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, July 24, 2013

I'm Waiting For THE Man

People often ask what to do when they see drug deals go down. It's a persistent fact of life in the City, and whether it bothers you or not is likely a result of a number of factors, like, um, whether you're a buyer for one. (Not that I have a PROBLEM with that, per se. If you managed to get through high school and college and acquire gainful employment while smoking copious mounds of weed, more power to you. Me, I'd probably still be back on my folks couch watching reruns of Get Smart and eating Chips Ahoy).

Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, dealing, and particularly dealing in public, is a serious quality of life problem and can lead to certain buildings, apartment and corners becoming well-known, drawing nefarious folks from all over to get in on the action or just to party. We live in a dense environment, and this can lead to unsafe conditions. And while you may have weathered your "experimentation" with drugs personally, a lot of the kids around here don't have a summer or "phase" to waste. The difference between success and failure is a thin line for kids from hardscrabble backgrounds. We need to do everything we can to help them stay on the right side of that line. (I like to say encouraging things to  kids whenever I can - show them your approval and that you notice! Who doesn't like to be complimented?)

Of course, you could and should call 911 if you see a crime take place. You don't have to leave your name. But witnessing dealing is not a 311 call - save that for relatively minor offenses like dog poo (which we all know isn't MINOR, but the 911 operator will probably be playing back your call to colleagues and laughing at break time). Public dealing is a menace on a number of levels, and I would argue that the worst part is that it sends a signal to the kids that this is an acceptable lifestyle, and that no one will stop you if you choose this path. There's no glamor in street dealing (trust me I KNOW)*, but it starts to look good when it looks like fast, easy, money.

But here's a powerful (and relatively under-publicized) way to get the attention of the authorities - the sort of authorities who can actually do something about it. Your email to goes DIRECTLY to a senior narcotics staff member at D.A. Hynes' office. He has the authority to conduct a proper investigation, using non-precinct-specific narcotics officers.

This from the D.A. website:

Thank you for your willingness to provide information that will aid law enforcement in combating drug activity in your building or neighborhood. We do not need your name. However, the following information would be of critical assistance in addressing the problem and should be included in your email report.

Email to:

1. Type of Drug(s) Apparently Being Used or Illegally Distributed (Examples: cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana, synthetic drugs, prescription medications):

2. Date(s) AND Times of the Activity:
If the activity is ongoing, time frames and/or patterns of activity

3. Locations of Activity:
Specific locations, including (where possible) street addresses, apartment numbers, NYCHA
location names if applicable, AND the specific areas within these locations where the activity has occurred (ex. hallway, lobby, stairwell, roof landing, roof)

4. Identifying information for those suspected of criminal activity:
Name, nickname and/or address; telephone number(s);
Vehicle license plate number, year, make/model and/or color;
Physical description: male/female; estimated age; height/weight; hair color/length/style; scars and/or tattoos; facial hair; complexion; clothing (hat/cap, coat, glasses); apparent culture/ethnicity

5. Additional Helpful Information:
  • Weapons involved or carried?
  • Are “lookouts” or “steerers” used?
  • Are cell phones used?
  • Are children present/involved?
  • Are animals present/involved?
  • Specific stash locations (for drugs or weapons)?
  • Hidden compartments or specific areas (for drugs or weapons)
The staff of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau who review this information will not contact you hereafter, unless you indicate in your email that you are willing to communicate with us further and specify the means by which you would like to communicate. Thank you again for taking this step to make your community a better, safer place.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about anonymity. The D.A. is significantly more attentive to such details as your safety than other outlets. But you could always create a free dummy email for these kinds of things.

I'll bet you know a spot not far from your home. Why not send an email? What can it hurt?

*because I've seen gritty reality shows, silly.


Anonymous said...

Homicides Spike in South Brooklyn
Murders Cases in 2013 Defy Historic Decline in Section of City

South Brooklyn has suffered from a spate of homicides this year, making it the only area in the city where the murder rate has increased, according to an analysis of police data.

It's an unusual distinction for what police call the Brooklyn South Patrol Borough, a swath of neighborhoods from Cobble Hill to Coney Island more associated with brownstones and tight-knit enclaves than spikes in violent crime.

New York City Has Fewer Than 1 Murder a Day
Through July 14, there have been 37 murders in South Brooklyn, compared with 30 at the same time last year, according to statistics compiled by the New York City Police Department.

It's a 23% increase.

The patrol area, one of eight in the city, is even outperforming those with historically higher crime rates, such as North Brooklyn and the Bronx.

In 2013, North Brooklyn—which includes Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant—has seen 39 homicides. That's a 32% decrease from the same time last year.

And in the Bronx, homicides are down 35%, according to police data.

So far this year, South Brooklyn has only one less murder than all of the Bronx. At the end of 2012, the Bronx had more than double the number of murders in South Brooklyn.

There are 13 precincts in the region, but five are driving the increase, according to the data.

In the 71 precinct, which covers parts of Crown Heights and Flatbush, there were two homicides at this time last year.

This year, there have been six: Two were the result of disputes, one was gang-related, one occurred during a robbery and the motives for two others are unknown, police said. All involved guns.

Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal
Ms. Henry's son, a 21-year-old college student, was killed in January.

Mr. Henry, who was working at Domino's Pizza to help pay tuition, was shot and killed in January after he ran to the aid of a friend who was in an argument.

"I did everything right, everything. I had him at 19, so I tried to get him on the straight and narrow to be a young black educated person, and he got shot," said Mr. Henry's mother, Andrea.

"He didn't hang out at night. He was an ideal child, the kind every parent would want."

In the last week of June, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced a citywide record low number of homicides so far in 2013, at 154, as opposed to 202 homicides in 2012.

Police have responded by sending more officers to the areas where homicides have increased, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

"Brooklyn South experienced a record low in murders last year with the result that any increase this year seems large by comparison. Also, shootings in Brooklyn South are still below where they were a year ago, a good sign," Mr. Browne said.

The increase in murders in Ms. Henry's neighborhood is both surprising and hard to explain, said Allen James, the program manager of Save Our Streets Crown Heights, which works with police to reduce crime in the area.

"Usually, when you see spikes like that, it's when groups become active, or low-level drug dealers are selling," Mr. James said. "One beef can lead to a spike in killings."

Joseph Goldstein, 67, who has been the chairman of Community Board 9 in Crown Heights for 34 years, said of the homicides: "A lot of it is interpersonal disputes. It's not all drug- related or gangs."

Another neighborhood driving the murder rate is western Coney Island, part of the 60th precinct, NYPD data shows.

At least three of the five homicides there this year were in public-housing projects, the data shows, bringing local politicians to call for better policing there.

"I think we need to do more in public housing. We need to have more community-affairs offices in NYCHA facilities," said City Councilman Domenic Recchia, who represents the district.

Anonymous said...

still no comments on this one.