From The New York Shitty Inbox: CANCELLED

flyerCANCELLED

For those of you who are not in the know (I wasn’t until Eric, the wonderful proprietor of Red Star Bar informed me): this evening’s meeting regarding crime in Greenpoint has been cancelled. Whether or not this had anything to do with the Public Safety Forum scheduled by Coincilman Levin’s office which will to come to pass on the 27th at the Polish Slavic Center and a conflicting campaign event in DUMBO is anyone’s guess. Nonetheless, mark your calendars, folks!

Forum On Crime
August 27, 2013 starting at 6:00 p.m.
Polish Slavic Cultural Center
176 Java Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

QUICKLINKS: A Couple Of Items From The New York Daily News

NYDNsc

 

  • A take on the recent “crime wave” in Greenpoint. Interesting quote/teaser:
    “We always have these waves (of crime),” said Community Affairs Officer Steve Truglio of the 94th Precinct. 

    Truglio declined to discuss if the precinct is altering its tactics to combat the crime increase. But he did say criminals are attracted to the neighborhood for the same reason as Willie Sutton robbed banks — that’s where the money is.

  • A run-down of the pistol-whipping which came to pass this weekend.

 

Quicklinks: WNYC, Fast Company & Brooklyn Magazine

wnycsc

  • Those of you who wish to see the sobering truth about gentrification in Greenpoint— and elsewhere in north Brooklyn for that matter— really should give WNYC’s interactive map (from which I took the above screen grab) a look-see.
  • Fast Company has a fascinating article entitled “Can You Tell How Dangerous A Neighborhood Is From Just A Picture”. Brooklyn Magazine (which links to this item) writes:

East New York’s number of major crimes more than tripled compared to Greenpoint, but users still ranked Greenpoint streets as feeling less safe,” writes Sydney Brownstone. “The same held true for perceptions of class, despite the fact that Greenpoint’s median household income (in 2010, the latest year data is available) is higher than the total New York average at $58,311, while the median household in East New York makes $34,295…

Mark Your Calendars: Meeting On Crime

August 13, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn 

flyer

 

Be there!

Meeting On Crime
August 19, 2013 starting 6:30
Church of the Ascension
127 Kent Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

New York Shitty Day Starter: Live From The Joint 90th/94th Precinct Public Safety Meeting

The turnout at last night’s gathering was rather lackluster. I suspect this was largely due to the rather short notice for said convocation and of course the fact it is seriously, painfully cold. However, what I did find interesting is who did show up. A number of reporters, most of the 94th Precinct Community Council and a substantial number of Community Board 1 members including— but not limited to— Chairman Chris Olechowski, General Manager Gerald “Gerry” Esposito, Lisa Bamonte, Phil Caponegro, Tom Burrows and of course Trish (as seen above and who had a lot to say) saw fit to brave the elements and learn what the respective heads of the precincts under the jurisdiction had to say. I for one found this very encouraging. Without further ado here is my footage along with a general outline.

Part I: Introductions are made and the Question & Answer Session begins

  • The Q & A session kicks off with an inquiry about the sexual assaults on Withers Street and Maspeth (at Kingsland) Avenue.
  • The Maspeth Avenue assault is described at length (very simply put, a woman exiting the L train was separated from her compatriots, got lost and was forced to perform oral sex on her assailant) and has been determined to be an “isolated incident”.
  • The incident on Withers Street was purportedly an attempted mugging.
  • Concerns/complaints are raised about the homeless shelter which is located on the premises of the former Greenpoint Hospital.


Part II: “Trish”, a member of Community Board 1 and East Williamsburg Greenpoint resident, speaks

  • She counters that the “mugging” on Withers Street was also a sexual assault and backs up her assertion with accounts from her neighbors— including the good Samaritan who intervened on the victim’s behalf.


Part III: A question is raised about current crime trends, among other things

  • The head of the 90th Precinct, Commanding Officer Kemper, speaks first. He notes that property crimes are the biggest issue. especially those involving electronics. E.g.; cell phones, i-Pads, etc.
  • C.O. Kemper makes mention of Operation ID. For those of you who are not familiar with this service (which is offered at every precinct) you can get the low-down by clicking here.
  • He also makes mention of the shooting which came to pass New Year’s Day on Manhattan Avenue.
  • When questioned about outreach by an attendee he notes that the 90th Precinct has Community Council meetings the second Wednesday of every month.
  • C.O. Kemper reiterates that he wants to hear from the public— especially anyone who might have information about the perpetrator responsible for the sexual assault on Maspeth Avenue.


Part IV: D.I. Hurson of the 94th Precinct speaks

  • D.I. Hurson gives a general rundown of the stats he gave at the last 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting.
  • He notes that in 2011 three rapes came to pass in his precinct. In all three of these cases the victim knew her assailant. Hence, the sexual assault on Maspeth Avenue was different.
  • D.I. Hurson assures residents who live on the border of his and C.O. Kemper’s precincts (94th and 90th respectively) that they are in constant communication with each other. He cites a recent shooting at the Cooper Park Houses (apparently misconstrued as a shooting at Cooper Park proper) as an example.


Part V: D.I. Hurson, continued

  • Guido, the equally comparable half to Trish, speaks. He makes the case for a more visible police presence. He also notes that the person who identified the Withers Street assailant was afraid to testify and that in his (this being Guido’s) time “We would have taken care of it ourselves”. Guido also defines what constitutes Greenpoint. READ: it ain’t 11222. I like Guido.
  • Guido adds that more lighting along Maspeth Avenue is needed.
  • An attendee asks what, if anything, is being done about policing areas which are saturated with bars (Bedford Avenue, Grand Street and Graham Avenue, for example).
  • C.O. Kemper of the 90th Precinct steps up to the plate. He makes mention of monthly meetings with nightclub/bar owners.
  • An attendee asks a number of very compelling questions. Firstly, she asks if CPR training is still in effect. Secondly, she asks about the staffing level at the 94th Precinct. Lastly she notes with the increase in population in the 94th Precinct there should be a commensurate increase in police staffing.
  • D.I. Hurson notes that the 94th Precinct is currently down staff-wise. However, it is due to get more new recruits.
  • Same-said citizen notes that a number of new residents in north Brooklyn are not from New York City and as such are not acclimatized to the risks posed in such a city (READ: “street smarts”)— and that this may be a source of crime.
  • Interesting fact: apparently 911 calls have some part in officer allocations to precincts in New York City.
  • Questions of surveillance are raised by an attendee. D.I. Hurson notes this has been implemented at the Cooper Park Houses but not the precinct in general. He adds the Cooper House surveillance cameras were largely responsible for apprehending two shooting suspects.


Part VI: Discussion about surveillance cameras continues

  • The aforementioned citizen notes the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and Kingsland Avenue, where the sexual assault came to pass, was also the location of a homicide in 2004. He also notes that the terminus of Kingland Avenue at Maspeth Avenue has a community garden and the Greenpoint Hospital, e.g.; there are very few eyes on the street. He requests a camera be placed there.
  • Another resident reiterates that the area around Maspeth Avenue and Kingsland Avenue is rife with criminal activity, especially drug dealing.
  • The question of Safe Havens is raised (which was apparently put in place as a result of a spike in crimes in Williamsburg ten years ago).
  • D.I. Hurson says this is not something he would oppose.
  • A member of the 94th Precinct Community Council speaks about the proposed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Namely, that work is being conducted there.
  • Rami Metal, Community Liaison for City Councilman Steve Levin, confirms that there is work underway, that the city has green-lighted this facility and a community-based  law suit to fight it is in the works.
  • D.I. Hurson states that he has met the person who is developing the homeless shelter (presumably Muzzy Rosenblatt of Bowery Residents Committee— Ed. Note.) and that this person has assured him that things will be “just fine” and cited the example of BRC’s shelter on the Bowery as an example. 400 McGuinness, as told to D.I. Hurson, will not be a place to simply house homeless men but to (and I quote) “rehabilitate” them.
  • Lisa Bamonte, member of Community Board 1, also states the case for an increased police presence (READ: beat officers).
  • D.I. Hurson notes that overall staffing for police departments is down. Approximately 41,000 in 2001 versus approximately 35,000 currently. He adds that he mostly puts “beat” officers on Manhattan and Bedford Avenue.
  • Ms. Bamonte suggests some be assigned to Graham Avenue— particularly the Graham Avenue stop of the L train.


Part VII: Lincoln Restler Speaks

  • The most notable point Mr, Restler makes is about RightRides. A totally free service which is available to women and the LGBTQ community to ensure they get home safely. NOTE: RightRides, for lack of any volunteers, did not have this available New Year’s Eve/Day in north Brooklyn.


Part VIII: Wrapping it up

  • Trish asks about the guns for cash program. She is assured by both the heads of the 94th and 90th Precinct that any and all tips/information about illegal handguns are welcome. You can view English and Spanish fliers which C.O. Kemper mentions by clicking here and here.
  • Lisa Bamonte inquires as to how parks can be policed of sex offenders/seedy characters.
  • It is noted by a member of the 94th that all parks have signs posted that all adults must be accompanied by children and, upon Ms. Bamonte asking about enforcement of these rules is assured summonses are issued by the Parks Enforcement Police (PEP) for just this. NOTE: unless I am wrong, there is one PEP officer assigned to the entirety of Community Board 1.

After the meeting I informed Ms. Bamonte that I, a child-free woman, was once asked by a concerned mother if I had children while patronizing a playground. I told this person I didn’t and after looking me up and down she determined I was “probably okay”.

New York Shitty Day Ender: Rooftops

February 21, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

52/365 - Snowy North Greenpoint rooftops, Midtown Skyline.

I leave you this evening with this lovely image taken by Gina Herold. Otherwise to close on a totally unrelated note yours truly attended this evening’s 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting. Although it was a pretty uneventful affair I learned two things I found rather disturbing:

  1. The Greenpoint Reformed Church was held up during Friday Evening Bible Study.
  2. An elderly woman was mugged on her way to St. Stanislaus Kostka at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. The good news is (if you can call it that) is the “perp” was caught.

Naturally I shot footage and took notes. You can look forward to both of the previous soon!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: A Dispatch From Engert Avenue

E writes (in regards to this post):

Miss Heather,

I have no idea if this is coincidence or not but last night around 4am we had a break in at our building 76 Engert Ave, a group of young Hispanic teens buzzed their way into our building and took over our lobby (no doorman or anything) and ran down to our storage units and stole a bike and large box of containing personal items to one of the tenants here. I recovered the box but the bike is gone. Called the cops, they came and I went with them to indentify the kids since I only saw their backs as they were running and they were teenage Hispanic kids, the cop kept asking them what they were doing all the way over here and I heard one of them say they were at a party…..

If there is a lesson to be learned here it is: if you live in a building such as this do NOT blindly buzz people in.Have your guests call when they arrive and then buzz them in— or better yet: meet them in the lobby and let them in personally. While this may seen like an inconvenience, the fact is it will help prevent opportunistic crimes such this. What’s more, this is not just about property. It is about protecting the personal safety of your friends and neighbors. Be a good neighbor: keep a watchful eye on who gains access to your building.

Miss Heather

Crime Prevention Tips From The NYPD

Yesterday I attended a hastily convened meeting at the 94th Precinct regarding crime trends here in Williamspoint. Apparently there was a spike in robberies last week— and this obviously being a source of concern— local neighborhood groups were invited to discuss the matter. Most of the meeting can be summarized by the annotation on the flier to the left: don’t be an idiot. Nonetheless, I will outline the more salient points in this post.

Exercise Vigilance

70% of all crimes in the 94th last year were grand larceny/property crimes. These range anywhere from losing unattended property to smash and grabs; burglary and robbery. All more or less have two thing in common: they’re crimes of opportunity and appear to be perpetrated by a handful of serial offenders. D.I. Fulton cited one such example of this: a group of men who managed to rob three people in a single evening.

Although this is common sense I am going to list a few tips:

1. Watch your property
2. Do NOT leave valuables in your car
3. Refrain from talking on your cell phone and/or texting when walking our streets. Not only does negotiating around such people (who tend to weave around) piss yours truly off in a big, big way, but it makes you an easy target for robbery
4. When going out at night go in groups and refrain from being intoxicated. Public drunkenness makes one a sterling target for robberies and, as D.I. Fulton noted, one should not be impaired when negotiating the marginally secured construction sites hereabouts.
5. LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS. This too is common sense, but Mr. Fulton recounted to us a robbery where the woman’s apartment was accessed via a window on her fire escape. If you think you’re not an easy target because you reside on a higher floor, think again.
6. If you see suspicious activity, call the police.

Arrests

Although D.I. Fulton pointed out crime was down 6.7% last year (there were a total of 1,651 arrests last year lest you are wondering), he did list a few areas where more arrests and/or citations are being made:

1. Robberies (as I have already mentioned)
2. Graffiti
3. Truck traffic summonses are up for a third year in a row.

It was also noted that they are also cracking down on derelict bicycles. Which brings me to what is probably the most useful piece of information I gleaned from this meeting: the 94th Precinct is registering bicycles. This service is totally free and anyone interested should contact Elizabeth Moulterie at (718) 383-3879. The 94th’s Community Liaison, Carlos Ortiz gave me a compelling, if darkly amusing, example why bicycle owners should register their rides. He was once contacted by a gentleman whose bike was stolen… and turned up locked to a gate a few doors down on his block! How’s that for chutzpah? Despite his protestations that the vehicle in question was in fact his, since he had not seen the thief take it and there was no serial number engraved on it there was nothing they could do about it.

In closing, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention a little chicanery I encountered on the way to this meeting. On Manhattan Avenue between Java and Kent streets a 20-something woman hocked up a loogie— and noticing that she got my attention— tried to sell me a can of Folgers coffee for $5.00. Hot coffee. I was also equally impressed (if that is the most appropriate word to use) to learn at this meeting that apparently some of our local drug dealers are cutting their “product” with sheet rock excavated from the walls of their apartment building. The entrepreneurial moxie of the more criminally-inclined people in this neighborhood never ceases to amaze me.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I have recorded most— but not all— of the proceedings. Given the sensitive matter of some of the material discussed, I did not film the people present. I simply pointed my camera at the ceiling (so as to capture the audio and preserve the attendee’s anonymity). The sound quality is less than spectacular, but here it is.

1. General introduction, Crime rundown
2. Crime rundown, tips for crime prevention, Q & A
3. Q & A, continued. NOTE: last week’s “suspicious death” and Violeete Kryzak are touched upon at the very end. I advise you to give this a listen.
4. More Q & A: concerns about narcotics activity are aired (Speaking for myself, I have observed increasing evidence of heroin use along Manhattan Avenue north of Greenpoint Avenue.)
5. Concluding remarks

Southside Smash & Grab: Reward Offered

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Criminal Activity, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

reward

I found a great many of these fliers on Havemeyer Street this afternoon. Am I the only person who has noticed that smash and grabs seem to be becoming more and more common? If there is a lesson to be learned from this flier it is this: store your valuables outside of eye shot of would-be thieves. Keep them in your trunk— or better yet— secure them in your apartment.

In any case, it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) that if you know anything about the whereabouts of this person’s purloined belongings please contact him or her at the above telephone number. Better yet, contact the 90th Precinct. Thanks!

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Video Du Jour: When Gentrification Collides With Reality

June 11, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Newly empowered with some semblance of Internet access I finally started going through my email in earnest. What’s more, I have actually started replying to some of them! John Doe wrote:

…Of course there’s been wealth and poverty living side-by-side in this town forever, and in the best-case scenario a little general impoverishment might make us all more sensitive to each other’s condition. That won’t happen too soon, I fear. We’ve been living off Wall Street money too long. If things go on as they are, people are going to get really testy.

Here’s my reply:

This is already happening up here, kiddo. What we’re seeing/going to see is the result of what happens when a society becomes too reliant on “easy” money. And a government who holds anyone who(se parents) cannot afford the down payment on a $600,000+ condo in contempt. There are a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them. As they are learning.

But lest this lesson, that being what happens when people are disenfranchised, pissed off and poor— and forced to live elbow to elbow with the affluent has not been learned— or at least acknowledged— by the powers that be, I’d like to offer the following for their edification.

bodega

It hails from Greenpoint and involves a 24 hour grocery store, a hipster chick, a couple of drunks, a bartender and me. What lead up to the melee you see above were the two couple of drunk dudes. One had stolen a couple of beers previously and was asked to leave. He didn’t. The hipster chick trying to buy cigarettes at the counter told him to chill. When he didn’t respond she asked him to remove his earbuds. He removed them— but did not “chill” in the least. He got belligerent, they called the police and she got the hell out of Dodge.

For the record I want to make it known this man was not beaten. This dude was totally batshit. It took several men yelling, screaming, waving a baseball bat in one case— a one by two in another— to chase him out of the store. He bolted and as he left a couple came in. One was a bartender for the Mark Bar. Apparently she had dealt with this gent before.

He’s big trouble.

She said.

Call the police.

She said.

Which they already had done. And the police eventually did show up.

Too late.

Miss Heather

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