Over the past few months there have been a string of sexual assults in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Heights and Sunset Park. I have been in contact with both Assistant Chief Chan of the NYPD's Brooklyn South Division and Deputy Inspector Pintos of the 72nd Precinct. I am also working with the Dept of Transportation to see if they can install additional lights beneath the Prospect Expressway overpass in the interest of public safety. Several of the attacks began with the victim being followed after leaving a subway station, especially the Prospect Ave station at 4th Ave on the R train.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's office has begun a public safety program called "Safe Stop" (formerly Safe Haven), which allows merchants to display a decal to alert the public that their business is a safe place to go in the event of an emergency. Business employees will receive training about the program; have public safety information to give out and will refer non emergency situations to the DA's office. Emergencies will be handled through 911. My office will soon be a safe stop. Applications for businesses which would like to become Safe Stops are available in my office at 341 Smith Street.
It is extremely important that we all take safety precautions when walking alone day or night. The Police Department recommends being extra cautious and aware of your surroundings, taking off headphones as they may inhibit the ability to hear someone approaching and using a route that is well lit and well populated. Do not hesitate to call the 72nd Precinct at 718-965-6311, 78th Precinct at (718) 636-6411 or 911 if you suspect a crime is being committed.
Additionally, the following resources provide late night walks or rides home:
- Brooklyn Bike Patrol provides walks home 7 days a week from subway stops in Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Carroll Gardens. Call 718-744-7592 to arrange an escort.
- Right Rides provides free, safe rides home for women and LGBTQ individuals after midnight on the weekends. Call 888-215-SAFE
- Safe Slope provides free walks home in Park Slope, Greenwood Heights and Windsor Terrace on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm-3am by calling 347-709-8852
I will be chairing a roundtable on the topic of elder abuse on Tuesday, October 25, 2001 at Borough Hall at 9:30am. Discussions will focus on the growing problem of elder abuse and ways in which state and local governments can partner to end elder abuse throughout New York State. Free admission.
Represented/Update on 370 Jay Street
Two recent developments at the MTA are addressing issues I've been speaking about for years: Recently Governor Cuomo signed one of my bills (A7898) into law. As a state agency, the MTA board of directors is nominated by the Governor of New York and recommended by the Mayor of New York City and the county executives of the seven counties served by the MTA. But who represents the interests of commuters and labor? Since 1994 the 17 member MTA board of directors has been made up of two non-voting members, one representing the interest of commuters and the other representing the interest of labor. My sponsorship of this bill will extend this provision until 2016 and ensure that the voice of commuters and the labor community continues to be represented during tough budget negotiations.
In addition, the MTA has finally issued an RFP for the use of 370 Jay Street - a building which has been empty for years and has fallen into disrepair. Either selling or leasing the building could bring millions of dollars to the MTA, which I want to see go to improving services for riders. I am also hopeful that the building will finally become an economic boon to Downtown Brooklyn, rather than the derelict eyesore that it has been for years, possibly by providing office space to dozens of small businesses in a prime location.
In an era of budget cuts, there is a bright spot at the Brooklyn Public Library. The BPL has been able to expand service hours at many branches in the borough. More hours mean more services and activities for residents. The Pacific Branch offers assistance with resume writing on Tuesdays at 2 PM, the Brooklyn Heights branch is doing the same on Tuesday evenings from 6 PM- 7:30 PM, for more information call 718-623-7000. And the Carroll Gardens branch is offering a free presentation for parents on middle and high school applications by Insideschools on Tuesday, October 11 from 6 PM - 8 PM.
The new University Hospital of Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) will be offering free flu shots at my office on Tuesday Oct. 18 and Wednesday Oct. 19th - please call for an appointment at 718-246-4889.
Visiting seniors at the St. Charles Jubilee senior center in Brooklyn Heights