in the case of the 71st, I've met some pretty decent folks and I think that in general it's worth giving them our business, and the benefit of the doubt.
A rep from D.A. Charles Hynes' office was there, and she added the "law" side to the "order" conversation. Basically, the D.A. is interested in prevention, prosecution, and limiting recidivism. Because ALL the enforcers in attendance agreed that it's basically the same folks who cycle in and out of the system who cause the majority of the problems. When a kid gets out after serving a couple months, where does he go? Right back where he was before. The cops know him; he knows the cops. Falk said sometimes the perps come right up and say hello to him as if they're glad to see him after some time in the pen. Another thing they noted: these guys just don't give a sh*t about authority. They'll fight with the blues, punch 'em, spit in their face. It's a generation of lost souls, and the cops are only so empowered to deal with them. That's where the D.A.'s programs to try to reform repeat offenders become crucial.
D.A. Hynes will also attend "roundtables" of local citizens and precinct bigs to come up with a comprehensive plan to root out the serious gang activity. That's what the Q is working on for his block; the hard drugs have to go. I'm tired of seeing crackheads and junkies on the corner waiting for goods at 8am. And I'm really tired of watching the block be taken hostage by a small group of guys thinking they're Scarface Jr's. Next stop, D.A. Not that the cops haven't been incredibly helpful and started investigating more seriously...but we need more help, and it may be on its way through the "law" side. I don't know; I'm making it up as I go along, but I've had a lot of support and I'm grateful for it.
But really folks. Call. Call. Call. The cops say they're there for you and got your back. So call, and maybe get to know who's on the other end of the line.