Yesterday I saw (but first heard) an NYPD van with a loudspeaker, driving up and down Grand Street near Leonard with a public service announcement about Vision Zero. Hearing a strange disembodied voice from a van on the street is highly jarring and I quickly felt that I was in some kind of police state/ demilitarized zone and had to evacuate with only one ragged suitcase before all hell broke loose.
The male voice on the speaker was saying something like “ATTENTION: MAYOR DI BLASIO IS GOING MAKE OUR STEETS SAFER [REPEATS THIS MESSAGE IN SPANISH]“. Apparently in Crown Heights this was done in Yiddish.
I fully support Vision Zero and what it represents but this felt like some kind of drive by scare tactic. Or maybe I’ve watched too many post-apocolyptic movies based on Soviet takeovers…
Anyway, I thought to myself, “there must be a better way.” And as if my prayers were answered by the high holy one of urban transit, today, a friend of mine got an email from Transportation Alternative with some useful information. Apparently, tonight there will be a super special street safety forum on implementing Vision Zero in Greenpoint (that’s here, for those of you who just woke up). Continue reading →
The Block Watch Program is being relaunched in Greenpoint, and if you would like to join the program here’s how:
Contact Police Officer Steve Truglio of the 94th Precinct at (718) 383 – 5298 and tell him that you would like to join the Block Watch Program.
The program covers a training course and assigns the volunteer a Block Watch ID number.
This is not a block watch in the literal sense, where you are obligated to walk around your block looking over your shoulder for a straight number of hours. Should you happen to see anything suspicious happening at the very moment you are leaving your house for work, or going on about your daily business, etc., there will be a number for you to call.
All your information is confidential should you wish to join, and the training will teach you how to properly handle a situation should you be there to witness it. It is encouraged to spread the word for home owners, business owners, renters, anyone who is worried about safety in Greenpoint, to get involved because as a community we can make Greenpoint safer.
Contributor, Cristina Vásquez Obando, created this helpful infographic, which lays out the data, according to the NYPD Crime Stats. Included, are the numbers from 1993, for some historical perspective.
Up since last year: Grand Larceny, Burglary (but only by 1%), Assault, Murder (1 murder this year up from zero), and most notably, Rape, which experienced a 60% increase (from 5 incidents in 2012, to 8 in 2013).
The good news? Robbery is down by 22%. And, best of all, look at how much safer the neighborhood is now than it was 20 years ago. In 1993 Greenpoint, the chances of being robbed, burglarized, and assaulted were significantly higher.
Some helpful terminology:
Grand larceny in New York, refers to stealing amounts of $1,000 or more. Burglary involves breaking and entering of a dwelling with an intent to commit a felony.Robbery is defined by the law as taking or trying to take something from someone that has value by utilizing intimidation, force or threat. In order for robbery to take place, a victim must be present at the scene.
I think cars are stupid, especially in a city like New York, where so many people are crammed together, sharing what we all don’t have enough of - space – especially open natural space. Continue reading →
It’s easy to forget that Greenpoint is situated in a massive city, especially when we feel as safe in our neighborhood as we do. But, that’s just it–we live in a city of over 8 million people. And the unfortunate reality of being in an urban center is that we have to be extra aware of our surroundings and take some precautions to ensure that we don’t encounter a potentially dangerous situation.
That’s not to say that you should board up your windows and hide out in your basement with a transistor radio and tinfoil hat. These are common sense suggestions, most of which you are already know. But, given the recent spike in crime in the area (especially the terrifying home invasions on Monday night), we thought we’d share some helpful tips from our friends at the 94th precinct and The Anti-Violence Project. Continue reading →
It’s alarming and disheartening to receive daily emails, tweets and facebook messages from Greenpoint residents who are scared because of the recent violent events that have taken place in the area, including a rape, a missing woman and yesterday’s pistol whipping in broad daylight.
AVP’s “trainings and workshops provide participants with information on the impact of hate motivated violence, safety planning strategies, tips on preventing or reducing the impact of violence, information on how to create LGBTQH [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV+] inclusive organizations, and how to support the needs of LGBTQ survivors of violence.”
For more information visit www.avp.org and feel free to email cb at greenpointchurch.org with any questions about the event.
Jay told me that Brooklyn Bike Patrol has been “begging for people to volunteer.” Come on Greenpoint, you can do this!
Here is how it works:
Before you get on the train and 45 min before you will get off at your stop call this number: 718-744-7592.
The dispatcher will let you know who will be picking you up and you can check out Brooklyn Bike Patrol’s Facebook page to find out what your Bike Patrol volunteer looks like. If you don’t you will be able to identify him or her as they wear a Brooklyn Bike Patrol uniform.
In August Brooklyn Bike Patrol is available Thursday (8pm-Midnight) and Friday and Saturday nights (9pm-4am).
In September Brooklyn Bike Patrol will be on call every day of the week.
This service is totally FREE and they will not accept tips.
As Jay said, a safe walk home is only, “a phone call away.”
Aside from Greenpoint Brooklyn Bike Patrol serves:
Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bedford Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Ft. Greene, Dumbo, Propect Heights, Carroll Garden, Red Hook, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditnas Park, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights & Borough Park.
VOLUNTEER FOR BROOKLYN BIKE PATROL:
If you would (and should) like to volunteer, call Brooklyn Bike Patrol at 718-744-7592 after 6pm. You must not have a criminal record and be willing to give a copy of your license and other personal information, plus be willing to provide a background check.
Another reader concerned about safety in Greenpoint wrote in to tell me of an incident in which she was recently kicked by a homeless man on Manhattan Ave:
I wanted to make the Greenpointers aware of something that happened to me today that was concerning in regards to the safety of our neighborhood. I was standing in front of Champion Coffee on the phone when a homeless man came galloping down the street speaking loudly to himself. All of a sudden her turned towards we and kicked me in the leg so hard that I went sprawiling into the building. Next he pushed another woman down into the street and turned the corner onto Dupont Street where he proceeded, I am told, to hit trash cans, pull recycling bags out into the street sending broken glass all around.
When the neighborhood police showed up about 10 minutes later, they took my statement and told methat the man who accosted me lives at the new homeless shelter at the end of Clay Street. Fortunately they took him to the precinct for evaluation. They also informed me that the shelter is contributing to other problems in the neighborhood. More cars are getting broken into and if one of the residents does not get back to the shelter by 10:00 p.m when they lock the doors, he ends up wandering throughout the neighborhood all night.
I know that homeless people need to have shelters and I support having shelters in the city obviously, but they also need to be run so that the neighborhoods where they are built are safe. I have lived in this neighborhood for 13 years. I have always felt fairly safe. I no longer feel this way.
I would like others to know what happened to me, so that they can be aware of one more example of how our neighborhood has become less safe.