When Bill Bratton took on the job as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s police commissioner earlier this year, he promised communities a more open dialogue with their local precincts. In addition to widespread concern over the detrimental effects of stop-and-frisk policy, Bratton was also coming in as the NYPD faced a new round of criticism after Ray Kelly’s administration took a parting shot at reporters and squashed the distribution of blotter items.
While stop-and-frisk appears to have come to an end, blotter items remain sketchy. Some precincts have started working with reporters again, while others haven’t. (The 61st Precinct does not.)
But the commish is moving ahead with other plans. Precincts have been asked to begin producing monthly newsletters for the community. The 61st Precinct sent us their first issue, which we’ve embedded here.
In addition to a schedule of local precinct meetings and information on various programs and contacts available at the precinct, there’s a slew of information about crime trends and prevention tips.
Of note, the precinct reveals the top location for pedestrian-related car accidents in the command: Coney Island Avenue and Avenue Z. With de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” campaign ramping up, residents should expect rigorous enforcement at that location.
The newsletter also says what Captain John Chell has taken pains to remind residents at every meeting for months: theft from automobiles is a scourge throughout New York City, and Sheepshead Bay is no exception. Perps are breaking windows and checking car locks to steal items as small as pennies in a cup holder. Make sure you lock your doors and don’t leave anything of value in plain sight.
Grand larcenies are also on the rise, fueled by pickpockets, as we noted in October. Victims are usually females riding on MTA buses, with items being stolen from their pocketbooks.
The newsletter offers tips to prevent being the victim of both crimes. Check it out below.