A professor once told me never to start a presentation with an apology, but I feel compelled: there were community events, including yoga at Force and Flow and LaunchPad and a CHCA mural project re-painting, that I missed over the weekend. In my defense, it was the lady's birthday, and even the Avenue's longest-suffering blog-widow needs some TLC now and again.
But back to the issues at hand - after a non-fatal broad-daylight shooting on Saturday, the block remains hot, and the Crow Hill Community Association remains concerned, rightfully so. The CHCA lobbied hard for the impact zone that has brought dozens of extra officers to Franklin and Nostrand since last August, and they're not happy the the NYPD are planning to shut it down at the end of the month. Their complete appeal is below, but in short, they're asking local citizens to write to Commissioner Kelly and demand that the impact zone be continued.
The impact zone strategy is not without its critics: it utilizes new officers (recent Police Academy grads) in unfamiliar areas who may be more mistake-prone than the local Precinct cops, and the aggressive nature of the strategy can turn minor misunderstandings into arrests that alienate community members. That said, a lot of people I've talked to from all walks of life have had positive things to say about the increased police presence (some wish that it had come far sooner, and some question its concurrent arrival with younger, paler residents, but that's a whole 'nother post), and many of them think crime is down.
At any rate, if you'd like to see the impact zone on Franklin continue, read on:
By this time, you probably know a young man was shot in the leg on Franklin Avenue, Saturday afternoon at about 2:30. What you might not know is that Commissioner Kelly is planning to pull the Impact Zone from Franklin and Nostrand Avenues at the end of the month. This means we will lose the increased foot patrol that has had such a positive effect on our community since January.
We got the first Impact Zone as the result of a very strong letter writing campaign.We need to do another immeadiately!!! Even while our neighborhood continues to improve, this is the 3rd shooting on Franklin since the middle of May. Below (and attached as a word.doc) is a letter to send to Commissioner KellyPLEASE do it today. You can send the letter the way it is, or even better, personalize it: Say how long you have lived in the community, mention if you are raising a family here or if you have a business in the area. But the most important thing is to send it!
We would like to have an idea of how many letters go out, so when you send yours, please reply to this email and just say "I did it"Thanks and we look forward to seeing you at the About Time Kids Day event this coming Saturday on Franklin between Park & Sterling,stop by the Crow Hill table and say hi.
July 18, 2010
One Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
Dear Commissioner Kelly: I am a resident of the Crow Hill section of Crown Heights and I understand that at the end of the month Franklin Avenue will no longer be part of the Impact Zone. Given the escalation of gun violence on Franklin over the last couple of months I find this alarming; just this past Saturday someone was shot on our crowded summer street at 2:30 in the afternoon. We can not afford to lose this protection!
The Impact Zone officers have had a very positive effect on Franklin Avenue. The large groups of aggressive young men hanging out on our street corners have diminished and there is less evidence of drug activity, this in turn has led to a more vibrant street life for residents which we both know is an excellent deterrent to crime. But with summer here, it is critical to keep a strong police presence on Franklin Avenue.
We must not allow Franklin Avenue to revert back to more dangerous times.
These shootings MUST stop.Please keep the Impact Zone on Franklin Avenue.