Archive for the tag 'safety'

The 61st Precinct Community Council Meeting will meet tonight, April 9, at the Homecrest Presbyterian Church (1413 Avenue T).

The Community Council is comprised of concerned residents and top brass from the 61st Precinct, and offers neighbors an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns about crime and safety issues in the area. The monthly meetings are attended by Captain John M. Chell, the commanding officer of the precinct, who will present a report on incidents and trends in the neighborhood, and speak face-to-face with neighbors about specific concerns.

For further information, or if you have questions or comments concerning Community Affairs, call (718) 627-6847.

Source: FSSP via Twitter

Source: FSSP via Twitter

A new group has launched with the goal of expanding the services of shomrim, or Jewish civilian patrol, into a broad swath of Gravesend.

Community Safety & Security (CSS) is an affiliate of the Sephardic Community Federation, and is working on a recruitment drive to bring volunteers to the well-established Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, which could begin patroling the area.

The borders of the area under consideration are Avenue I to the north, Avenue Y to the south, Coney Island Avenue to the east and McDonald Avenue to the west.

“CSS is a new organization that will work to keep our communities safe by establishing initiatives to help reduce crime and increase public safety. We hope to work with the public, law enforcement and community watch groups to achieve these goals,” said Avi Spitzer, executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation.

Spitzer said they already have a core group of volunteers, and hope to build up operations and activities over time. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has offered to help the group identify potential sources of funds for their project. CSS is headed by Jack Cayre, the scion of developer and real estate magnate Joseph Cayre.

CSS is not formally affiliated with Flatbush Shomrim.

Flatbush Shomrim Executive Coordinator Bob Moskowitz said that they have not started patrolling the new area, nor have they made a decision on whether or not they will.

“It’s under consideration right now. It’s not a done deal. There’s a lot of logistics involved,” Moskowitz said. “I’d like to help them out, but we have to look at it and see if we can do it. But we can’t help every community that asks us to. Right now it’s still up in the air. If it’s something that’s doable, we’d love to.”

Spitzer said the goal of CSS’s effort right now is to bolster shomrim’s manpower with volunteers from the proposed coverage area, which would provide the resources needed for patrols.

Flatbush Shomrim was founded in 1991 by now-Councilman Chaim Deutsch. Shomrim volunteers patrol the neighborhoods in marked and unmarked vehicles, calling 911 when they see an emergency, monitoring the activities of people they believe to be suspicious, and calling for other volunteers if they feel the need. They can often be the first to respond to a scene of a low-level incident, where they can make a citizen’s arrest if necessary.

Community shomrim patrols have also been the source of controversy. Critics say they can sometimes be overzealous in their duties, inflame ethnic tensions and, at times, an obstacle to police investigations within the Jewish community. Some patrols receive taxpayer funds and resources through the offices of elected officials.

If you’d like to volunteer for shomrim patrols, contact CSS at (347) 781-4679 or by email at CSS@SephardicFederation.org

The 61st Precinct Community Council Meeting will meet tomorrow, March 12, at the Bainbridge Center, 3093 Ocean Avenue at 7:30 p.m.

The Community Council is comprised of concerned residents and top brass from the 61st Precinct, and offers neighbors an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns about crime and safety issues in the area. The monthly meetings are attended by Captain John M. Chell, the commanding officer of the precinct, who will present a report on incidents and trends in the neighborhood, and speak face-to-face with neighbors about specific concerns.

For further information, or if you have questions or comments concerning Community Affairs, call (718) 627-6847.

Mycobacterium marinum infection of the arm of a fish-tank worker.

An example of the infection in its earlier stages. These spots can grow into lesions and spread into the muscle tissue, making surgery necessary. (Source: CDC)

At least 30 people have been diagnosed with a bacterial skin infection after handling raw fish at Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens Chinese markets, spurring the New York City Department of Health to warn residents to take precautions.

The department is urging anyone who handles live or raw fish to wear waterproof gloves and to avoid direct contact with the seafood. There is no risk from consuming the food once it has been cooked, the agency notes.

The bacteria that causes the infection, Mycobacterium marinum, leads to symptoms including tender swelling and red bumps, as well as pain and difficulty moving fingers. It enters the body through cuts or injuries while handling live or raw seafood. Although easy to combat early on, if left untreated it could significantly worsen and require surgical treatment.

So far, cases have been linked to all three boroughs. The case found in Brooklyn was traced back to a Sunset Park market.

If you believe you have symptoms of the infection, you can call the Health Department’s Bureau of Communicable Disease at (347) 396-2600 and ask to speak to a physician.

Neighbors packed the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park on Tuesday night to question representatives of the 63rd Precinct about the NYPD’s security plans a day after teenagers ran rampant through Kings Plaza mall.

Lieutenant Vito Ardito of the precinct’s special operation’s unit that oversees response to disturbances like that at Kings Plaza, sought to emphasize the NYPD’s proactive handling of the teenage “riot” during the Marine Park Civic Association meeting.

Ardito said the police were aware of the plans to overtake the mall well in advance, having monitored the situation on social media sites including Facebook. However, he noted that it’s not illegal to host a “get together,” but the number of people put the precinct on guard. The NYPD sent additional cars from Manhattan, giving the local force 13 cars in total to preserve order.

The teens were allowed to enter the mall, but police and mall security decided to send them on their way after concerns that the growing numbers would become unmanageable. Ardito emphasized that none of the kids, who appeared to be between the ages of 13 and 16, were violating the law, and all but two complied with officers’ requests to leave, leading to arrests.

Both arrests were of minors, and Ardito said the precinct is working with their parents. One received a summons.

The community, though, demanded a tougher response and more police officers to be stationed at the mall, saying they feared for their safety when shopping at the mall.

Although Ardito noted reiterated that the teens did not violate any laws and were compliant with police officers’ requests, he did note that they are working with mall security to improve the situation – especially as the mall moves forward with renovations, including a $3 million camera system.

He added that when looking at the precinct’s command as a whole, the mall only accounted for a marginal amount of crime, and that slashes to their personnel – from 180 to 120 officers in recent years – meant prioritizing areas with greater incidents of violent crime.

The NYPD is also investigating the organizer of both Kings Plaza “get togethers” for a possible “incitement to violence” charge.

Source: formulanone/Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday unveiled the 63-points of his Vision Zero proposal aimed at eliminating pedestrian deaths, and some of the steps make Michael Bloomberg look like a Detroit industry lobbyist.

De Blasio’s plan pushes a citywide reduction of the speed limit to 25 miles per hour from the current 30, as well as the installation of more speed and red light cameras, more cops focused on moving violations, and – everyone’s favorites – more speed bumps, bike lanes and possibly pedestrian plazas across the five boroughs.

It’s not all bad news for me-first drivers; the plan also calls for widening parking lanes to keep delivery vehicles out of travel lanes, and investigating an automated system that would penalize taxicabs by pausing their meters if the driver exceeds the speed limit. They’re also looking at improving street lighting at more than 1,000 intersections.

Here’s some background from the New York Times:

Some of the mayor’s proposals — like lowering the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 and expanding the installation of red-light and speed-tracking cameras that issue tickets — require approval in the state capital, where the administration is asking lawmakers to approve a tax increase on the city’s top earners to finance prekindergarten programs.

Though the Bloomberg administration pressed the Legislature for years, with mixed success, to approve the expansion of automated enforcement cameras, Mr. de Blasio predicted “a receptive audience in Albany” this time around.

Pursuing jaywalkers will not remain a part of the plan, de Blasio noted, although the city has issued 215 summonses for jaywalking in a little over a month, compared to 27 over the same period last year.

More cops are also proposed, particularly to crack down on bad turning. amNY reports:

Citing police statistics that speeding and “inappropriate turning” were to blame in 70% of pedestrian fatalities, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the department would increase the number of officers devoted to deterring bad driving and investigating crashes.

There are about 250 pedestrians deaths and 4,000 serious injuries a year, the report says.

Some more stats from the Wall Street Journal:

Since Mr. de Blasio took office Jan. 1, more than 20 people have been killed in traffic crashes, he said. In 2013, according to a preliminary tally, there were 286 traffic deaths, a 3% increase from 2012 and a 15% increase from 2011.

On a related note, the city doled out nearly 4,000 speeding tickets since the installation of speed cameras last month, the mayor said.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Two people were arrested in connection with yesterday’s mayhem at Kings Plaza Mall, in which at least 100 teenagers created chaos as they ran through the complex in the second such incident in as many months, Councilman Alan Maisel informed Sheepshead Bites today.

The two busted were charged with disorderly conduct, according the councilman, who was briefed on the situation this morning by the NYPD’s 63rd Precinct Community Affairs division.

The NYPD’s 63rd Precinct has not returned calls from this outlet for confirmation. The NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information at 1 Police Plaza had no information regarding arrests in connection with the incident – but such a discrepancy could be caused if the arrests did not happen at the mall’s address.

According to the councilman, as well as accounts from leaders of local civic associations who were also briefed by the precinct, the 63rd Precinct knew about the planned disorder in advance. The mob was organized on Facebook under an event titled “Kings Plaza Maddness Part 1.”

“[The police] knew about it happening because apparently they were the same group [that organized the mob in December], or the same person that posted it last time. So the police department was prepared to be there. They made a couple of arrests,” Maisel told Sheepshead Bites.

Maisel added that this week’s disruption included about 150 culprits, scaled back from the 400 or so estimated by mall security following the December riot. Police told him that there was no damage, larceny, injuries or any other criminal behavior evident during yesterday’s incident other than the disorder created by the sheer number of unruly teenagers.

bergen-beach

The councilman met just last week with mall security and the 63rd Precinct’s Deputy Inspector John Rowell about beefing up the shopping center’s security.

“This is the kind of thing that’s going to happen time and time again because apparently this is like the hoot for these kids. I don’t understand it, but this is what they like to do,” said Maisel.

Maisel said he’s trying to convince the mall to bring in a paid detail – NYPD officers commissioned specifically to keep order within the mall.

“Kings Plaza is spending a lot of money to upgrade the mall. They’re going to spend millions. We asked them to put in a paid detail. They claim the mall security is well trained, but they weren’t very forthcoming about their security arrangements,” he said. “A paid detail would seem like a very good thing for them. If you’re going to spend millions of dollars on upgrading the mall, you want people to come.”

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A woman attempts to pass beneath the B/Q line at Avenue Y, a daunting task.

New York City residents and business owners are required to clear their sidewalks after snow storms or face heavy fines from city authorities. But city agencies have failed to clear many public sidewalks and those abutting government property, suggesting a double standard that puts pedestrians at risk.

With 48 inches of snow falling over the course of 22 days since January 1, deadbeat landlords who’ve failed to shovel paths have become a reviled caricature in New York City. Currently, they could face fines of $150, and a local City Council member has introduced new legislation that would direct city workers to clear private sidewalks and forward the bill to the property owner.

But while city workers may one day be deployed to clear private sidewalks, Sheepshead Bites has found a number of government-owned sidewalks that those same city workers have failed to clear.

Among the worst spots this publication surveyed yesterday are the underpasses of the B/Q Brighton line, all located between East 15th Street and East 16th Street. From Sheepshead Bay Road to Kings Highway, not one of the half dozen underpasses without a subway station had clear paths shoveled on both sides of the street, and even some of those with a subway station were left uncleared. In most locations, the northern side of the street was partially shoveled, while the southern side remained untouched.

Keep reading to learn whose responsibility it is, and view the pictures of their neglect.

Not an efficient space heater. (Source: groggy.girl/Flickr)

Well, it seems like we’re on day 527 of freezing cold weather, and by my count we’ve had something like a billion inches of snow.

As neighbors bundle up and gather around the radiator, there have been a number of reports of fires, burns and other tragedies caused, in part, by home heating equipment.

In fact, according to the National Fire Preparedness Association, half of all home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January and February. And half of home heating fire deaths result from keeping things too close to a heat source.

So we’re passing on some tips from that organization to help make sure you have a warm and safe winter. Share them with friends and family, because I hate writing stories like this.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or other space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from the home.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Eric Adams

Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams issued a statement yesterday afternoon urging fellow Brooklynites to “take extra precautions” for their safety. The statement came hours after a second death in Brooklyn to be caused by a snow removal vehicle in just 10 days.

“Today, Brooklyn mourns the passing of Min Lin, who was fatally struck by a snowplow vehicle in Bay Ridge, as well as prays for the health of her newborn child. Death is always a tragic occurrence, and it is heightened here because, just ten days ago, our borough lost Stanislav Chernyshov when a backhoe pushing snow fatally struck him in Brighton Beach,” said Adams. “These incidents underscore the need for motorists, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, to take extra precautions in hazardous weather conditions, such as we have experienced this winter. Additionally, we must further impress the importance of safe driving and operation of snow removal vehicles, which must include proper training for operators.”

Both incidents occurred in Southern Brooklyn, and the vehicles were both privately operated plows clearing snow from private property. In yesterday’s incident, 36-year-old Min Lin, who was pregnant, was hit by a plow clearing the parking lot of Fei Long Market at 6301 8th Avenue. The unborn child survived the accident but is in critical condition at Maimonides Hospital.

On February 3, Stanislav Chernyshov was killed by a CAT vehicle removing snow from the Oceana condominium complex in Brighton Beach.

In another incident on February 5, a man suffered minor injuries after being knocked down on Coney Island Avenue by a wall of snow as a speeding Department of Sanitation snow plow passed - an incident caught on video that went viral. The driver has been disciplined by the agency, according to reports.

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